Gita Trelease’s début novel, Enchantée, transports the reader to the world of pre-revolutionary France, where uncertainty and possibility linger in the air, and the lives of the people are about to be changed forever. Camille Durbonne, an orphan at the age of seventeen, struggles to care for her siblings and tries as hard as she can to keep the family from succumbing to the harsh streets of Paris as their money dwindles. But desperate times call for desperate measures, and Camille has a secret which could save her life, though it will cost her greatly.
It is not at all difficult to become lost in this novel (in a good way). The combination of magic, romance and mystery allows the reader to escape into a world that glitters. Trelease’s flowing language paints such a vivid picture of Paris and Versailles that it is easy to imagine the bustling city streets, as well as the glamour and wealth of the aristocrats at the French court. The novel does not shy away from danger, and the harsh consequences that would ensue if Camille and her sister Sophie ended up living in the streets are not ignored either. Trelease is careful to depict an authentic version of France, while also introducing her audience to one filled with magic and intrigue. She keeps her readers eager for more, chapter after chapter, as lives get turned upside down, secrets are revealed and mysteries unravelled.
A truly beautiful novel, and hopefully the first of many from Gita Trelease.