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The Resource To capture what we cannot keep, Beatrice Colin

To capture what we cannot keep, Beatrice Colin

Label
To capture what we cannot keep
Title
To capture what we cannot keep
Statement of responsibility
Beatrice Colin
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
"Set against the construction of the Eiffel Tower, this novel charts the relationship between a young widow and an engineer who, despite constraints of class and wealth, fall in love. In February 1887, Caitriona Wallace and Emile Nouguier meet in a hot air balloon, floating high above Paris a moment of pure possibility. But back on firm ground, their vastly different social strata become clear. Cait is a widow who because of her precarious financial situation is forced to chaperone two wealthy Scottish charges. Emile is expected to take on the bourgeois stability of his family's business and choose a suitable wife. As the Eiffel Tower rises, a marvel of steel and air and light, the subject of extreme controversy and a symbol of the future, Cait and Emile must decide what their love is worth. Seamlessly weaving historical detail and vivid invention, Beatrice Colin evokes the revolutionary time in which Cait and Emile live--one of corsets and secret trysts, duels and Bohemian independence, strict tradition and Impressionist experimentation. To Capture What We Cannot Keep, stylish, provocative, and shimmering, raises probing questions about a woman's place in that world, the overarching reach of class distinctions, and the sacrifices love requires of us all"--
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Character
Award
Loan Stars Favourites, 2016
Review
  • They meet while aloft in a hot air balloon over Paris in 1887. Caitriona Wallace is an impoverished Glaswegian widow acting as chaperone to the wealthy Arrol siblings as they travel Europe on their Grand Tour. One of Gustave Eiffel’s engineers, Émile Nouguier, needs to marry among his class to please his mother and bolster the family finances. Although Alice Arrol is a naive teenager, she’s a potential match for Émile, but he finds himself more intrigued by Cait. However, in returning his affections, Cait would be choosing passion over honor. Their beautifully restrained love story, told in a refreshingly unhurried manner and grounded in the era’s social constraints, gains complexity as Alice and her brother, Jamie, rebel against their expected roles. Nouguier is a historical figure, and readers get a close-up perspective on the Eiffel Tower’s step-by-step construction. Drawn with care and suffused with stylish ambience, Colin’s (The Glimmer Palace, 2008) Paris is a city of painters, eccentric aristocrats, desperate prostitutes, secret lovers, and the magnificent artistic vision taking shape high above them. Devotees of the Belle Époque should relish every word. -- Johnson, Sarah (Reviewed 10/1/2016) (Booklist, vol 113, number 3, p33)
  • /* Starred Review */ To be in Paris to witness the construction of the Eiffel Tower is a magnificent occasion: to have a hand, however small, in its building, even better. Jamie Arrol, the nephew of a successful Scottish engineer, talks himself into an apprenticeship. His sister, Alice, and their chaperone, Caitriona Wallace, travel with him, for it is just possible that Alice might find an acceptable husband in the City of Light. And what of Cait, a widow only too happy to escape penury and the gloom of Scotland for a while? It is she who finds something fleetingly beautiful, a love that in the end must be left behind. Hauntingly melancholic in places, Colin's (The Glimmer Palace) story moves like wisps of fog through Parisian streets, capturing moments of both gaiety and tragedy. VERDICT This exquisitely written, shadowy historical novel will appeal to a wide variety of readers, including fans of the Belle Époque. [See Prepub Alert, 5/2/16.] --Pamela O'Sullivan (Reviewed 06/01/2016) (Library Journal, vol 141, issue 10, p80)
  • A French engineer working on the construction of the Eiffel Tower meets a Glaswegian widow, and their romance is as risky as the tower project itself.Émile Nouguier is second-in-command to Gustave Eiffel, designing the tower that will mark the centennial of the French Revolution at the World’s Fair of 1889. In 1886, construction of La Tour is just commencing. As her only surviving son, Émile has incurred his aging mother’s disapproval for choosing engineering over active management of the family glass factory. During a tour of the construction site by balloon, Émile meets Caitriona Wallace, 31, a widow who has accompanied, as chaperone, two Scottish young adults, Alice and Jamie, the cosseted niece and nephew of a wealthy, childless Glasgow civil engineer. Cait’s husband was killed in a bridge collapse, but the match would have been doomed by an incompatibility between the couple which Colin handles so discreetly that readers can only guess at its nature until the very end. Now, Cait’s only options are positions such as this one or remarriage, but so far only one rich but repulsive suitor has presented himself. The attraction between Émile and Cait is instant but it takes several chapters of hesitation as each gradually sheds his or her own nationality’s version of Victorian reticence. Émile’s mother is dying and has been urging him to marry soon and produce grandchildren before it's too late, but he knows she will never accept Cait, a foreigner. Meanwhile, his ex-mistress Gabrielle has embroiled herself with Alice and Jamie, abetting the Scottish innocents’ forays into the Parisian demimonde. Cait, oblivious to the full extent of her charges’ indiscretions, dreads confessing what she does suspect to her employer, since it will necessitate a return to Glasgow and her own bleak future. Colin has a sure hand with the atmospheres of both cities and with the mores and dress of the period, and she manages to continually raise the stakes for her characters without ever resorting to melodrama. A novel of soaring ambitions, public and private.(Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 2016)
Assigning source
Provided by publisher
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10539782
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Colin, Beatrice
Dewey number
823/.92
Index
no index present
LC call number
PR6103.O443
LC item number
T6 2016
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Widows
  • Businessmen
  • Social classes
  • Tour Eiffel (Paris, France)
Target audience
adult
Label
To capture what we cannot keep, Beatrice Colin
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
289 pages
Isbn
9781250071446
Lccn
2016016418
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • 913924460
  • (OCoLC)913924460
Label
To capture what we cannot keep, Beatrice Colin
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
289 pages
Isbn
9781250071446
Lccn
2016016418
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • 913924460
  • (OCoLC)913924460

Library Locations

    • James City County LibraryBorrow it
      7770 Croaker Road, Williamsburg, VA, 23188, US
      37.377573 -76.770995
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