Maude and Isabelle are both young woman who want more than the life that has been planned out for them by others, but they have grown up worlds apart. Belle Epoque is a novel about friendship, the future, and Maude figuring out who she can be. Being hired for being ugly has shaken her grasp on her own self worth, but it is the girl she has been hired to accentuate that helps her get a hold of who she is and what she wants again.
At times there is some awkwardly placed French ("...repousser? To push away, to repel or repulse" - general this type of breakdown of a word in your own language is saved for the ACT) as it's what they should already just be speaking, but not enough to be truly annoying, and much of it is smooth enough to not get in the way.
An entertaining historical fiction novel, that is a lighter read, filled with smart and interesting characters.
A Morris Award Finalist
Looking for more Parisian historical fiction? Check out Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly.