• Search
  • Lost Password?
Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

An American In Paris
by Siobhan Curham
First Lines

image of a woman sat reading by an open window - caption reads 'will these first few lines capture our imagination' - used as the image for Book Beginnings / First Lines, posts


Cover image of the book 'An American In Paris' by author Siobhan Curham





“As the ship’s horn let out an almighty blast, I turned away from the crowds of people lining the harbour – the men raising their hats, the women waving their handkerchiefs – and tilted my face to the sun. My beloved Walt Whitman once said: ‘Keep your face always towards the sunshine, and the shadows will fall behind you.’ As the June warmth kissed my skin I pictured the shadows of my former life falling behind me. Joe Fraser and his bloodshot eyes and stale whisky breath. The manager of the Nylon Club and my ex-boss, Roxy, refusing to believe my account of what happened. Or rather, choosing not to believe me. There’s an important difference. Then I pictured a shadow that was formed of sorrow rather then anger: my daddy, on his farm in Arkansas, surrounded by the chucks, horses and cattle. When I wrote him I was joining a dance troupe in Paris, he wrote back: ‘So even New York City wasn’t able to break you in, then.’ My daddy was a man of few words. So few, in fact, I could pretty much write them all on a cigarette card:


“I’ll be off to milk the cows, then”


I took my cigarettes from my purse. The card inside was from a series of crazy predictions about the future, titled: The Age of Power and Wonder. I looked to see what today’s prediction would be. My previous favourite had been a card prophesying that one day, television presenters would be able to broadcast live from the seabed. I gazed over the railings at the widening expanse of water between the ship and the harbour. While I loved the notion of being able to journey to the seabed and film whatever weird and wonderful critters might be down there, now I was about to be afloat on the ocean for at least six days, I wasn’t so sure I wanted to know what might be lurking under the waves. Leastways, not until I was back on dry land”

Cover image of the book 'An American In Paris' by author Siobhan Curham

So, you have taken a sneak peek, would you read the book?

Let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Just to give you an extra helping hand, here is the book’s premise …

Image of author Siobhan Curham


Cover image of the book 'An American In Paris' by author Siobhan Curham1937: Florence has dreamed her whole life of coming to Paris. She arrives on a sweltering summer day and, lost on the steep streets of Montmartre, asks for directions from Otto, a young artist with paint-spattered clothes and the most beautiful smile she has ever seen.

Otto becomes her guide to Paris, taking her to visit paintings in the Louvre and bookshops by the Seine. And when Otto returns home to finish his studies, they vow to reunite on the same spot they met, one year to the day.

Still dreaming of their parting kiss, Florence starts writing for an American newspaper and throws herself into becoming truly Parisian. All too soon, heady days of parties and champagne are replaced by rumours of war. When Otto finally returns to her, it is as an exile, fleeing Nazi persecution.

Soon, not even Paris is safe. Florence’s articles now document life under occupation and hide coded messages from the Resistance. But with the man she loves in terrible danger, her words feel hollow and powerless. If Florence risks everything by accepting a dangerous mission, can she rescue their dreams from that sunny day before the war?

A picture button for book beginnings at Rose City Reader

You might also like to visit Gilion, over at ‘Rose City Reader‘, where you can share links to the book beginnings from her own reading schedule and that of many of our fellow bloggers.

There are always plenty of new authors and titles to be discovered and you never know where that next ‘must read’ is going to come from!

Written by

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

View all articles
Leave a reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • Hi Yvonne! This sounds lovely. The age of power and wonder prediction cards seems like it can bring a nice element to the story. Life broadcasts – imagine that!

    I will have a look at this. Hope you enjoy it and happy weekend.

    Lots of Love,

    Elza Reads

    • Hi Mareli,

      The idea of it taking six days to get from America to France back in the 1930s would have been enough to put me off going in the first place I can tell you!

      You have probably guessed correctly, that I am not a big fan of the water and the notion of a modern day cruise would fill me with dread! Luckily my husband feels exactly the same way, so that is never going to be a cause of disagreement between us. The thought of being trapped in such a relatively confined space with people I may not care for, is not my idea of a holiday!

      When Florence talks about her cigarette cards, that brought back some very vivid childhood memories, as even here in the UK, I can remember my parents’ cigarette packets always having cards in them. You could collect the sets of cards and then purchase small ‘official’ albums to stick them in. There were hundreds of different card sets and we used to swap them with our friends to get a complete set. That of course, was back in the day when smoking was considered PC and acceptable! 🙂

      Thanks for the visit today and I hope that your weekend is safe and peaceful 🙂

    • Hi Kelly,

      My Blog Tour Review is scheduled for January 6th, so if it is released on Kindle after that date, you still have the option to change your mind if my review doesn’t make it sound as good as you had expected it to be – I don’t think that will be the case though, as I thought the book was amazing!

      I hope that you enjoyed a safe and peaceful Thanksgiving and thank you for stopping by 🙂

    • Hi Anca,

      It is a beautiful and moving story, although I’m not sure whether the wartime factual references of a Paris under German occupation and the plight of the many Jews living in the City, would have a strong enough ‘pull’ for you, or if the love story itself might overwhelm things. For me, the balance was almost perfectly struck, but that’s just a matter of personal taste and I didn’t hesitate in awarding it a 5 star rating!

      Thanks for stopping by on this miserable and murky weekend, here in Somerset. It was good to chat with you 🙂

    • Hi Felicity,

      I am finding that there are just so many WWII stories around right now, I guess that some story overlap is inevitable.

      To be honest though, I think that is about the same for all genres now. The marketplace is so overcrowded with authors and books, that I’m not sure what the next new genre will be?

      This is a dual timeline story, so the past and present are both quite fairly represented as the stories merge together, even though it doesn’t mention that aspect in the premise.

      My review date is not too far away now, so hopefully that will help you make a final decision – I did award 5 stars though!

      Thanks for stopping by and I hope that all is well with you both 🙂

Written by Yvonne