Read Last Christmas in Paris: A Novel of World War I by HeatherWebb Hazel Gaynor Online


New York Times bestselling author Hazel Gaynor has joined with Heather Webb to create this unforgettably romantic novel of the Great War.August 1914. England is at war. As Evie Elliott watches her brother, Will, and his best friend, Thomas Harding, depart for the front, she believes—as everyone does—that it will be over by Christmas, when the trio plan to celebrate the holNew York Times bestselling author Hazel Gaynor has joined with Heather Webb to create this unforgettably romantic novel of the Great War.August 1914. England is at war. As Evie Elliott watches her brother, Will, and his best friend, Thomas Harding, depart for the front, she believes—as everyone does—that it will be over by Christmas, when the trio plan to celebrate the holiday among the romantic cafes of Paris.But as history tells us, it all happened so differently…Evie and Thomas experience a very different war. Frustrated by life as a privileged young lady, Evie longs to play a greater part in the conflict—but how?—and as Thomas struggles with the unimaginable realities of war he also faces personal battles back home where War Office regulations on press reporting cause trouble at his father’s newspaper business. Through their letters, Evie and Thomas share their greatest hopes and fears—and grow ever fonder from afar. Can love flourish amid the horror of the First World War, or will fate intervene?Christmas 1968. With failing health, Thomas returns to Paris—a cherished packet of letters in hand—determined to lay to rest the ghosts of his past. But one final letter is waiting for him…...

Title : Last Christmas in Paris: A Novel of World War I
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780062562685
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 368 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Last Christmas in Paris: A Novel of World War I Reviews

  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    2019-04-30 13:55

    I slept on my star rating, and I am still feeling the love today. 💗 Sometimes I need to sleep on it to see how long a story stays with me. Evie and Tom’s story is still with me. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 5 romantic Paris stars to Last Christmas in Paris, my 2017 birthday read! 🎈🎂 🎁 🍰 🎉 I saved this gem of a book for the holidays, and as they got closer, I knew that I would be starting a new book on my birthday. I wanted a special read for that occasion, and this most definitely was it. Told in the epistolary style of letters amongst friends during World War I, Last Christmas in Paris captured my heart. This book has a slower crescendo. It takes some patience, but I found myself reading this a little slower than my normal speed and savoring the words, re-reading passages. It takes time to fall in love, and that’s just what happened between two of these friends. They fell in love through their letters. There’s so much beauty in that. The World War I backdrop was quite the contrast. While the letters start off with the friends thinking the war will be over by the first Christmas, there were several more Christmases that would come and go before that dreadful war was over. Will Tom and Evie ever meet up to spend Christmas in Paris? I enjoyed the authors’ notes where they explained how they wrote the book together (fascinating!). The two authors formed a special friendship as a result of writing this book together and writing letters to each other. There were some interesting facts about the war also. This is not a book I would classify as a romance, but I would say it was certainly romantic in the best of ways. I was ecstatic with my birthday read choice.

  • Suzanne Leopold
    2019-05-06 13:51

    Evie Elliott watches her brother Will and his best friend, Thomas, leave for Europe to serve in World War I. The three of them are very close and have never been separated. Evie is naive and believes that everyone will be together for a Christmas reunion in Paris. The three of them stay in contact via letters, and these communications become the fabric and timeline for the story. Evie is frustrated with her life as a young woman and is also unsettled with the lack of “real” news reported by the British government. She has an idea of the grim life as a soldier in France from Thomas’ letters. Evie channels her disappointment by writing a column for a local newspaper. As the war drags on, Thomas and Evie continue their correspondence while hoping for the elusive Christmas in Paris.This novel by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb was unique because the story is told in letter format spanning over several years. This book was collaboration between two authors living in different countries, and is a great read for those loving historical fiction.

  • Kate Quinn
    2019-05-20 15:56

    Got a chance to read an ARC of this one for a cover quote! My review and quote: This joint collaboration between authors Heather Webb and Hazel Gaynor is a gripping epistolary novel in the tradition of Letters from Skye and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Beginning with heartbreaking gaiety at the start of the First World War, "Last Christmas In Paris" follows a progression of letters between a spirited female journalist, a bookish new-minted soldier, and the various bright young things who make up their band of friends, charting the slow, heartbreaking passage of years as war and disillusion grind away youthful dreams and ideals. Humor, love, tragedy, and hope make for a moving, uplifting read. A winner!

  • Karen
    2019-04-27 11:31

    It’s not easy to tell a story simply by using an epistolary format. It has been successfully done before (The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society) immediately springs to mind but I’m delighted to say that these two authors have pulled this off magnificently, Last Christmas in Paris is a gorgeous read and I loved it.With the occasional interruption into a change of timeline set in 1968, Last Christmas in Paris is told entirely through letters (and telegrams) during the years of 1914-1918, mainly between Evie Elliott and Thomas Harding – the childhood best friend of Evie’s brother Will. Evie is a prolific letter writer and it’s not only Tom who receives her missives but her brother Will, and her best friend Alice.Evie was an absolute delight and I adored her. She wasn’t content just to sit by and let life pass by. She had principles, gumption and bucket loads of courage. Although from a privileged family, she had no airs or graces and was desperate to ‘do her bit’ for her country when war was declared. Her mother was dead set against her working at all but eventually Evie is able to get a job with the local postmistress delivering letters and those awful official telegrams bringing bad news. Not content with keeping quiet about the propaganda from the government and other news agencies who put out the false reports that everything is going swimmingly well for the troops, she secures a column in a newspaper – telling the truth as she sees it from a woman’s point of view and not holding back on the awful conditions in France and the difficulties faced by both fighting soldiers and the people at home waiting for their return.When Tom went to war, he and Evie were not romantically involved. As Will’s younger sister, she has always been teased by both boys but through their correspondence we begin to see a different side to both Tom and Evie. Tom’s letters are heavily censored for mentions of location and other sensitive information but nevertheless through the level of detail, the evocative prose and historical facts I was completely swept up in their lives. The letters start off formally from Tom’s side – signing off with ‘Lieutenant Thomas Harding’ whilst those from Evie are jolly and newsy and include gifts of hand knitted socks, tobacco and books – anything to try and lift Tom’s spirits. As the war continues for far longer than anyone expected, their correspondence becomes more personal and intimate. Both pour out their innermost feelings about the war and life in general.The characterisation was spot on with the main characters being incredibly engaging and believable – Tom stole a little bit of my heart and even those I disliked intensely (yes John Hopper I’m looking at you!) were able to get under my skin! The storyline of ‘war neuroses’ (what we now know as PTSD) was extremely poignant and saddening. These poor soldiers who had been through hell at the front, were referred to as ‘Lacking Moral Fibre’ and ‘weak-minded’ when they were returned to Britain for hospital treatment.Last Christmas in Paris will make you smile whilst breaking your heart. I was completely mesmerised by the letters, the characters, and oh just by the entire storyline and it will definitely be one of my favourite books this year. I made the mistake of finishing the last 50 pages or so on my morning train commute. My goodness this was an emotional read – a word of warning – if you’re reading this book in public make sure you have tissues!

  • Holly
    2019-05-01 08:39

    *4.5 ⭐️Very good! I don’t know why I love stories that take place during WW1 & WW11, they just end up making me sad. Anyway, I loved the epistolary format but at times I felt it was a bit too long. Loved the story though.

  • Sonja Yoerg
    2019-05-23 08:51

    War changes everything--individuals, relationships, priorities, dreams--so it's not surprising that stories set in wartime are so popular and, in this case, so engrossing. In Last Christmas in Paris, best friends Will and Tom head off to fight the Germans, leaving behind Will's sister, Evie, and, soon enough, the hope of a Christmas homecoming. By the end of the war five years later, these young, spirited characters and their circle of loved ones have experienced the full spectrum of human tragedy and plumbed the deep reaches of the human heart. I was captivated by their story, and moved. Webb and Gaynor artfully craft the narrative using letters and telegrams, a structure that drove me from one letter to the next, eager to learn what the response would be, or which secondary characters might swoop in to complicate the story. It was hard to tear myself away! The multi-layered plot kept me guessing about what the next missive might reveal and I admit my heart was often in my throat. And, yes, I cried. A truly remarkable book brimming with passion, intelligence, courage, and humanity.

  • The Lit Bitch
    2019-05-15 10:52

    4.5 stars When this one came up for review, I almost passed on it. I am not entirely sure why…..maybe because it was up for review in September and I wasn’t ready to start thinking about anything Christmas related until at least November.Or maybe it was because it was a collaboratively written novel, or that the title wasn’t grabbing me. I don’t know, for some reason I almost passed but I am terribly glad that I didn’t pass on this one!Let me just say, I loved this novel. It’s a novel written basically in all letter form which made for a super fast read that was hard to put down. The whole time I kept thinking “just one more letter” and next thing I know I was on a different year in the war! So super fast and because of the letters I felt personally connected to the characters in a unique way.I normally don’t read a lot of books with different authors because sometimes it just doesn’t work. There is clearly a different voice or style and for me it doesn’t always flow well. However, for this book it was a home run. I loved how different yet familiar each of the letters were. The two authors nailed the different perspectives and gave Evie and Tom very unique yet similar voices. If this book hadn’t been written in letter form, then I am not sure that it would have worked as well.So as I said, I loved it, but that doesn’t mean that it was flawless. For me, I felt like the last two parts (last two years of the war) were rushed and not nearly the same attention to detail as the other parts/years or letters. The ending felt rushed and I am not sure that they knew how to wrap things up. I felt like so many pages and letters were dedicated to developing the romantic tension between Evie and Tom and then toward the end it just happened too fast. There was only really two letters between the two that really committed their love to one another and that was too few for me.Also I felt like it too Evie way too long to enter the War herself and when she did her time there was too fast and there wasn’t enough insight through her letters to convince me that she was ever really changed or had really seen anything at all. All this ground work had been laid for her to go to the front and when it happened we only had a few letters that were short and rushed. So I felt like I needed more on that. It almost seemed like an after thought.All criticism aside though, this was a fantastic story. I loved the research and knowledge that went into the time period and history of the war. It was fascinating to read and clearly the authors did a ton of research on WWI to give it a realistic ring and it was well wroth it!This novel isn’t really about ‘Christmas’ so the title is a little misleading but if you are looking for a war time romance with characters that you will no doubt fall in love with, check out this intimate novel full of letters!See my full review here

  • Pamela
    2019-05-23 08:34

    "How wonderful to celebrate Christmas with you, even a quiet one . . . I'll remember it always . . the way the firelight lit your face . . . If only I could bottle you up and take you with me when I return to the Front."If I were to say: "Oh My Heavenly stars, I LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS BOOK!!!! I wish I had the money to BUY ALL MY FRIENDS A COPY!" Such splendidly seamless, atmospheric writing; endearing, enthralling, and deeply effecting. And characters that are so richly drawn I felt as if they were my own personal loved ones and their letters were written exclusively to me."- Non readers might think I'm some sort of deranged, over-zealous, cliché-spouting, southern-belle-has-been, narcissistic fruitcake. Well, they would be wrong! "The arrogance of youth takes everything for granted. Everything, that is until you find yourself at war, pushing your bayonet into the enemy's chest before he pushes his into yours."Okay, mostly wrong. I can be a little over the top, at times. And my southern sensibilities seep out at times. And perhaps I'm a bit deranged for liking fruitcake. But still, I'm fairly certain avid readers (especially Goodreads Peeps) would totally understand my outburst and rally in support: celebrating my enjoyment and discovery of a novel that thrilled me so. Truly, in all seriousness, this was an endearing read with a seamless blend of fiction, history, epistolary communique, love/romance, gentle suspense, tenderness, fierceness, subtle sentiment,and garish war reality. Totally enveloping with emotional and literary satisfaction. And like I said previously, the characters/characterizations are drawn in near perfection; utterly genuine to the point I hated the book to end because I would miss them so. "How unbearable to endure another goodbye. We seem to dance around each other like autumn leaves, forever twisting and twirling about until a gust of wind sends us skittering in different directions. how I wish we could be still for a while, that the winds of war would end and let us settle."I do need to mention: There are maybe one or two expletives. And one grizzly descriptive scene. But nothing excessively brutish. And certainly nothing to deter awarding this gem the highest rating. Plus, keep in mind, Christmas certainly plays a role in this novel, but this isn't a Christmas themed novel. It is a war story. A love story. A story about family bonds. And it's a story of hope penned in the form of letters; the kind of hope that keeps us marching on with courage even when all seems hopeless. FIVE ***** Historical Epistolary Fiction of the Finest Order, Worthy of Praise from the Highest Heights!! ***** STARS

  • Trish at Between My Lines
    2019-05-21 13:35

    This review was originally posted on Between My LinesI'm starting this review with a very bold statement, but I stand over it with all my heart.  Last Christmas in Paris is my book of the year for 2017.  I don't care that it's only the beginning of November, I doubt any book I've yet to read this year will mean as much to me. 5 reasons I loved Last Christmas in Paris  The entire book is letters.  Love letters, angry letters, duty letters.  Letters that cover every human emotion and I treasured them all.  On top of the precious letters that stirred my soul, I learned about the language of stamps.  Where and how you placed the stamp had a hidden message, who knew?  Not me. War is depicted in all it's awfulness.  We all know the atrocities that happened.  But knowing them, and then reading letters about actual life in the trenches.  Well it hammers the message home. The role of women in WWI really stirred my heart.  Evie knew the value of letting Tom spill his heart to her in his letters. She didn't want to know about the realities of war, but she knew he needed to share them and she was strong enough to help shoulder his pain.  Evie played an active role in the war in many ways, and she shows how women really stood up and participated in this war. The love story.  Seriously it's the love story to end all love stories.  It crushed my heart at times, but sent it soaring also.  I loved watching their friendship grow to love via their letters, and I have never believed in the love affair of a fictional couple more than theirs. Feels, feels, feels.  All the feels.  Gut wrenching feels, tear jerking feels, heart-warming feels, excited butterfly in the stomach feels, hopeful feels, falling madly insanely in love feels.  This book has them in abundance and I shook with emotional while reading it.The bottom line:  It's fab, you need it in your life. Trust me and go read Last Christmas in Paris! You can thank me later and if you need a shoulder to cry on, I'm here for you.Who should read Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor & Heather Webb? If you only buy 1 book that I recommend this year, then you should make it Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor & Heather Webb.  Especially recommended to fans of historical fiction, epistolary novels, world war 1 settings and epic love stories.  I think if you've enjoyed Hazel Gaynor's previous books that you'll also love this one.  Fans of Carmel Harrington, JoJo Moyes and Kristin Hannah should also enjoy.

  • Cindy Burnett
    2019-05-04 15:52

    Last Christmas in Paris is a dual timeline story told predominantly through letters and telegrams. The majority of the letters are written between Evie Elliott and her brother Will’s best friend Thomas Harding. The authors do an incredible job describing the horrors of war both on the battlefield and at home while also detailing the relationship developing between Evie and Tom. The story unfolds at the right pace, and I was constantly turning pages to see what was going to happen next. My favorite parts of the book were that it was told through letters (I love stories told through correspondence) and the historical information that was included. Some of the World War 1 facts included are commonly known: the British and Germans singing carols on Christmas Day in 1914 and the British thinking the war would be short-lived; however, other facts were new to me. I didn’t realize that treatment for the mental anguish of war (PTSD but not named that during World War 1) existed that long ago. I think of that as a more modern phenomenon. I also was completely fascinated with (and somewhat horrified by) the Order of the White Feather, a woman’s group that made it their mission to shame those men who did or could not join the army to fight in World War 1; many men were working undercover or had been rejected for service for health reasons and still these awful women were indiscriminant in who they targeted. I knew that men who didn’t sign up to join the army were harassed, but I had no idea there was such a coordinated effort. It is very depressing that people are so quick to judge or condemn, and I found this group’s actions to be a good reminder of how an idea (in this case to try and recruit more soldiers) can go so completely awry.Last Christmas in Paris is a gem. Thanks to William Morrow for this ARC; all opinions are my own.

  • DJ Sakata
    2019-05-07 15:48

    Favorite Quotes:Marrying Charlie would be rather like marrying a broken carriage clock. How the hours would drag.I feel like an unworn dress, hanging limply in the closet, without purpose or shape or form.I’ve already lost an innocence I didn’t know I possessed.Do you remember Lloyd George’s rousing speech “The war to end all wars”? They said it would be over by Christmas. They didn’t say which one though, did they?You’re a star, Evie. About the only light I see in these endless nights.My Review:Last Christmas in Paris was simply stunning and a pure delight. This beautifully written and emotive tale alternated between eliciting frequent smiles of pleasure and contentment to stinging my eyes and burning my throat; at either end of the emotional spectrum, the intensity was strong enough to take my breath away. Ms. Gaynor and Webb's eloquent writing reached a level of poignancy and excellence I had yet to experience and the effects may take more than a few beats for my recovery. I seem to be stunned, mentally dazed, and annoying unable to find the appropriate words to give tribute to their remarkable skills and acumen. I adored their enticing characters as much as their exceptionally engaging and descriptive style. I was quickly swallowed up and transported to a different time and place as I devoured the personal letters and insightful inner musings that comprised most of the manuscript. I relished the lighthearted banter and jocularity of the earlier missives that gave way to deeper observations and confessions as the war waged on much longer and harsher than expected. Having read their lovely exchanges, I am moved to bemoan the lost art of human interaction found in putting pen to paper on beautiful stationary for heart-felt letter-writing versus our abbreviated communications of emailing, texting, emojis, and gifs. Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb have mad skills and a new fangirl; I have an extremely strong desire to greedily gather and consume all their words.

  • Erin
    2019-05-16 12:30

    Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....I caught wind of Last Christmas in Paris in March 2017 when the cover started circling social media. I’d read and enjoyed both Heather Webb and Hazel Gaynor, but it was the subject matter that caught my attention. I’m a junkie when it comes to war era literature and couldn’t wait to get a copy of my own.The story itself is relayed through the correspondence of the novel’s cast and while I know the format doesn’t appeal to everyone, I couldn’t help appreciating the sense of intimacy and depth created by the approach. I felt connected the characters and that made it easy to empathize with their views and experiences.In many ways, the narrative reminded me of Vera Brittain’s Testament of Youth. Webb and Gaynor clearly meant to echo Brittain’s unique perspective and much like the famed memoirist, I feel they succeeded in capturing both the romanticism and realities of the conflict while illustrating its impact on the men and women who came of age in its shadow. Sweetly romantic and beautifully composed, Last Christmas in Paris proved compelling and heartfelt. A brilliant tribute to the tragedy of war and the endurance of the human heart.

  • Cheryl
    2019-05-12 08:35

    The year is 1968 when an elderly Englishman who is nearing the end of his life, decides to make one final trip to Paris at Christmastime. He brings with him a large packet of letters. His days are spent peacefully as he reads the letters and reminisces about the course his life has taken. Set against the backdrop of World War I, this beautifully written novel is told through letters exchanged between a young Englishwoman and her brother and her close friends. It is a historical novel but more than that, it is also a moving love story. This poignant novel with it’s likable characters will draw you in as friendship, hope, and love prevail against the horrors of war.

  • Caz
    2019-04-26 16:56

    I've given this an A+ for narration and a B+ for content at AudioGalsLast Christmas in Paris is a beautifully written, superbly narrated epistolary novel which centres around the correspondence exchanged between three friends during the years of the First World War. I suspect the degree to which any listener will enjoy the story will depend on whether one enjoys novels that consist entirely of letters; personally, I’m a big fan of that literary device, so that, added to the fact that I have a particular interest in the history of the period, plus the list of excellent narrators attached to the project pretty much ensured my enjoyment of this audiobook. And enjoy it I did, although ‘enjoy’ seems rather a feeble word to describe how I feel about it now that I’ve finished listening to it. I was so caught up in this story of friendship, emancipation, love, loss, tragedy, hope, despair… a real gamut of emotions, that I couldn’t bear to set it aside; I listened to it in only two or three sittings and, when I finished it, felt that strange sense of emptiness that always seems to descend when I’ve finished reading or listening to something really good – that feeling of “what do I do now?”You can read the rest of this review at AudioGals.

  • Alina
    2019-05-02 10:41

    Paris is always a good idea. Especially at Christmas. - Evie ElliottIn this wonderfully written novel, I traveled back in time to 1914. England, Evie Elliott waives goodbye to her brother, Will Elliott, and their childhood friend, Thomas Archibald Harding, who have joined English army and now heading to France. As soon as the famous duo leaves Elliott's estate, Evie runs to her brother's desk and starts a very first letter and in our case a very first chapter of this wonderful book. First letters are long, bright, happy, full of jokes and hopes that the war will be short lived and will end by Christmas, that they plan to spend in Paris. Little did they know that this horrific war will last four dreadful years.As years go by, the amount of letters decreases, and so it's content. Tom's letters are full of horror stories of war and Evie's - of encouragement and hopes for a better future. Both Evie and Tom loose close family members during this dreadful time. But life goes on, and so is war. People are looking for ways they can help each other and their army. Besides making new clothes for the soldiers, women are now taking over the jobs that were done by men before the war. Evie becomes village mailman, her friend Alice takes nursing training and goes to France to help their British army. In spare time, Evie starts to write a column for a newspaper that is owned by Tom's family. During this time Evie also realizes that she has fallen in love with Tom, and Alice encourages Evie to write him a love letter. Evie follows her friend's advice, but the letter gets lost. It will take long 2.5 years before it will find it's way to Tom.This is a wonderful love story that survived the Great War."Last Christmas in Paris" deserves more than 5 stars. This marvelous story is told primarily through letters and telegrams, has a splendid set of characters, and a fascinating plot that unfolds very quickly.

  • Jennifer
    2019-04-28 13:46

    Surprisingly good! A beautiful love story told through a series of letters. Recommended for fans of Downton Abbey. 4.5 stars

  • Asheley
    2019-05-02 09:35

    4.5/5Last Christmas in Paris begins in 1968 with Thomas Harding traveling back to Paris for his last Christmas (no spoiler there, see title) with a bundle of letters, a nurse, and failing health. He settles in at his Paris apartment to reminisce over those letters, and the other part of the story is then told: beginning in 1914 when Thomas goes to fight in World War I and continues thru the end of the war in 1918. The 1968-POV elicits emotion because it is clear that Thomas is near the end and that he is grieving the loss of someone that he loves tremendously. The exact reasons for traveling to Paris aren’t entirely clear in the beginning, but the full significance unfolds slowly over the course of the book.This book is mostly epistolary in structure, told through letters and a few telegrams. The characters are corresponding from their positions along the Front in WWI back to their friends and family and coworkers in England. These letters start out being encouraging and positive and “Hope you’re back by Christmas!” and eventually contain tales of heartache and grief as everyone realizes that the boys won’t be home for Christmas and that the war will be longer than they expected and more costly in terms of casualty.Even though the tone of the letters took a more emotional turn as the story progressed, I found myself increasingly hooked to the correspondence and I cared more and more for each of the characters with each page.Thomas is trying to run his family business, a newspaper, from his place as an officer in the thick of battle-a task that is nearly impossible. He finds himself having to enlist help from back home that he isn’t sure he can trust. Evie grows more attached to Thomas with every letter that she writes and worries every day that she doesn’t receive a letter from her brother Will, who really doesn’t care that much for writing letters. Alice, Evie’s best friend, isn’t content to sit back and not help, so she volunteers to nurse the wounded soldiers, which excites Evie and also terrifies her.Evie uses her writing skills to make a difference, creating a very popular column in Thomas’ newspaper about the war from a woman’s perspective, which causes some big issues and conflicts. It also leads to bigger opportunities for Evie. Her relationship with Thomas-which may or may not have escalated over correspondence, mind you-is so frustrating to Evie. She knows how she feels but she truly isn’t sure how Thomas feels.“I try to cheer myself with your letters. It might sound silly but I have come to think of your handwriting as you.”The emotion from Evie over her confusing relationship with Thomas, along with all of the emotion from the war and from these characters about the things going on in their lives, made me HANG ON THESE WORDS. All of the conflicts are so doggone good and engaging to me as a reader even though they’re all addressed to someone else directly. I think there is something special about the characters speaking to one another in letters and being descriptive about what they see, hear, wish for, long for, feel. I feel like I’m peeping into their lives; it almost feels scandalous.I could not stop reading, especially as I got closer and closer to the end because there were a few super intense things that happened with the plot closer toward and I was genuinely afraid for a few of the people that I had grown close to. And I’ll be honest: I cried for the last fifty-ish pages at the end. I think it was a combination of being so invested in the story and of hoping for the best, and then finally getting to the end and seeing what happens with everyone. Yes, there were tears.I just loved this one and I’m excited about rereading it with the audiobook. After I finished, I took a peep at the audio details and saw that it has a full cast of narrators and the sample sounds wonderful. I’m DYING to take a listen to the book for a reread.Such a marvelous story! This one is great for those that love historical fiction, particularly the World War I era, or those readers that enjoy exceptionally well-done epistolary novels. I can’t wait for everyone to read this book. It was a complete joy for me the entire time that I read it.I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Thank you, William Morrow Books!Find this review and more like it on my blog, Into the Hall of Books!

  • Jenny
    2019-05-15 13:47

    A beautiful book about the trials and relationships during WWl. I loved that the authors used letters to tell this lovely story. Highly recommend!!!

  • Linda Zagon
    2019-05-23 11:41

    MY REVIEW OF "LAST CHRISTMAS IN PARIS' by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb WOW! Can you imagine reading a book about "The Great War" World War 1, and not only absorb the devastation, emotional and physical distress of both the men and women involved, and yet feel the love, friendship, faith and hope?  Authors Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb have teamed up to write "Last Christmas in Paris". The Genres of this book are Historical Fiction and Women's Fiction. with a dash of Romance. The timeline of this novel takes place during World War 1, a few years after and then in 1968. The story takes place in England, France, Paris and Scotland. I appreciate the authors' historical research to clarify the details during the war and this time period in history and the political events surrounding this. The authors describe the characters'  personalities, and how they change during these complex and complicated times. Evie Elliott, a headstrong and determined young women watches her brother Will and his friend Tom Harding leave for the front, they all believe that the war will be over be Christmas. They make a promise to meet in Paris for Christmas. The authors show through eloquent letters, how this promise is not to be for now. The descriptions through these letters depict a despicable war, the weapons, the destruction and loss, and conditions, The morale of the men is at an all time low, as the war goes on, and they depend on these letters as a lifeline of sorts. The women in England try to do their part by knitting, sending packages and letters. For Evie, this is not enough. Using a pen name she writes a column in the newspaper, describing how bad the circumstances are for the men and women, and what the women can do to be helpful. Evie and Thomas do keep a correspondence through writing , and each seems to find it difficult to express their true feelings of love. Is it possible for love to endure the circumstances of war? I found "Last Christmas in Paris" to be engaging and captivating and I would highly recommend it for readers who enjoy Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction and Romance. I received a copy of this book for my honest review.   

  • Brandie
    2019-05-05 12:36

    Started out just ok but ended up loving it.

  • Tammy
    2019-05-01 13:36

    I loved Last Christmas in Paris! I loved the letter format and felt like I was reading letters from my loved ones.

  • April (Getting Hygge With It)
    2019-05-05 13:31

    I bawled my eyes out at the end! Like full out ugly crying. What a great read! There was a romance story in here and I didn't mind it which is VERY RARE for me.

  • Storiesandcoffee
    2019-05-18 14:34

    4.5 stars ****I loved this book. It was the perfection combination of historical fiction and romance. I'm glad the authors decided to write this in letter format, because they allowed the character's personalities to really shine. Evie, the female MC was spunky, and I liked her from her very first letter. I also loved the character, Alice. I felt as if Alice and I would be best friends because we are pretty much the same person. As I was reading Last Christmas in Paris, I couldn't help but draw similarities between this story and The Notebook. The plots are completely different, but the character's personalities felt the same.Don't expect to read this book and be filled with holiday may have the word "Christmas" in the title, but it isn't a lighthearted read. It sheds light on a very sad time in history, and it will leave you needing tissues. But the authors did a wonderful job, and I will be reading this book again, for sure.

  • Kate Olson
    2019-05-19 08:31

    I LOVE THIS BOOK SO SO SO SO SO MUCH! And for anyone who hasn’t read it yet, it is NOT actually a Christmas book ~ feel free to read it anytime in the year, you’ll love it just as much. LOVE IT.

  • Cynthia
    2019-05-08 10:54

    Letters between friends and loved ones create this wonderful book set during WWI. I’m usually more apt to read WWII books but the fact that it was told through letters, and that two authors worked on this book had me intrigued! I’m glad this was my first book of the year, read mostly during one snowy afternoon/early evening. I tend to skip notes at the end but don’t with this book! The authors share how they wrote this book together and it was quite interesting, as well as some other facts I had never heard before!

  • Crystal King
    2019-05-01 11:49

    This book is still sitting with me a month after I read it. I have to admit, I was skeptical of a book told only in letters; it's extraordinarily hard to pull off the thread of a plot with such a device. But Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb are an incredible force when paired together and the characters in this novel lept off the page in full, vivid color, wrapping themselves deep in my heart. I found myself rooting for the characters, teary-eyed when things didn't go like I had hoped, and full of emotion with every new letter that appeared. I especially loved Evie and her bright, often naive, optimism. This is a beautifully rendered love story which would make a fantastic gift at Christmas (or anytime!). Loved, loved, loved it.

  • Erika Robuck
    2019-04-23 14:45

    If you have had an ache of longing since you finished reading THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL SOCIETY, or since the conclusion of DOWNTON ABBEY, this novel is just the tonic.LAST CHRISTMAS IN PARIS: A NOVEL OF WORLD WAR I, is an epistolary novel. Told in letters, telegrams, and newspaper dispatches, the marvelous, tragic, romantic, and fascinating story of Evie and Tom is one for the ages. Readers will not be able to turn the pages fast enough to find out the fates of their beloved characters, all while trying to savor the delightful exchanges.At turns ebullient and heartbreaking, and often in quick succession, LAST CHRISTMAS IN PARIS is a true gem in historical fiction. Gaynor and Webb wrote the book in their own kind of letter exchange, giving it a special air of authenticity.This was the first novel I read in 2018, and I'm afraid the bar has been set very high for whatever follows. If you are searching for a book to fall in love with, I cannot recommend LAST CHRISTMAS IN PARIS enough. 

  • Lady Wesley
    2019-05-18 10:36

    Fantastic audiobook. I haven't got the time to write a proper review, so I would direct you toCaz's five-star review.

  • Amy
    2019-04-24 09:54

    OK - The Last Christmas in Paris, is what's called an "epistolary" novel, written entirely through letters from a number of characters in the story, the setting - World War One. Primarily the letters are between Lieutenant Thomas Harding and Evelyn "Evie" Elliot, woman war correspondent, at a time when women didn't do such things, and it caused an uproar for the Harding's family owned Newspaper, the London Daily Times. The novel is about their unfolding love story through letters throughout the war and over time. Its was a beautiful story and cleverly written. One of the things that I liked about it, was in the after pages, hearing about how the process of co-writing the book between the two authors who had met through a connection, was also a process of letter exchange, that each would unfold the tale by writing letters from various characters at various times. The authors had a unique love story too, in their own vein, and that also raised the experience of the book for me.The book itself. Much of the time it was a solid three - at times it felt actually "meh." At other points, I was more engaged or interested. There is no real twist, not that there needs to be. Everything is pretty much laid out at the start. In that way, the letters were honest, and expressed something of each of their constructed identities in time. I admit I did become engaged in a few side themes outside the developing love story. The experience and treatment of PTSD, and how that was experienced or perceived by others in 1916. I was also interested in the related idea of varying views characters took about whether to print the truth about war, in the newspaper, and what that meant for the government and how public perception is shaped or altered. And also about who does and doesn't fight at the front, and I had never even heard of the White Feather Brigade, only mentioned briefly in the books beginning, but the were a lot of questions about men's moral fiber, and what they were intended to withstand. Evie and Thomas and their letter exchange was meant to be a thing of beauty, memory, dreams, and light, in a time where there was none. Its speckled with Shakespeare and other authors, and that added to the book and to the characters and their expression.I guess I enjoyed it more than I thought I'd had reading it, because in the last 40 pages, I am in bed softly sobbing. Which was not how I'd felt reading it, closer to slight piquing engagement. I went from "Meh" to "moved" at the end. And that grew with the author's notes and interviews. Which shows me something I have always known but love to repeat to you guys. Sharing a book, always enhances one's reading of it. Whether I am writing or reading reviews, being in some kind of a book club, discussing sub themes, or iconic moments.... I have loved books more since book clubs and Shelfari and Goodreads and review writing. Books have become friends, and I now also have made friends from around the world. May this season be a blessing for all faiths, and for all of us - no matter who you are, what you believe or practice. May this time be a time of holiness, together, love, and peace.

  • Colleen Turner
    2019-05-06 09:34

    Since reading and loving The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society a number of years ago, I've kept my eyes peeled for other epistolary novels, especially those that highlight some interesting part of history. I find that viewing a story through letters allows for more intimacy with the characters and provides a rawness and honesty that is harder to find in a strict narrative. Last Christmas in Paris is one such novel, allowing the reader an inside glimpse into what it was like living through WWI, both on the battlefield and on the homefront, through the written communications of some lovely characters. The bulk of the story takes place during WWI and is told through letters exchanged between a small group of characters, with the vast majority being between Evie Elliot, a young woman living in London, and Thomas Harding, a childhood friend and best friend to Evie's brother, Will. Through their letters (along with letters to and from a few others, such as Evie's brother, her best friend Alice, and Thomas's father and his father's solicitor) the reader is able to really see and feel what it would have been like to be left at home, worrying and mourning for the men fighting in France while being left impotent to do anything about it, as well as what it was really like to fight in the battles, much worse than anything they were prepared for. The story that unfolds gives you a great sense of sadness, renewal, and determination as England's people did what they could to survive with the hope of betters days possibly ahead.Interspersed occasionally throughout the letters is Thomas's musings at Christmas time in Paris of 1968, where he's traveled, along with all his wartime letters, for what seems to be his last Christmas in Paris. These were very short but served to drive home the feeling of the great amount of time that has elapsed since he fought in the war and the depth of how those years changed him and of how his life progressed after. There's a sense of sadness as we learn from the beginning that the love of his life has recently passed away and has left him a final letter, which he's to read on Christmas Eve. I have to admit I wished for more of these little snippets as they felt very poignant and emotional.What came as somewhat of a surprise for me was learning about the press regulations and newspaper restrictions that, surprisingly enough, have never really been discussed in any of the novels I've read from this time period. While I know there was quite a bit of propaganda and bolstering being done for a number of reasons (including making it sound more appealing to encourage boys to sign up to serve and to cushion those at home from the true atrocities happening to their loved ones fighting) but I honestly had no idea that at least some of this was due to regulations being put into place by the War Office. I found the discussions surrounding Thomas's father's newspaper quite fascinating and am excited that this aspect was included. I also didn't expect to enjoy the romance aspect as much as I did. I've never been one to seek out novels heavy in romance, which is probably why I enjoyed it in this novel as much as I did because the love and affections taking place through the majority of the story felt like a slow burn, more of a friendship that turns into a great love than a hot and heavy spark of passion. This made it feel more realistic overall and made it very touching and sweet. I didn't expect to become as invested in Thomas and Evie's love affair as I did, but by the time the story was over I was really sad to see it end. It left me with a feeling of deliciously simple sweetness and I loved it all the more for that feeling.I am pretty amazed that this story is a collaborative effort between two novelists I have read and enjoyed before - Heather Webb and Hazel Gaynor. At no point could I discern a difference that would separate the two authors' contributions and it flowed quite nicely. I'm always amazed when multiple authors write one cohesive story and I need to try and figure out which parts were written by which author, purely for my own amusement and knowledge.Last Christmas in Paris is a delightful WWI novel that encapsulates so many remarkable feelings and situations: loss, love, tragedy, recovery, redemption, sadness, and so much more. Read it whether you love history, epistolary novels, or just a remarkably touching story. Highly recommended!