Paris Adrift by Vanda is the third book in the Juliana Series and it is a story about embracing who you really are and opening your mind to new experiences.
It’s 1955 and Alice ‘Al’ Huffman and Juliana are on their way to Paris; the city of breathtaking scenery, soulful music and scrumptious food. Al has so many desires that she holds close to her heart—she really wants to form a deeper and more meaningful connection with Juliana and she hopes that Juliana’s career can be revived in Paris. Everything appears to be going in Al and Juliana’s favor until a stranger approaches Al with a shady business proposition that she cannot refuse. Al is distraught because this unknown enemy has the ability to ruin Juliana’s career and her own as well. Al hides the truth from Juliana because she wants her to be focused on singing and she really doesn’t want this imminent threat to drive a wedge between them.
Will Al be able to find a way out of this forced business deal? Will Al and Juliana grow closer or will secrets and the actions of an unscrupulous person tear them apart?
Alice ‘Al’ Huffman is the manager of Mt. Olympus nightclub and she also promotes singers, actors and musicians. I just love the way Al has grown into the woman she was meant to become. She is quick witted and business savvy and I really admire her determination to thrive in the male dominated field of managing/promoting during that period in time. Even though Al may have seen and heard it all in her career, she still manages to retain her tender-hearted and innocent nature and I think that’s so admirable in such a cut-throat business.
Juliana is a musical celebrity and she has captured many hearts as she performs in the numerous high end nightclubs in Paris. I can freely admit to the fact that I have a love/hate relationship with Juliana because there were times when she was so selfish and callous and at other times she was nurturing and fun-loving. My opinion about Juliana is still in limbo because there are parts of her personality that I don’t like but on the other hand I have gained a better understanding about her past and the demons that haunt her.
The Writing Style
The author did a really magnificent job of portraying each character’s joy, angst, confusion and fear through Al’s eyes. Even though I experienced the other characters from Al’s perception of them, I still felt as though I got the true picture of each complex character, the beguiling landscape and the circumstances that they had to contend with.
Just experiencing the voyage on the ship and seeing Paris through Al’s eyes was a huge bonus for me. I also enjoyed reading about what goes on behind the scenes in the lives of singers, musicians, nightclub owners and music managers/promoters.
I don’t have any complaints about this lovely story… (wait a minute, I do… this story should have been longer!)
This story and these unforgettable characters will touch you very deeply because it certainly brought tears to my eyes during the really tough moments. Each book in this series reveals the harsh and painful truth about the way women, people of color and the LGBT people were treated during that time. There was so much inequality between men and women and life was very difficult for anyone who did not fit into the heterosexual mold. I am so happy that this story highlighted how far women and the LGBT community have come and the progress we have made so far. This story and by extension this entire series will stay in my heart for a very long time.
Excerpt from Paris Adrift by Vanda
Juliana and I stood by the door shaking hands and saying thank you as people said their goodbyes. Mercy handed Juliana the box she’d been carrying around with her. “Here. This is for both of you from Shirl and me. Enjoy, but open it when you’re alone.” Juliana put it on the table next to a fruit basket. Mercy hugged and kissed us. “Have a terrific time, and when you get home, I’ll make a special dinner. You’ll tell Shirl and me all about it.”
When I turned, I saw Max and Scott through the full-length mirror that hung between the sitting room and the bedroom. They were shaking hands. “Juliana, it looks like everyone has left.” I nodded over at Scott and Max.
“Yes.” She looked at them quickly, and back at me. She said loudly, “Let’s go out on deck. There’s at least a half an hour before the ship leaves. This door locks automatically.”
We closed the door behind us as we went.”
Out on deck, we hung over the side and yelled down at the people on the pier. The stewards handed out streamers and we threw them at the crowds below. Mercy with her own personal bag of streamers was throwing them up at us.
The band played rousing tunes as we cheered. Shortly, Scott joined us on deck while Max ran down the gangplank. He stood next to Mercy, waving from the pier.
The ship’s baritone whistle penetrated through the cheers as it slowly rumbled away from the dock, kicking up a strong breeze.
I felt the vibrations under my feet. “We’re moving, Juliana. We’re going to Paris. We really are.” I think I might’ve been jumping up and down by that time. The orchestra burst into, “Anchors Aweigh.”
“Yes, Country Girl.” Juliana smiled. “We’re going to Paris because you planned it. Remember?”
Gosh, I wanted to kiss her right then.
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The Juliana Series
Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9780999099575
- Publisher: Sans Merci Press
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