Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Book Review: To Capture What We Cannot Keep by Beatrice Colin

 My last book review was almost 6 months ago.  That's never a good sign...  To be clear, it took me almost half a year to get through this simple work of fiction.  An even worse sign...  The good news is, I finished the book and can move on to a new, more captivating story.  As if this introduction didn't tell all, today we're going to talk all about my latest read.

The novel is titled To Capture What We Cannot Keep by Beatrice Colin.
The book is read by Polly Stone.
The unabridged version is 11 hours and 38 minutes.

books about paris Eiffel tower

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Book Review:  To Capture What We Cannot Keep by Beatrice Colin

After reading a string of fabulous books, Amazon recommended To Capture What We Cannot Keep (link) by Beatrice Colin.  Amazon must know me real well because their summary set the story in Paris and falsely promised a juicy love storyThey had me sold.  I purchased the audiobook and dove right in.  Ladies and gentleman, it was like diving onto a cement sidewalk.

The book follows the life of a Scottish widow at risk of becoming destitute.  To avoid that dreadful fate, she takes a job as a chaperone for two young adults as they travel abroad.  During their travels, the oldest of the two siblings secures a job as an apprentice to the man designing and building the Eiffel Tower.  The sister tags along as she desperately tries to find a man of status to marry.

While chaperoning, the main character falls in love with the man designing the Eiffel Tower.  The ENTIRE book dances around whether or not they will have an official romance.  At one point you get close to finding out the answer until a mysterious meeting with the man's mother takes place.  Then the book ends and you never find out what happens to them or their romance.  The author doesn't even divulge what happened during the meeting with the man's mother.  I'd write "SPOILER ALERT", but there's nothing to spoil!

The other sub stories within the book include a very confusing drug overdose where I thought the author wrote that they died and was even buried but apparently lived.  There was also the hunt for the sister's future husband.  The author even made that torturous!  After meeting several prospects, in the epilogue you learn that the sister marries a man that she randomly met on a train ride that took place after the book ended.  Finally, the story randomly ends in Africa which is where the main character ended up in a final attempt to avoid becoming destitute.  Yes, I said AFRICA!!

I do not AT ALL recommend To Capture What We Cannot Keep (link) by Beatrice Colin.

To learn more about To Capture What We Cannot Keep by Beatrice Colin, click here.

Were you ever fooled by a suggested read?


  1. Lol, that sounds awful! I recently read a book that partially took place in France . . . The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue. It’s about a young woman who makes a pact with the devil and lives forever, though no one remembers her. It kept my interest and there was a love story.

    1. I'll have to look that one up, although I'm not so sure that's a book for me. I usually don't have patience for books that are far fetched unless they're straight up fantasy.

    2. I just added that one to my online library to check out. But I have to read The Nightingale first. It's been on my list far too long and I'm ready to dive into it.

  2. I actually translated, back in the very old days, her book The Luminous Life of Lilly Afrodite, and it was one of the most beautiful books I have ever done and read too. Colin is an exquisitely talented writer with beautiful narrative dynamics and I remember that her sentences had such amazingly natural flow that sentences flew right out of me during the translation work. Some other publishers published some of her other books later on and I am sorry that I never had the honour of working on one of her books again. It does not happen often that you get writers with natural talent and great storytelling in my work....

    1. I just checked Amazon, and they don't have that one currently listed. I'm almost done with my newest read and am looking for another one to jump right into. If I can find it, I'll definitely give it a go. It reminds of Kristin Hannah. I love some of her books and really dislike others. Any other suggestions?

    2. It is about actress Lilly Aphrodite who was the biggest cinematic star pre WW2 but Hitler totally erased her because she refused to star in his propaganda films. He destroyed her films, newspaper archives, posters... like she never ever existed.

  3. I'm frustrated by the book just reading your review. The book cover is really pretty and I probably would have fallen victim after the synopsis as well. Thanks for the warning to steer clear!


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