Official Review: My Riviera by Sharon Dilworth

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Camille Turner
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Official Review: My Riviera by Sharon Dilworth

Post by Camille Turner » 25 Jan 2019, 18:41

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "My Riviera" by Sharon Dilworth.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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My Riviera by Sharon Dilworth is a delightful coming-of-age story about 17-year-old Agnes and her older sister, Sophie. When the sisters and their grandfather are suddenly forced to leave their home in Paris and relocate to the south of France away from their father, Agnes is left with no explanation beyond her father’s vague allusion to some sort of scandal. The story takes place in the early 1950s, in post-war France where people are still working to rebuild their lives after so many years of uncertainty and change.

It is among sunny cities like Nice and Cannes and the lovely beaches of Monte Carlo that Agnes gets to know Jules Agard, a young and carefree devotee of Henri Matisse and Fausto Coppi. She quickly becomes attached to him but has a lot to learn about love and truth, as does Sophie. Together, these two sisters will grow in unexpected ways amidst the glorious backdrop of the French Riviera.

One of the things I liked most about this book is its vivid setting and the precise descriptions that help bring that setting to life. I was originally drawn to this book because I previously lived in France and have yet to fall more in love with any other place in the world. I was, therefore, delighted with the author’s masterful ability to paint the south of France so precisely.

Another aspect of the book which I adored was the blending of romance, crime, and mystery into what is essentially a Bildungsroman. I love elements of surprise when reading, and there were certain questions which I was unable to answer or solve until the end of the book. The ending was not predictable, and I loved that I was captivated until the end, trying to figure out how certain plot lines would turn out.

I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. Based on the story and writing style, I would have given it four stars, as there was nothing that I didn’t like. On the contrary, the book was enjoyable to read from start to finish. The only reason I deducted one star is that the version I read had a good many grammatical errors such as incorrect prepositions or conjunctions. Based on the guidelines for Online Book Club, I cannot give the book four stars with all of those mistakes in it because I don’t know if it was professionally edited or not. For example, one sentence read, “Now all the empire can do is blow is nose into it” (pg 22) where “is” should be “its.” Another sentence read, “His brown and cheeks were streaked with dirt” (pg 13) where “and” should be taken out or another noun should follow “brown.” I want to mention the caveat that I read the book as the PDF file that was provided to me. It is possible that all of these errors were fixed before the final publishing. Unfortunately, I had no way to compare the published version with the one sent to me to read, so I cannot say either way.

Regardless of these errors, which may or may not be in the published edition, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I believe it would appeal to anyone who enjoys coming-of-age stories or who likes books with a vibrant setting and interesting characters. I cannot think of any specific audience who wouldn’t enjoy such a story. As such, I recommend My Riviera to anyone looking for a new and captivating read.

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My Riviera
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Post by kandscreeley » 30 Jan 2019, 08:56

Like you, I enjoy books that surprise me in one way or another. It sounds like this one does, though at first glance, I'm not sure it's something I would particularly enjoy. I'm glad that the descriptions are so vivid as it really helps to travel to other places without having been there. Thanks for the review.
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Post by Emy Katherine » 30 Jan 2019, 15:13

A coming-of-age story revolving around two sister, Agnes and Sophie, filled with mystery, crime, and romance. Sounds an interesting read! Plus, I love the author used vivid description in this book. Nice and Cannes are beautiful cities, and, honestly, I can't wait to read this captivating story! Added this book to my TBR list! I must admit, though, I don't like it is not well edited. Thank you for the detailed review! :tiphat:

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Post by kdstrack » 30 Jan 2019, 15:34

I am fascinated by the setting of this book. The relocation seems to take place due to a scandal caused by the father. Is the mother a part of the story? Why do they two teenage girls go away with their grandfather? Is the family ever reunited?? I need to read this book - I have too many questions! Great review. You really have me intrigued.

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Post by Jessacardinal » 30 Jan 2019, 20:32

My mom was born in Nice so this book immediately ques my interest. I have never had the opportunity to travel outside of North America. It sounds like reading this book would give me a great view into an area where half of my family remains today. I hope it shows up on my future review opportunities list.
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Post by Camille Turner » 31 Jan 2019, 08:07

kandscreeley wrote:
30 Jan 2019, 08:56
Like you, I enjoy books that surprise me in one way or another. It sounds like this one does, though at first glance, I'm not sure it's something I would particularly enjoy. I'm glad that the descriptions are so vivid as it really helps to travel to other places without having been there. Thanks for the review.
Thank you for commenting! Yes, for me, a good setting and an unpredictable plot are essential.

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Camille Turner
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Post by Camille Turner » 31 Jan 2019, 08:08

Emy Katherine wrote:
30 Jan 2019, 15:13
A coming-of-age story revolving around two sister, Agnes and Sophie, filled with mystery, crime, and romance. Sounds an interesting read! Plus, I love the author used vivid description in this book. Nice and Cannes are beautiful cities, and, honestly, I can't wait to read this captivating story! Added this book to my TBR list! I must admit, though, I don't like it is not well edited. Thank you for the detailed review! :tiphat:
Great! I hope you enjoy it as I did. Yes, I only hope that those mistakes didn't make it into the final, published version. Thanks for commenting! :)

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Camille Turner
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Post by Camille Turner » 31 Jan 2019, 08:09

kdstrack wrote:
30 Jan 2019, 15:34
I am fascinated by the setting of this book. The relocation seems to take place due to a scandal caused by the father. Is the mother a part of the story? Why do they two teenage girls go away with their grandfather? Is the family ever reunited?? I need to read this book - I have too many questions! Great review. You really have me intrigued.
Thanks for commenting! :) We find out at the beginning that the mother died sometime before. Figuring out the scandal is definitely part of the intrigue of this story. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did!

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Camille Turner
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Post by Camille Turner » 31 Jan 2019, 08:11

Jessacardinal wrote:
30 Jan 2019, 20:32
My mom was born in Nice so this book immediately ques my interest. I have never had the opportunity to travel outside of North America. It sounds like reading this book would give me a great view into an area where half of my family remains today. I hope it shows up on my future review opportunities list.
What a wonderful book for you then, since it describes the French south so beautifully! I am an avid traveler, but one thing I love about reading is that it can transport you to places you'd never otherwise see. Thanks for commenting. :)

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Post by Cecilia_L » 31 Jan 2019, 10:55

I considered this book and probably would have selected it, had I realized it blended some of my favorite genres. I enjoyed your review.

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Post by Camille Turner » 31 Jan 2019, 12:57

Cecilia_L wrote:
31 Jan 2019, 10:55
I considered this book and probably would have selected it, had I realized it blended some of my favorite genres. I enjoyed your review.
Yes, it turned out to be a good read. Thank you! And thanks for leaving a comment. :)

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