In times like this, I think for me reading helps keeps me sane and my mind open. And, it’s a brief mental respite. You know how in Mary Poppins, Mary, the kids+Bert jumped into the chalk sidewalk painting and were immersed in another world? That’s the sensation I felt reading The Margot Affair – from the first page I felt like I lived inside the character’s world. It comes out next week but I was lucky emough to snag an ARC from #netgalley. Sanae Lemoine paints just beautiful word pictures – you can practically hear the clinking of spoons hitting saucers at an outdoor cafe and smell the baguettes baking on the Parisian streets where the titular character, teenage Margot, lives with her Mom, famed stage actress Anouk. The story of Margot, the illegitimate daughter of Anouk and a rising French politician (married) and the fall out of what happens when Margot takes extreme action to expose herself to the public and finally get recognized as his second family and to prove she and her mother were the one he loved the best. It’s a touching story, and the underlying theme of someone feeling invisible and urgently needing to be heard and seen weren’t lost on me right now. I also really loved the descriptions of Paris landmarks, the food…everything really comes to life almost as if you’re there. Almost. I loved this book and can’t wait to read the author’s second book. It left me crazing more – and craving fresh French bread with creamy real butter and homemade pear jam.