A-Z Reading Challenge: #: 13 Rue Therese by Elena Mauli Shapiro


While the world is filled with more amazing books than you can read in a lifetime, there’s also plenty of not-so-great ones, or ones that just don’t click with you. This book was definitely one that didn’t appeal to me.

The book was billed as a “puzzle” book, set in and between the World Wars, and I thought I couldn’t go wrong with it. The description in the book is lovely, but there isn’t much in the way of puzzles, not much in the way of mystery even. The story follows a bored housewife whose biggest issue seems to be whether or not to have an affair with the good-looking married neighbor who moves in upstairs. There are some interesting characters (like the girl she gives piano lessons to), but on the whole the character development is hampered by a strange chronology that involves an investigation into the incidents of the past because of a strange box of artifacts (which are all pictured and described in great detail) that are found in the present. I’m all for jumping around in time, but there’s got to be some rhyme to it and some reason for it.

I got to the end of the book, hoping that if there wasn’t a lot of mystery in the book, maybe the ending would reveal some amazing plot twist. And there was a twist of course, but it left me even more upset. Overall, I couldn’t bring myself to hate the book, but I have ambivalent and even conflicted feelings about it. It’s inspired by real artifacts, which is probably the coolest part about it, but I just didn’t like the book very much, and I recommend that you give this one a wide berth if you come across it on the sale shelf at B&N like I did.


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