Review: These Dividing Walls by Fran Cooper

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Title: These Dividing Walls
Author: Fran Cooper
Genre: Modern & Contemporary Fiction
Price: £8.99
Publication Date: 08/02/2018
Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks

One Parisian summer, as the feverish metropolis is brought to boiling point, secrets rise and walls crumble both within and without Number 37 Rue des Eglantines, an apartment building in a forgotten corner of Paris. Within the walls of the building, people laugh and cry, talk and kiss. Although they’re connected by the walls, whenever they pass in the courtyard they remain strangers.

Hey there! Today I have the pleasure to be a part of the blog tour for Fran Cooper's debut novel 'These Diving Walls' which is now being released in paperback! I have actually read this book in September of last year but when I got an email asking to be a part of the blog tour, I jumped at the chance because 'These Diving Walls' is a novel that I clearly remember and one that has left an impression on me.

For a first time novelist, I am honestly so taken aback by Cooper’s beautiful writing which takes you on a journey. The story has a nice pace to it, it's not plot heavy so you might not get hooked on finding out what will happen next but at the same time you wont feel like putting it down as youll enjoy how the author portrays the real Paris.

In 'These Dividing Walls', we get to meet a wide range of interesting character individually before they are brought altogether. Every character has their own story to tell: Edward who is escaping the death of his sister in England, Madame Frederique who runs a bookshop, a young, struggling family composed of Anais and Paul and their three children, and Cesar Vincent who lives with his wife Chantel and is the President of the Residents Association. I have to admit, a lot of the characters were introduced in a short period of time and some readers could struggle to get to know them as they are not necessarily fully developed but also some characters get more spotlight than others.

When I started reading the book, I wasn’t sure what the purpose of the story was, it seemed like a character study of people in an apartment but it turned out to be so much more than that. Cooper intertwined the political scene of Paris so well into the story but still managed to keep it personal to the characters. In some novels that I read which included politics, it got a little overwhelming and too educational at times; but I thoroughly enjoyed the political aspect in this story.

I honestly couldn’t recommend this book enough! Get ready to travel to Paris and meet the occupants of Number 37, I can promise that you won't be disappointed!

I decided to give this novel a rating of 4/5 stars as I’m impressed with Fran Cooper’s writing and the way she managed to cover important issues whilst at the same time keeping the focus on the characters and their feelings. I’m already looking forward to what Cooper writes next!

Rating: 4/5


About The Author

Fran Cooper grew up in London before reading English at Cambridge and Art History at the Courtauld Institute of Art. Cooper spent three years in Paris writing a PhD about travelling eighteenth-century artists, and currently works in the curatorial department of a London museum. These Diving Walls is her debut novel.

Do you think you'll read 'These Dividing Walls?'


Thank you to Hodder & Stoughton for providing me with a copy of this book!

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