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An archivist without a past of her own doesn’t expect her profession to get personal.

Thirty-year-old single mom Michele Norman has finally found her dream job at the city archives. But while she does a deep dive into every inquiry that comes in, there’s one past she won’t touch: her own. Besides, with a son starting kindergarten, a stack of unpaid bills, and the possibility of her work hours being cut back, she has enough to worry about. But when she discovers a forgotten French diary in the vault, it sends her on a journey from the west coast of Canada all the way to Paris, France. Will Michele be distracted by the intriguing and maddening Sébastien? Or will she finally find answers to the family questions she has never been ready to ask?




Provenance Unknown
by Sonia Nicholson
Sands Press


book review by Glenda Vosburgh


"I ... I want justice. I want what my grandmother and mother should have had, what was rightfully theirs. I want Maurice’s estate."

The discovery of a long-forgotten French diary in a vault by city archivist Michele Norman sends her on a quest to discover her family history. As a child, Michelle had been adopted into a loving family. Other than being told her parents had abandoned her, Michele knew nothing about her history. That changes when she discovers the diary, which she learns was written by her biological grandmother. Michele is facing a mountain of problems, mostly related to a lack of money. She is a single mother who struggles to pay her bills and is behind on her rent. While she loves her job as an archivist, it’s part-time, and her hours are about to be cut. Nonetheless, she leaves her young son in the care of her landlady, takes time off time from work, and travels from her home in Canada to Paris, France, to research her family. On the way, she meets Sébastien. They are immediately drawn to one another.

The author has written a love story wrapped in a love story—that of Michele and Sébastien, as well as her grandparents. Each chapter begins with an excerpt from the diary, telling about her grandparents’ romance. It is an interesting juxtaposition of the present and the World War II era. Some readers may find it difficult to sympathize with Michele early on. She makes decisions like an impulsive teenager. As the story unfolds, however, the author deftly portrays a young woman struggling to get her life on track who undergoes a transformation through learning about those who came before her. She emerges with a more mature outlook. This romance novel should appeal to fans of the genre, as well as anyone who has experienced and understands the excitement of researching their family history.

Provenance Unknown by Sonia Nicholson

  • 978-1-990066-24-5

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