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The Velvet Hours by Alyson Richman
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The Velvet Hours

$20.99 USD

Retail price (USD): $22.95

Discount: 9%

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Length 11 hours 27 minutes
Language English
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As Paris teeters on the edge of the German occupation, a young Frenchwoman closes the door to her late grandmother’s treasure-filled apartment, unsure if she’ll ever return.

An elusive courtesan, Marthe de Florian had cultivated a life of art and beauty, casting out all recollections of her impoverished childhood in the dark alleys of Montmartre. With Europe on the brink of war, she shares her story with her granddaughter Solange Beaugiron, using her prized possessions to reveal her innermost secrets. Most striking of all are a beautiful string of pearls and a magnificent portrait of Marthe painted by the Italian artist Giovanni Boldini. As Marthe’s tale unfolds, like velvet itself, stitched with its own shadow and light, it helps to guide Solange on her own path.

Inspired by the true account of an abandoned Parisian apartment, Alyson Richman brings to life Solange, the young woman forced to leave her fabled grandmother’s legacy behind to save all that she loves.

Alyson Richman is the internationally bestselling author of The Lost Wife, The Rhythm of Memory, The Last Van Gogh, and The Mask Carver’s Son, among others. Her novels have been published in more than fifteen languages and have received both national and international acclaim. She loves to travel, cook, ride her yellow bicycle, and do ballet.

Tavia Gilbert is an acclaimed narrator of more than four hundred full-cast and multivoice audiobooks for virtually every publisher in the industry. Named the 2018 Voice of Choice by Booklist magazine, she is also winner of the prestigious Audie Award for best narration. She has earned numerous Earphones Awards, a Voice Arts Award, and a Listen-Up Award. Audible.com has named her a Genre-Defining Narrator: Master of Memoir. In addition to voice acting, she is an accomplished producer, singer, and theater actor. She is also a producer, singer, photographer, and a writer, as well as the cofounder of a feminist publishing company, Animal Mineral.

Kate Reading has recorded hundreds of audiobooks across many genres, over a thirty year plus career. Audie Awards: The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter (mystery), Breasts (non-fiction), Bellwether (fiction), and Words of Radiance (fantasy), co-narrated with her husband, Michael Kramer. Among other awards, she has been recognized with: the ALA Booklist best of 2019 for Bowlaway (fiction), AudioFile Magazine Voice of the Century, Earphones Awards, Narrator of the Year, Best Voice in Science Fiction and Fantasy, and Publisher’s Weekly’s Listen-Up Award. She records at her home studio, Madison Productions, Inc., in Maryland.

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Reviews

“Two remarkable performances grace this romance inspired by true events. Tavia Gilbert and Kate Reading shine as Solange and her grandmother, Marthe…Gilbert delivers a youthful Solange, filled with trepidation…As Marthe, Reading is simply stunning. Her voices, her accents, and her emotions are utterly credible. The vivid painting of Marthe, the men in her life, a string of priceless pearls, a world on the edge of collapse, and the growing tenderness between two women make this an audiobook listeners won’t want to miss. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”

“A beautiful and compelling portrait of two women facing their unknown past and an unimaginable future.”

“A masterful mix of the glamour of the Belle Epoque and the shadows of impending war.”

“Richman deftly weaves fact and fiction to create an enthralling tale of love and sacrifice in The Velvet Hours…Highly recommended.”

“The lush atmosphere of the Belle Époque and the stress of the coming war, the wonderful relationship between the women, along with the fascinating historical backdrops draw readers into a lavish, beautifully written novel.”

“[An] opulent story of passion and transformation.”

Poses the idea that even the most well-intentioned life can hold guilt, and even the most aimless can find absolution. Imaginative, rich, and emotionally satisfying, The Velvet Hours is a treasure.”

“The intricate details of the clothing, social mores and interior decoration of the time have been meticulously researched, the meeting of different cultures is convincingly and lovingly depicted, as is the difference between the two women, the lives they embrace, and the men they love.”

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