Tuesday, March 22, 2022



Paris, 1860’s.  Mimi Bisset never truly got over the losing her daughter Colette.  Mimi is pulled into the world of art and begins attending the parties, and the masked balls that go along with it.  Just when she feels like her life is finally on the right track, rumors start circulating about Mimi and her reputation is one that she may not be able to get past.  One day while Mimi and Manet were walking along the Seine, she recognizes her daughter, Colette with her family.  Manet knew about Colette and her family but kept it a secret from Mimi.  When Mimi finds out she is livid that the man she loved kept such a secret from her.  It leaves her shattered and wondering if losing her daughter for a second time will be the last time.  

This story was completely unexpected and so interesting in the time frame of 19th century Paris.  The incorporation of the Impressionistic art world and the circus world made for an interesting storyline. I enjoyed the description of Paris and the art, while the circus was entertaining.  I found the characters to be interesting, and the storyline was entertaining, and it kept me engage in the story.

Thank you Helen Fripp for a wonderful story.  I enjoyed this book as it was a wonderful escape to Paris and the world of art.  I recommend it.


Rating: 5 out of 4.


Author:  Helen Fripp
Publisher:  Bookouture 
Publication Date: March 22, 2022 
Pages: 305 
Buy on Amazon 

I want to paint you,’ he whispers. In his high-ceilinged studio filled with golden light she takes in the canvases propped against every wall, the paints like jewels. She thinks of the pictures she longs to paint, of her lost little girl playing in sunlit gardens. Will she ever see her daughter again? 

Paris, 1860s. For Mimi Bisset, survival is everything on the cobbled streets of the Paris slums. She tries to forget the pain of losing her daughter Colette: born out of wedlock and forcibly given away to a rich family. But Mimi’s world turns upside down after a chance encounter with handsome artist Édouard Manet. Boldly posing for portraits on Manet’s chaise longue, Mimi feels a wild freedom – and as Manet teaches her how to layer the vivid paints on canvas herself, a passion grows between them that breaks all the rules…

At Manet’s side, Mimi is caught up in his world. They dance all night at Paris’s new can-can clubs and drink absinthe at masked balls. But one day, strolling by the Seine on her lover’s arm, Mimi catches a glimpse of familiar green eyes… it’s Colette, with a family who Manet knew all along.

Although she’s reeling that the man she loved kept such a secret from her, Mimi is filled with hope she’ll finally get her daughter back. But when a terrible rumour begins to circulate about Mimi, the only place she has to go is back to the slums. Destitute, hungry and alone, can Mimi clear her name? Or will her heart shatter all over again when she loses her daughter for a second, final time?


I love delving into the past and uncovering new stories, and in my writing, the tiniest historical detail can spark an idea for a whole chapter. My female characters rail against the social constraints to which they are subject and often achieve great success, but they are of course flawed and human, like the rest of us. It’s the motivations, flaws, loves and every-day lives of my characters that I love to bring life, against sweeping historical backdrops – and I will find any excuse to take off and research a captivating location or person for my next story.

My first novel is set in the Champagne region in France, and I’m currently working on my next one, set in late eighteenth century Paris. I spent a lot of time in France as a child, have lived in Paris and spent a year with my family in a fishing village in South West France, so that’s where my books have ended up being set so far. Who knows where next!

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