Determined to escape her old life, misfit and student geologist Hallie packs up her life in England and heads to Paris. She falls in with the eclectic expat community as a bartender at the notorious Millie’s, located next to the Moulin Rouge.
Here she meets Gabriela, a bartender who guides her through this strange nocturnal world, and begins to find a new family. But Millie’s is not all that it seems: a bird warns Hallie to get her feathers in order, a mysterious woman shows up claiming to be a chronometrist, and Gabriela is inexplicably unable to leave Paris.
Then Hallie discovers a time portal located in the keg room. Over the next nine months, irate customers will be the least of her concerns, as she navigates time-faring through the city’s turbulent past and future, falling in love, and coming to terms with her own precarious sense of self.
I was really looking forward to this book, time travel is really interesting and I’m quite a fan of fictional Paris. Unfortunately, this book didn’t quite hit the mark for me.
The book starts with a couple of chapters set in the future, and these were honestly the most interesting in the whole book. Unfortunately, it’s also the last time we really see any of these characters, as the main plot and POV change to Hallie’s. A couple of characters do make appearances as the story progresses, but we don’t ever see things from their POV and we never return to the future first presented, and it really feels like quite a waste.
After more than half the book, I still wasn’t sure what the point of Hallie’s time travel was, and each jump made wasn’t interesting enough on its own to justify the time spent on it. The present day scenes weren’t particularly engaging, and it was difficult to connect it with the tenuous plot.
Ultimately this is a contemporary novel with occasional time travel interludes, and if that’s your thing, go forth and have fun, but otherwise I’d suggest giving it a miss.