The Bells of Notre Dame
A Novel by Jean-Thomas Cullen
2017 Romantic Paris Affaire/2019 Relevant to Great Fire
A Novel Reborn From Fire & Tragedy. The Bells of Notre Dame is a 2017 love story set in Paris, with an unforeseeable ending that will knock you out of your socks. By amazing coincidence, the bells of Notre Dame Cathedral play a critical and climactic role in this love story full of twists and surprises. In recognition of new-found relevance, in the heart-wrenching days following the 15 April 2019 fire, the author has kept the 2017 text same but has changed the title from Paris Affaire to The Bells of Notre Dame.
The Bells of Notre Dame is the story of a young Poet and his Angel in the City of Light. They are both Parisian, but from opposite sides of the Métro tracks.
Marc, 23, is a handsome, sensitive young poet and rebel struggling to survive (taxi driver, bar tender, lawn mower, bookstore clerk around the Latin Quarter and environs) while writing vignettes and cascades of lyric verse.
Emma, 30, is a wealthy, beautiful, classy faculty wife and former fashion model whose husband has abandoned her emotionally. Her husband is a paleontologist on a long term dig in Australia, who is playing around with not only ancient bones but also fresh young ones around clubs and beaches of Sydney and Melbourne. Lately, he has called from thousands of miles away to tell her he has found another girl, while making long-distance noises about divorcing Emma.
Emma, a young-looking beauty, has been alone too long. She has been faithful, living in her family's expensive and rambling, empty apartments in the City. When Marc happens into her life, things click instantly. They run to each other's arms with passion, joy, and hunger.
Together, Marc and Emma live in a bubble without time, where the clocks have no numbers but the seconds and minutes are sweeping toward some dark, inevitable fate. In the moment, they pursue love with all the joy and faith in their youthful hearts. But there is always a shadow of trepidation that their happiness in Paris may not last.
He is her poet, and she is his angel. Together, they make music along the same boulevards and streets that still bear haunting strains of Ravel or Debussy and verses of Verlaine or Apollinaire. Countless great artists have come here for centuries to walk in the covered passages and drink from fountains of inspiration. Can Marc and Emma overcome the differences that fate has thrown between them? Will their love last forever or just the one year told in this story?
This is a young people's story - quirky, happy, poetic, literary, sad, reckless, joyful. It's a roller coaster ride of emotions leading to an ending you will not see coming in a million years. Nothing lasts forever - not in Paris, not in this life. As the French say: C'est la vie. That's life. Enjoy every minute, every hour to the fullest. And be prepared: hold on to your socks, because other trains are on their way to this station, other eyes and faces linger thoughtfully in rainy windows, looking wistfully forward to
the surprise of your life as the novel winds its way to a stunning conclusion nobody saw coming, though the truth was there all along, hidden in plain sight. If we could just read the telegrams along the way. But we can't, and that's part of our destiny, and why life is so filled with surprises. "Non, je ne regrette rien," Édith Piaf sang: "
No, I regret nothing
Visit the website for this novel: more info, background, and buy links (e-book and p-book).