The Book of Lost Fragrances
Author: M.J. Rose
Published: March 13, 2012
Publisher: Atria Publishing
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: A copy was provided by the author and Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours which does not influence my opinion nor this review.
A sweeping and suspenseful tale of secrets, intrigue, and lovers separated by time, all connected through the mystical qualities of a perfume created in the days of Cleopatra--and lost for 2,000 years.
Jac L'Etoile has always been haunted by the past, her memories infused with the exotic scents that she grew up surrounded by as the heir to a storied French perfume company. In order to flee the pain of those remembrances--and of her mother's suicide--she moved to America. Now, fourteen years later she and her brother have inherited the company along with it's financial problems. But when Robbie hints at an earth-shattering discovery in the family archives and then suddenly goes missing--leaving a dead body in his wake--Jac is plunged into a world she thought she'd left behind.
Back in Paris to investigate her brother's disappearance, Jac becomes haunted by the legend the House of L'Etoile has been espousing since 1799. Is there a scent that can unlock the mystery of reincarnation - or is it just another dream infused perfume?
The Book of Lost Fragrances fuses history, passion, and suspense, moving from Cleopatra's Egypt and the terrors of revolutionary France to Tibet's battle with China and the glamour of modern-day Paris. Jac's quest for the ancient perfume someone is willing to kill for becomes the key to understanding her own troubled past.
Mysteries in an Egyptian tomb, fragrances that can transport you back in time through generations, pottery that the Chinese mafia will kill for, the kidnapping of the future Lama and much more await the reader in The Book of Lost Fragrances. Based upon years of research, author M.J. Rose spins a tale that in one chapter transports us back to Egypt and Cleopatra and forbidden love to modern day Paris and the catacombs that stretch hundreds of miles beneath the city.
Jac and her brother Robbie are caught up in the intrigue involving engraved pottery shards laced with a scent which has Jac thinking she is hallucinating, just as she once did several years ago. She sought freedom from that which she believed made her different and "ca ra zy" and found the help with Malachai, a doctor specializing in visualizations of past lives. Now that she has returned to Paris to find her missing brother with the help of an ex-love, Griffin, Jac is symptomatic again. A scent can, within moments of smelling, take her mind away to another land where she sees the past.
It is these pottery shards that have put them all in danger. The Chinese mafia want them, Malachai wants them to assist him in his work, Robbie wants to give them to the Dalai Lama as they are thought to hold the keys to reincarnation. The Chinese government requires registration of individuals who intend to reincarnate thus preventing any future Lamas.
There is a lot going on in The Book of Lost Fragrances and it is not a novel that one can just pick up casually as it demands your attention. There's a myriad of characters here and the chapters often jump from the present to the past where we "see" Jac's visions while others include the mafia and background. The story is exciting and intriguing, tying together the past and presence in the hands of a perfume creator.
Meet the Author:
M.J. Rose (www.mjrose.com) is the international best selling author of eleven novels and two non-fiction books on marketing. Her next novel THE BOOK OF LOST FRAGRANCES (Atria/S&S) will be published in March 2012.
Her fiction and non-fiction has appeared in many magazines and reviews including Oprah Magazine. She has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, Time, USA Today and on the Today Show, and NPR radio.
Rose graduated from Syracuse University, spent the '80s in advertising, has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and since 2005 has run the first marketing company for authors - Authorbuzz.com.
The television series PAST LIFE, was based on Rose's novels in the Renincarnationist series. She is one of the founding board members of International Thriller Writers and runs the blog- Buzz, Balls & Hype.
She is also the co-founder of Peroozal.com and BookTrib.com.
Rose lives in CT with her husband the musician and composer, Doug Scofield, and their very spoiled and often photographed dog, Winka.
For more information on M.J. Rose and her novels, please visit her WEBSITE. You can also find her on Facebook.