Thursday, April 12, 2012

Review: The Book of Lost Fragrances by M.J. Rose


Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"A sweeping and suspenseful tale of secrets, intrigue, and lovers separated by time, all connected through the mystical qualities of a perfume created in the days of Cleopatra--and lost for 2,000 years.

Jac L'Etoile has always been haunted by the past, her memories infused with the exotic scents that she grew up surrounded by as the heir to a storied French perfume company. In order to flee the pain of those remembrances--and of her mother's suicide--she moved to America. Now, fourteen years later she and her brother have inherited the company along with it's financial problems. But when Robbie hints at an earth-shattering discovery in the family archives and then suddenly goes missing--leaving a dead body in his wake--Jac is plunged into a world she thought she'd left behind.

Back in Paris to investigate her brother's disappearance, Jac becomes haunted by the legend the House of L'Etoile has been espousing since 1799. Is there a scent that can unlock the mystery of reincarnation - or is it just another dream infused perfume? 
The Book of Lost Fragrances fuses history, passion, and suspense, moving from Cleopatra's Egypt and the terrors of revolutionary France to Tibet's battle with China and the glamour of modern-day Paris. Jac's quest for the ancient perfume someone is willing to kill for becomes the key to understanding her own troubled past."
My Review:


The Book of Lost Fragrances is one of those books that captivates the reader from the very first chapter. Set during modern-day Paris, Jac L'Etoile has returned to her childhood home in attempt to unravel the truth about her brothers disappearance. But soon after her arrival, she begins to discover that there is more to her family history than she ever thought possible. Haunted by fragrances long forgotten, Jac begins to see the power of scent and that her brothers belief in reincarnation might be more than a childish pursuit. As the search for her brother continues the shocking reasons behind his disappearance come to light, and if Jac doesn't solve the mystery of the House of L'Etoile soon, she just might be the next victim.

Told from multiple perspectives and spanning time from Ancient Egypt, The Napoleonic Era and present day Paris and Tibet, The Book of Lost Fragrances weaves a tale that is as strong as the fragrances spoken of within the pages. M. J. Rose did a fantastic job of creating three dimensional characters with personalities that never seemed to stop evolving. There are numerous plot twists throughout the novel, so the moderate flow of the story allows the reader to easily follow along. The highlight of this novel was the authors ability to vividly portray the scents in every scene. The reader is instantly transported to the damp mysterious tunnels, the incensed chambers of Cleopatra, a neglected mausoleum and so many other locations... all through the descriptions of scents we've experienced throughout our lives.

This is the fourth book in M. J. Rose's The Reincarnationist Series, but it can definitely be read as a stand alone novel. Overall this is a captivating and entertaining read, and there is no doubt that this novel will be brought to mind whenever a familiar scent is enjoyed. 





Copyright © 2012 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.
FTC: I received this book from the publisher. As always these are my own honest opinions