To Capture What We Cannot Keep by Beatrice Colin

Posted November 23, 2016 by Minx

This review is based on a complimentary book I received from NetGalley. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.

To Capture What We Cannot Keep by Beatrice Colin To Capture What We Cannot Keep by Beatrice Colin
Genres: Historical Fiction, Romance
Release Date: November 29, 2016
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Format: ARC
Source: NetGalley
Pages: 291
ISBN: 1250071445
Purchase at: Amazon
Minx's Rating:

Set against the construction of the Eiffel Tower, this novel charts the relationship between a young Scottish widow and a French engineer who, despite constraints of class and wealth, fall in love.

In February 1887, Caitriona Wallace and Émile Nouguier meet in a hot air balloon, floating high above Paris, France--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. Émile 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 Émile must decide what their love is worth.

Seamlessly weaving historical detail and vivid invention, Beatrice Colin evokes the revolutionary time in which Cait and Émile 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.


I enjoyed the details that were a part of this story. So many wonderful details! I love when I am reading a story and the particulars are built upon, layer after layer. It is as if the author took my hand and led me through this story and discussed with me at length the world she created. I felt all the emotional pulls that were intended and I was engrossed with the story from beginning to end.

There were many historical details that gave this book authenticity, I feel like it could have been based upon a true story (maybe it was ). I loved, loved, loved how the author captured Paris and the building of the Eiffel Tower. I liked how the main characters Emile and Cait were given backstories and that they were developed slowly throughout the book. The supporting characters had very little backstory but what they added to the main story was well done.

What made the story difficult for me was that there were a few times in the story where situations would occur but the reaction from the supporting character was not explained or justified. So I was left pondering why were they upset? What was so bad about that? Or how did that make the character feel? It should have been devastating or some other emotion should have occurred, I should not have to wonder. There should have been enough details that I understood without doubt why the incident incited the reaction I was shown. All in all it was a wonderful story that I think many will enjoy.

*Thank you to Flatiron Books & NetGalley for this eARC of To Capture What We Cannot Keep*

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