At BookTrib, we are constantly searching for the best ways to connect readers with writers, opening their eyes and worlds to fresh ideas! This is how we came across a wonderful group known as the Tall Poppies, who are not only avid readers, but extremely talented writers as well! This week’s Tall Poppies review of Last Christmas in Paris relays a beautifully crafted story love and dreams in the wake of war human tragedy.

Last Christmas in Paris Hazel Gaynor Heather WebbWar changes everything–individuals, relationships, priorities, dreams– so it’s not surprising that stories set in wartime are so popular and, in this case, so engrossing. In Last Christmas in Paris, best friends Will and Tom head off to fight the Germans, leaving behind Will’s sister, Evie, and, soon enough, the hope of a Christmas homecoming. By the end of the war five years later, these young, spirited characters and their circle of loved ones have experienced the full spectrum of human tragedy and plumbed the deep reaches of the human heart. I was captivated by their story, fascinated by the historical details, and profoundly moved.

Webb and Gaynor artfully craft the narrative using letters and telegrams, a structure that propelled me from one letter to the next, eager to learn what the response would be or which secondary characters might swoop in to complicate the story. It was hard to tear myself away! The multi-layered plot kept me guessing about what the next missive might reveal and I admit my heart was often in my throat. And, yes, I cried.

A truly remarkable book brimming with passion, intelligence, courage, and humanity, and one you can’t miss.


Heather Webb is the acclaimed author of historical novels Becoming Josephine and Rodin’s Lover. In 2015, Goodreads selected Rodin’s Lover as a Top Pick. To date, her novels have sold in multiple countries worldwide. Heather is a member of the Historical Novel Society and lives in New England with her children and husband, and one feisty rabbit.

Hazel Gaynor is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Girl Who Came Home and A Memory of Violets, and the recipient of the RNA Historical Novel of the Year award 2015. She lives in Ireland with her husband and two children.


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