What if you had a unique talent, but everything conspired against your dreams?
France, 1897. Born to a modest farming family, Marie-Thérèse has a remarkable singing voice and wants to become a professional singer. But too many obstacles, including her parents’ opposition, stand in her way. And, through no fault of her own, she makes a dangerous enemy of the local landlord.
When the family circumstances change suddenly, Marie-Thérèse and her mother must move to Paris to work in her aunt’s restaurant. Her ambitions rekindle, but the road to success is paved with setbacks until a chance meeting gives her a precious opportunity.
She is close to achieving all her dreams, but the ghosts of the past come back to haunt her and threaten Marie-Thérèse’s life as well as her career.
Overture presents a charming and realistic portrait of early nineteenth century rural France and the struggles that befall a humble farmer’s daughter doomed to labour for her parents and a future husband, a daughter with a natural talent, a gift that sets her apart. From the outset, Marie-Thérèse is forced to face the restrictions of her circumstances, and this she does with resentment but also with loyalty and respect. She is a dutiful daughter, not wilful or rebellious. Opportunity comes her way when her widowed mother moves them to Paris to stay with her sister, Marie-Thérèse’s aunt.
Couchman has penned a slow-paced and charming coming-of-age tale. The author’s knowledge of the setting and period appear sound and she has crafted a convincing and well-rounded protagonist in Marie-Thérèse. The supporting cast are equally well-presented and the pacing and plot twists are executed with aplomb. A light an entertaining read, Overture will appeal to those who enjoy their historical fiction unladen with complex detail and exposition. Recommended.
Author Bio – Vanessa Couchman is a novelist, short story author and freelance writer and has lived in an 18th-century farmhouse in southwest France since 1997. French and Corsican history and culture provide great inspiration for her fiction. She has written two novels set on the Mediterranean island of Corsica: The House at Zaronza and The Corsican Widow. Her third novel, Overture, is Book 1 of a trilogy set in France between 1897 and 1945. Vanessa’s short stories have won and been placed in creative writing competitions and published in anthologies.
Social Media Links –
Amazon Author Page: http://author.to/VanessaCouchman
2 thoughts on “Book Review: Overture by Vanessa Couchman”
A thoughtful and interesting review. Thank you
Thank you for taking part in Overture’s blog tour, Isobel, and for taking the time and trouble to write a review – which is lovely and much appreciated. Best regards, Vanessa.