Where do you go to

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 12 Jan 2020

Member Reviews

Once again, I was taken in by description. I am a sucker for historical fiction, Europe and old history and romance.
However, this book left me cold and reeling. It reads more like a 'dreamboard' of someone who wants to tick all the right boxes: travel to Greece, skiing in Alps, dresses from couture, apartment in Paris, etc.
I found lengthy descriptions really boring and unnecessary. The dialogue was little and lacking. The story did not take me. 
A girl ends up at Roman orphanage. She does not know her name and where she is from. But surprisingly, this girl can do anything: learn languages, cook, say all the right things at the right time. I found it very hard to believe an 8 year old can be like that, especially after such a trauma.... Call me a sceptic.
The rest of the book is more or less fairy tale for this girl. From orphanage to diplomatic palace, from rags to riches... Brrrr.
This book was a lot but a little. I am sorry to say
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It appears that I may be in the minority when it comes to Jean Cerfontaine’s WHERE DO YOU GO TO since I have mixed emotions about the book.  

First, the author took the entire premise for the novel from the 60’s Peter Sarstedt song of the same title.  Granted, he did embellish some of the situations and added a bit here and there but, for the most part, readers could have saved hours of reading time by listening to the song. (The situation is reminiscent of most of the recent James Patterson offerings. Patterson creates “plot outlines” for stories and contracts with other writers who do the actual writing). In this instance Sarstedt built the house (so to speak) by creating the song and thereby the plot and Cerfontaine was the interior designer who took the house, hung the drapes, placed the furniture and turned the house into a home. 

The narrative is simple and effortless evoking a protagonist whose adventures, while somewhat unbelievable, still manage to engage the reader by making the ripples produced by one situation so involving, you just can’t pull away.  While the story has a certain YA fairy tale quality, Cerfontaine manages to show his readers that even when your memory fails …..you still have your heart.
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It's quite unique to write a story adapted from a famous song.  That being said,, while I've never heard the song, I definitely enjoyed the story.  This coming-of-age story was quite  skillfully crafted into an intriguing historical fictional work.  Highly recommended.
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I have read some other reviews on this book and it seems most reviewers liked it very much but I found it very slow moving and also parts of it were not particularly believable.  I never felt a connection to the characters at all.  There is much more written about food and different countries of the world and the different mansions the characters lived in .  I just did not connect with this at all.

Thanks Net Galley for allowing me to read this arc for my honest review.
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This was an interesting book. I enjoyed reading it. It was a bit unusual going from different parts of the main characters life. She was a strong person who had a bad start  in life but then was adopted and had a good lifestyle. I found out lots about the countries she lived in . It was nice that it had a happy ending. I recommend it to be read.
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This ARC was courtesy of netgalley - all thoughts and opinions are mine and unbiased


Loved this

Well written, loved the characters

Evocative and emotional - I couldn't put this down

Engrossing
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This is a book about the journey of self discovery of a young girl, Marie Claire, during the 50s and 60s, after she wakes up in Paris with no knowledge of her past, or who she is.

This wonderfully evocative novel is loosely based around the Peter Sarstedt song "Where do you go to my lovely" and shares it's wistful, mysterious air.  The word pictures painted of European cities during this era are beautifully and evocatively drawn.  The political backdrop is well represented and adds depth to the setting.  You join Marie Claire as she mixes with the rich and famous, the diplomats, and as she finally learns the truth about her origins.

This is an atmospheric and intriguing novel, which is quite captivating.

I received an eArc from the publisher via Netgalley, but this review is entirely unbiased and the words are my own.
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Beautiful story about an orphan girl who has no memory of where she came from but is adopted by a loving couple in the diplomatic service for France. 
Set in post war Europe and the Cold War her fathers job takes her around the world including Moscow where she trains as a dancer with the Bolshoi Ballet Company to Paris where she attends the Sorbonne to study art.
It describes a glittering life mixing with the social elite but all the time wondering where she really came from.
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Very atmospheric novel set in post WW2 Europe. The narrative traces the life of a "perfect" girl who grew in an orphanage and then entered a family of diplomats. In doing so, the reader is invited on a journey through the Europe of that time, revealing the habits and rich intellectual and artistic discussions that were at the core of dinner parties.

I didn't like the cover.  The photo-shopped juxtaposition of the woman in front of the Eiffel tower gave a cheap feel. It also gave me a wrong impression of the book's genre. if i hadn't read the description i would not have downloaded the book, given that at first sight i had the impression it is a romance novel
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A great novel, beautiful depiction of the characters with some tense moments thrown into the mix. Will definitely pick more books by this talented author.
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