The Lost Carousel of Provence
An artist lost to history, a family abandoned to its secrets, and the woman whose search for meaning unearths it all.
Long, lonely years have passed for the crumbling Château Clement, nestled well beyond the rolling lavender fields and popular tourist attractions of Provence. Once a bustling and dignified ancestral estate, now all that remains is the château's gruff, elderly owner and the softly whispered secrets of generations buried and forgotten.
But time has a way of exposing history's dark stains, and when American photographer Cady Drake finds herself drawn to the château and its antique carousel, she longs to explore the relic's shadowy origins beyond the small scope of her freelance assignment. As Cady digs deeper into the past, unearthing century-old photographs of the Clement carousel and its creators, she might be the one person who can bring the past to light and reunite a family torn apart.
A little writing advice
More writing advice
Interview with Juliet
A brief history of carousels by Juliet
San Jose Mercury News: "Childhood fascination comes around again..."
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The Lost Carousel of Provence was singled out by Fodor's:
"Spark your inspiration for traveling in 2019 with this year's best stories of sojourns and settings..."
"History, mystery, art and romance mingle in this century-spanning tale, which follows an American artist to the French countryside in search of the origins of an antique carousel and the people who made it."
—San Jose Mercury News
"[Blackwell] takes something as simple as a carousel and weaves an intricate story that spans generations. Blackwell uses an outsider's passion to shine a light into the dark past of a broken family and how a sweet, wooden rabbit can bring them together again."
"Narrating from several perspectives, Blackwell weaves together a tale of love lost, repressed passion, and finding a sense of belonging that should utterly charm and delight readers new to her and current fans alike."
"Plan your trip to Provence now. In this meticulously researched novel, Juliet Blackwell deftly navigates three time periods, taking us from contemporary California to both The Belle Epoque and Nazi-occupied France as she spins a story as charming as an antique carousel."
—Sally Koslow, author of Another Side of Paradise
"An untrusting American orphan meets a dysfunctional French family—and each turns out to possess wisdom that helps the other to heal from old, old wounds. With crystalline imagery, vivid characters and lively prose, Juliet Blackwell redefines what family means, in a way that will touch readers long after they've read the last page. As Cady points her camera at one antique carousel after another, this novel should come with a warning: Will cause enormous desire to travel to France."
—Stephen P. Kiernan, author of The Baker's Secret
"Blackwell's The Lost Carousel of Provence is a moving story of loss and, in the end, hope.... If you admire carousels, novels set in France, or family sagas and secrets, take a chance on Blackwell's moving novel, The Lost Carousel of Provence."
—Lesa Holstine, Lesa's Book Critiques
"The Lost Carousel of Provence is filled with secrets and family angst. It's filled with good food and spirits. But, mostly, it's filled with a sparkling story and will sweep you away for a time to the French countryside."
—Maurice on Books
"This magnificent novel is about the essence of evolving relationships, be they familial, friendly, or romantic. ...Enjoy a grand, exciting, mesmerizing and yet peaceful read!"
—Crystal's Book Reviews
"The Lost Carousel of Provence is a treat for Francophiles, especially those interested in turn-of-the-century France. Blackwell vividly captures the intricate workings of a carousel workshop in France, from the carving, sanding, and painting of the individual carousel animals to the technology involved in the creation of a merry-go-round.... Blackwell tells a gripping story about love, acceptance, and human connection."
—Historical Novel Society
Berkley, paperback, (September 2018) ISBN: 9780451490636