Book Reviews

Shades of Honore’ (The Baudin Saga) Vol 1. Avery Grey

we should all be allowed a little bit of crazy, every once in a while. Don’t worry

This novel had more twists and turns than a hidden stairway in a castle in the woods accessed only by a secret closet passageway. The author was able to effectively portray the lives and stories of three generation of beautiful French Women between Paris, Cannes and America.


The main protagonist and titled character Honore’ is the Daughter of Lisette Baudin and granddaughter of Francoise Baudin. Though the novel started with Honore’ as a teenager in Cannes, through interactions and flashback the reader is shown her awkward and difficult childhood in America with a father who didn’t care and a mother who had lost her zeal for living. Left with no choice after a tragedy struck, Honore’ return to Cannes to live with her grandmother. To help out financially she took a job as a waitress and a model. Things got very interesting when she is propelled into the industry of superstars, sex and drugs. A world where movie stars pay to have sex with drugged, immobile models and her childhood Hollywood crush turns out to be a sick pervert.  Lisette Baudin had been a lively and fun girl once in Paris until something happen and she moved to Cannes to be with her mother where she met and marry Sebastien Sergeant, had a daughter and more or less settle into monotonous, rather disappointing life. Her story continues in Vol 2. The story of Francoise is woven into the storyline seamlessly. Francoise story began when a Chanel jacket was  brought to her store. A Jacket that is to become the catalyst through which the biggest of secret is revealed. Just before the beginning of World War 2, Francoise was a seamstress at the House of Chanel in Paris where she fell in love with a man whom she thought she would be with forever.  Like everything in life, nothing last forever and through painful memories the reader is able to piece together why Francoise never stayed in Paris even after the war and how she came to be a modest shop owner in Cannes.   The Story Ends with Honore’ going to Paris in pursuit of a promising career. All three women it would seem is destined to be in Paris at some point in her life.

Grey weaves a masterful story of vivid descriptions; of feelings and just the right amount of French sexy to make the novel more than interesting. I especially loved how he was able to tell each women’s story individually but still able keep the connection throughout. This book could be considered as suspense as well as drama with a little romance somewhere in between. The method of story telling was so effective and seamless that the reader will not even notice where the story of one woman paused and where the others continued. oh, and did I mention that in some areas it read as a steamy, sexy erotica? no? well, the French sure knows how to make love and Grey’s descriptions were neither cringe inducing or seedy, rather it was very, very enjoyable 🙂

A good novel overall. Do give it a read, or two. Vol 2 should be out this summer.

RATINGS: 8.5/10