I was in Paris I had to buy this one!
Here is the blurb …
City of love. City of splendour. City of terror. City of dreams. Inspired by the haunting, passionate story of the city of lights, this epic novel weaves a gripping tale of four families across the centuries: from the lies that spawn the noble line of de Cygne to the revolutionary Le Sourds who seek their destruction; from the Blanchards whose bourgeois respectability offers scant protection against scandal to the hard-working Gascons and their soaring ambitions. Over hundreds of years, these four families are bound by forbidden loves and marriages of convenience; dogged by vengeance and murderous secrets; torn apart by the irreconcilable differences of birth and faith, and brought together by the tumultuous history of their city. Paris bursts to life in the intrigue, corruption and glory of its people. Beloved author of Sarum, London and New York, Edward Rutherfurd illuminates Paris as only he can: capturing the romance and everyday drama of the men and women who, in two thousand years, transformed a humble trading post on the muddy banks of the Seine into the most celebrated city in the world.
This novel provides a great overview of the history of Paris – I enjoyed using Google maps and seeing the relationship of places. I found the story quite compelling if somewhat contrived. Particularly the section set around World War 2 – you just know it is going to end badly for some of the characters. This novel is long, but I never found it slow or had to force myself to continue. It is an easy way of gaining a bit of historical knowledge and I recommend it to anyone interested in Paris or thinking about travelling to Paris.