These Dividing Walls, Fran Cooper

These Dividing Walls

One Parisian summer
A building of separate lives
All that divides them will soon collapse… 

In a forgotten corner of Paris stands a building.

Within its walls, people talk and kiss, laugh and cry; some are glad to sit alone, while others wish they did not. A woman with silver-blonde hair opens her bookshop downstairs, an old man feeds the sparrows on his windowsill, and a young mother wills the morning to hold itself at bay. Though each of their walls touches someone else’s, the neighbours they pass in the courtyard remain strangers.

Into this courtyard arrives Edward. Still bearing the sweat of a channel crossing, he takes his place in an attic room to wait out his grief.

But in distant corners of the city, as Paris is pulled taut with summer heat, there are those who meet with a darker purpose. As the feverish metropolis is brought to boiling point, secrets will rise and walls will crumble both within and without Number 37…

These Dividing Walls is a quaint, beautiful, enchanting novel that has bewildered me with its beauty and mastery. It is a novel that is essentially a character study of all different kinds of people from all different kinds of life and the result is a beautiful story that is full of heart, soul and much more! Here is a little bit more about this enchanting novel!

These Dividing Walls takes the reader on a splendid journey into the lives of the inhabitants of an apartment block in Arrondissement Paris. It is a novel with many different narratives and during your time reading this novel you will drift seamlessly between the many different characters perspectives. We meet a host of characters during this novel and some of those are Edward and Frederique who both happen to be stricken by grief. We also meet a depressed, emaciated mother of three named Anais and her absent husband Paul. Chantal is another character we meet and we also meet her disillusioned husband Cesar Vincent. There are a host of other characters too but if I was to sit here and type away about them all I would be here for a very long time! However, through our cast of quirky and sometimes troubled characters, various aspects are explored from tolerance to prejudice to extremism and it makes for a masterful work of literature; one that I adored immensely.

The story of These Dividing Walls may appear simple and not complex but it is far from that and really it is a cleverly, interwoven plot that is stunning to read. The interconnections between all of the characters are effortlessly portrayed as the readers experience all of their emotions. It is a deeply affecting, intelligent read and for this we have Fran Cooper to thank.

Our author Fran Cooper has done a splendid job of cleverly connecting the intimate, personal stories of our characters all whilst relating their stories to the wider, political situation in France that takes place in the novel. These tensions include unemployment, immigration, and so much more and our author effortlessly writes about these issues with elegance and sympathy.

To conclude my thoughts on These Dividing Walls if you adore novels that feature a host of very different characters who are all battling their own demons and heartache then this novel would be your dream. It would be anybody’s dream to be honest because of how blissfully beautiful and mesmerizing. This enchanting novel gets Five Stars from me!

Thank you so much for reading  book lovers! I appreciate it so much. Please do comment below your thoughts and let me know whether you could see yourself reading this novel. Do you adore literary fiction with many different narrative and a host of different stories? Let me know below! Thank you so much again for reading!

Goodbye for now book lovers,

P.S. Here is a preview of the book for all of you lovely readers to enjoy! If you have loved what you have read and want to buy the wonderful novel then you can click the buy on amazon button and it will take you straight to Amazon U.K.! If you are international then click the Book Depository link underneath it! Thank you so much again for reading!


Book Depository

Publisher; Hodder & Stoughton


32 thoughts on “These Dividing Walls, Fran Cooper

  1. Even the title of this novel is so relevant to the divides in our world today. Thank you for sharing your summary of the piece. I am definitely interested in taking a read. I am about to take a Literary Theory class in college focused on fairy tales and their history. I will post some blogs regarding these classic stories some time in July/August. In the meantime, ill be patiently awaiting new book reviews from you! 😇💜📝


  2. I’m very pleased to see that you enjoyed this! I thought it was a lovely book and very well written, as well as homing in on some uncomfortable truths about modern society. Cooper obviously loves Paris, and lived there for a while, which I think comes through very clearly in her writing. You’re quite right to praise the way she weaves all the different threads of her story together. A very impressive debut.


      1. She was studying there for a bit. And the most amazing thing is that she’s actually not a full-time writer at all, but a curator at the National Gallery. As a curator myself, I can only marvel at how she found time to write such a beautiful novel.


      2. Well I’m a curator too (in London) so I’d be letting the side down if I didn’t say precisely the kind of things I look after. Namely Italian and French art. Probably early 16th century Italian and mid 17th century French art are the areas which interest me most at the moment. 😊


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