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A Letter from Paris - a true story of hidden art, lost romance, and family reclaimed

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A Letter from Paris - a true story of hidden art, lost romance, and family reclaimed

Louisa Deasey

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When Louisa Deasey receives a message from a Frenchwoman called Coralie, who has found a cache of letters in an attic, written about Louisa’s father, neither woman can imagine the events it will set in motion.

The letters, dated 1949, detail a passionate affair between Louisa’s father, Denison, and Coralie’s grandmother, Michelle, in post-war London. They spark Louisa to find out more about her father, who died when she was six. From the seemingly simple question ‘Who was Denison Deasey?’ follows a trail of discovery that leads Louisa to the libraries of Melbourne and the streets of London, to the cafes and restaurants of Paris and a poet’s villa in the south of France. From her father’s secret service in World War II to his relationships with some of the most famous bohemian artists in postwar Europe, Louisa unearths a portrait of a fascinating man, both at the epicenter and the mercy of the social and political currents of his time.

A Letter from Paris is about the stories we tell ourselves, and the secrets the past can uncover. A compelling tale of inheritance and creativity, loss and reunion, it shows the power of the written word to cross the bridges of time.

’A beautiful, true story, engagingly told. So much joy and kindness between the covers.’ Natasha Lester, author of The Paris Seamstress

’An enchanting memoir that will stay with you long after you close the book.’ -Rebecca Raisin, bestselling author of the Little Paris Collection

’The most affecting story here is that of the story itself
the tensions between what is written and what is spoken, and who controls the narrative … A Letter from Paris is a sobering reminder of the ease with which our stories can be warped by the prevailing attitudes of the time – and the crucial importance of archives in the preservation of lives and literature. -Marion Rankine, The Guardian

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