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To Capture What We Cannot Keep: A Novel Audiobook, by Beatrice Colin Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Beatrice Colin Narrator: Polly Stone Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2016 ISBN: 9781427272881
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (1 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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Set against the construction of the Eiffel Tower, this novel charts the relationship between a young widow and an engineer who, despite constraints of class and wealth, fall in love.

In February 1887, Caitriona Wallace and Émile Nouguier meet in a hot air balloon, floating high above Paris--a moment of pure possibility. But back on firm ground, their vastly different social strata become clear. Cait is a widow who because of her precarious financial situation is forced to chaperone two wealthy Scottish charges. Émile is expected to take on the bourgeois stability of his family's business and choose a suitable wife. As the Eiffel Tower rises, a marvel of steel and air and light, the subject of extreme controversy and a symbol of the future, Cait and Émile must decide what their love is worth.

Seamlessly weaving historical detail and vivid invention, Beatrice Colin evokes the revolutionary time in which Cait and Émile live--one of corsets and secret trysts, duels and Bohemian independence, strict tradition and Impressionist experimentation. To Capture What We Cannot Keep, stylish, provocative, and shimmering, raises probing questions about a woman's place in that world, the overarching reach of class distinctions, and the sacrifices love requires of us all.

Polly Stone, who was praised for her use of French accents in her reading of The Nightingale, will bring the same talent to her narration of To Capture What We Cannot Keep.

"Stone's French accents add authenticity and a sense of place to her reading." -AudioFile on The Nightingale

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Quotes & Awards

  • To be in Paris to witness the construction of the Eiffel Tower is a magnificent occasion: to have a hand, however small, in its building, even better…This exquisitely written, shadowy historical novel will appeal to a wide variety of readers, including fans of the Belle Époque. Library Journal (starred review)
  • Colin has a sure hand with the atmospheres of both [Paris and Glasgow] and with the mores and dress of the period, and she manages to continually raise the stakes for her characters without ever resorting to melodrama. A novel of soaring ambitions, public and private. Kirkus Reviews
  • Once I entered the world of Beatrice Colin's novel, To Capture What We Cannot Keep, I did not want to leave it! Set against the enticing backdrop of Parisian life in 1880's, as Monsieur Eiffel constructs his tower, this book is both daring in its historical scope, and rich in its intimacy. It is a must-read for every fan of Paris, for every fan of the fight for love against the odds, and for every fan of great and deeply satisfying storytelling. David Gillham, New York Times bestselling author of City of Women
  • To Capture What We Cannot Keep is reminiscent of the Paris it so beautifully, hauntingly brings to life: it's romantic, moving, and memorable. And while Beatrice Colin captures the excitement that surrounded the construction of the Eiffel Tower, the real lights of Paris are the women and men she created whose stories I avidly followed. Chris Bohjalian, New York Times bestselling author of The Guest Room and The Light in Ruins
  • A compelling story of love constricted by the demands of separate social classes. Told against the splendidly absorbing background of the building of the Eiffel Tower, it emerges as fresh and different. A captivating read. Kate Alcott, New York Times bestselling author of The Dressmaker

  • “A must-read for every fan of Paris, for every fan of the fight for love against the odds, and for every fan of great and deeply satisfying storytelling.”

    David Gillham, New York Times bestselling author

  • “To be in Paris to witness the construction of the Eiffel Tower is a magnificent occasion: to have a hand, however small, in its building, even better…This exquisitely written, shadowy historical novel will appeal to a wide variety of readers, including fans of the Belle Époque. Library Journal (starred review)

  • It’s sexy escapism, but the book’s real selling point is its illumination of 19th-century Paris and that phenomenal landmark. People Magazine (Book of the Week)
  • Colin ably brings to life a time before the iron lattice of the Eiffel Tower became an iconic part of the Parisian landscape. To Capture What We Cannot Keep is part history lesson and part thrilling love story, leading to an ending full of depth, promise, and hope. BookPage
  • Transportive…You’ll instantly be wrapped up in this novel’s vibrant world. Bustle
  • “Romantic, moving, and memorable. And while Colin captures the excitement that surrounded the Tower’s construction, the real lights of Paris are the women and men she created whose stories I avidly followed.”

    Chris Bohjalian, New York Times bestselling author

  • “It’s sexy escapism, but the book’s real selling point is its illumination of nineteenth-century Paris and that phenomenal landmark.”

    People magazine

  • “Transportive…You’ll instantly be wrapped up in this novel’s vibrant world.”

    Bustle

  • “To be in Paris to witness the construction of the Eiffel Tower is a magnificent occasion: to have a hand, however small, in its building, even better…This exquisitely written, shadowy historical novel will appeal to a wide variety of readers, including fans of the Belle Époque.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “Polly Stone…voices Emile Nouguier—who was actually one of the architects of the Eiffel Tower—with the sophistication and recklessness of a bohemian bachelor in the wild days of late-nineteenth-century Paris. Stone’s feminine tone and careful articulation capture Caitriona Wallace, who is well educated but lacks the social status to fit in Nouguier’s well-connected circles. The French characters are rendered with an appealing gentle inflection…[in this] enjoyable production.”

    AudioFile

  • A Chicago Review of Books Pick of the 10 Best New Books to Read This November
  • A People Pick of the Week

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  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sharonmarie | 1/6/2017

    " The author gives a generous, colorful description of many of the exciting events and characters happening in Paris in the 1880's - 1890's. Central, of course, are the people and the story of the construction of the Eiffel Tower. With each scene, she describes the sights, and the sounds, and the smells. This technique could have been done more subtly, so That i wasn't aware of it, but it still adds to the enjoyment of the story. The narrator is word perfect, and gives different voices to each of the characters, which I appreciate. Right at the beginning, I thought she was too neutral in her tone for some of the things the characters said --there should have been more brightness, or more indignation, and so forth. But later it occurred to me that if I was reading this book, the way I would have heard a certain characters voice in my own head might not be the same as another reader would hear it, so being somewhat neutral may have been a good choice. If I could read French, I would know more about how much of the stories of the main characters were fact or fiction --there's plenty of information on Google in French, but not in English. But still, it's a nice love story in the midst of lots of interesting events and characters, that give the depth, degree of complexity, and lots of descriptive detail that I enjoy in a book. It's not a story for a reader who's in a hurry, but it's just right for a long, pleasant ride in the car. Oh.. and I'd give it between a PG and PG-13 rating. "

About the Author

Beatrice Colin is a novelist and an author of radio plays and adaptations for BBC Radio 4. Her novel The Glimmer Palace, set in Berlin in the early twentieth century, was translated into eight languages, was a Richard and Judy pick, and was shortlisted for several major awards.

About the Narrator

Polly Stone is an experienced stage actress and an Audie Award-winning audiobook narrator. She has appeared in theathrical productions in New York and across the United States. She holds a degree in dramatic art from the University of California at Santa Cruz.