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Fiction Book Reviews

Historical Fiction | Overture | Vanessa Couchman

We’re delighted to be on tour sharing Laura’s thoughts for Overture by Vanessa Couchman.

Overture is the first story in the L’Alouette Trilogy set in France, starting in 1897 and finishing at the end of World War II.  

Book cover Overture by Vanessa Couchman

What if you had a unique talent, but everything conspired against your dreams?

France, 1897. Born to a modest farming family, Marie-Thérèse has a remarkable singing voice and wants to become a professional singer. But too many obstacles, including her parents’ opposition, stand in her way. And, through no fault of her own, she makes a dangerous enemy of the local landlord.

When the family circumstances change suddenly, Marie-Thérèse and her mother must move to Paris to work in her aunt’s restaurant. Her ambitions rekindle, but the road to success is paved with setbacks until a chance meeting gives her a precious opportunity.

She is close to achieving all her dreams, but the ghosts of the past come back to haunt her and threaten Marie-Thérèse’s life as well as her career.

Overture by Vanessa Couchman is available to purchase in digital and paperback formats.


A wonderful first story in a historical trilogy, set in France between 1897-1914.

Marie-Therese born into a farming family and has a wonderful singing voice. Unfortunately her parents need her help on the farm and her Mere does not approve of singing in public, so further schooling was abandoned.

A surprising event takes Marie-Therese and her Mere to Paris to work in her aunt’s restaurant. Living in Paris among famous professional singers, she attempts auditions to start her training. Fortunately after a disastrous audition she meets Frederic and can finally begin her singing career.

This is the first part of a trilogy and ends at the start of the first world war and the other books continue and end at the next war.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, as I adore history and was fascinated by learning about French history.

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Author photo Vanessa Couchman

Vanessa Couchman is a novelist, short story author and freelance writer and has lived in an 18th-century farmhouse in southwest France since 1997. French and Corsican history and culture provide great inspiration for her fiction. She has written two novels set on the Mediterranean island of Corsica: The House at Zaronza and The Corsican Widow. Her third novel, Overture, is Book 1 of a trilogy set in France between 1897 and 1945. Vanessa’s short stories have won and been placed in creative writing competitions and published in anthologies.

Connect with Vanessa Couchman



Twitter @Vanessainfrance  

Qualified as a Sleep Consultant, Dyslexia Therapist, Reiki Master, Mental Health First Aider and Mindfulness Practitioner, my passion is for sharing anything that will make life easier. My love of reading, crocheting, being out in nature and positive psychology are all things that help me unwind.

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