the New Eloise

The New Eloise by Julie Barlow is a historical fiction novel published in 2020. At 352 pages, it details the story of a young woman named Eloise, who is sent by her parents to Paris in the 1960s to escape the societal limitations of her hometown in Quebec, Canada. Eloise meets a group of American expatriates, who become her friends, allies, and romantic interests.

The novel is divided into three parts, each containing several chapters. In Part One, Eloise arrives in Paris and moves in with her French aunt, who provides her with a sense of cultural identity and a perspective on French society. Eloise joins a group of American students, which includes the charismatic Tad, the empathetic Celia, and the socially-conscious Ira. Eloise and Tad soon fall in love, though their relationship is complicated by their different backgrounds and goals. Eloise is torn between her desire to explore Paris and forge her own path, and her attachment to Tad and his vision of America.

Part Two sees Eloise and her friends traveling to other parts of Europe, including Spain and Italy. Eloise continues to navigate her relationship with Tad, who becomes more distant and aloof. Meanwhile, Eloise becomes increasingly drawn to Ira, who shares her political interests and passions. Eloise’s trip ends when she receives a letter from Tad asking her to come to San Francisco.

In Part Three, Eloise arrives in San Francisco and is horrified by the poverty and inequality she witnesses. She reconnects with Tad, who reveals that he has been involved with the Black Panthers and other radical political groups. Eloise becomes conflicted between her love for Tad and her beliefs in equality and social justice. She is also faced with the choice of returning to Canada or staying in the United States and joining the movement.

The New Eloise is a novel that explores themes of identity, love, and politics. Eloise is a character who is torn between her desire to explore the world and her attachment to her roots. She is searching for a sense of identity and belonging, and finds it through her relationships with her friends and lovers. The novel also delves into the politics of the 1960s, including the civil rights movement and the anti-war movement. It examines the tension between personal love and political activism, and the sacrifices that must be made in order to create change.

Overall, The New Eloise is a compelling read that captures the spirit of the 1960s and provides a thoughtful commentary on contemporary issues. The novel’s strength lies in its characters, who are complex and multifaceted. Eloise is a sympathetic protagonist who is relatable to readers of all ages. The novel is also well-written, with a strong narrative voice and vivid descriptions of the settings. Ultimately, The New Eloise is a novel that is both engaging and thought-provoking, and is worthy of consideration by students and scholars alike.