For those people who have seen and marveled at the Eiffel Tower in Paris, this is a fascinating insight into the wonderful structure. The story is mostly set in Paris in the 1880’s and follows the construction of the Tower from the digging of the foundations to its completion. We share in the lives of the people who built the Tower, following their dreams and visions.
At that time, the Tower would be the tallest tower in the world. It was built for the World Fair and to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the French Revolution, designed by Emile Nouguier and Maurice Koechlin. Monsieur Eiffel bought the patent from the two engineers, building and paying paid for much of the construction.
As the foundations of the Tower were being dug, we meet a group of Scottish people who have come to Paris. Sponsored by a wealthy uncle, Alice and her brother Jaimie have come to Paris to promote Jaimie’s interest in engineering, and for Alice, to mix in society and possibly find a husband. Their chaperone is a young Scottish widow, Cait Wallace, who is grateful to have a job where she is supported financially, and also to live in Paris for a time. There is an attraction between Cait and Emile Nouguier, which is fraught with problems. She has a responsibility to her charges and her employer, while Emile’s mother wished him to marry well, and to continue the family business of glass blowing.
As the Tower begins to grow and take shape, so Cait and Emile begin to develop a grand relationship. However, the Tower has a meeting point at the top, whereas one can never see the lovers overcoming their obstacles, and coming together. Meanwhile, Alice and Jaimie have both fallen foul of Parisian Society, and as their chaperone sorts out their problems, she drifts further away from Emile.
Time is not on Cait’s side, as eventually she must return to Glasgow, where Alice and Jaimie live with their uncle. Alice accepts an offer of marriage from a local suitor, and Jaimie begins to settle down and become part of the working world. Cait is left with few choices but she knows she cannot stay in Glasgow and do nothing. She has the courage to move on!
The author has blended facts and romance with an interesting look at Parisian Society in the 1880’s. Add the fascination of the Eiffel Tower to this and the story is complete.
|Publisher||Allen & Unwin|
|Distributor||Allen & Unwin|