A magnificent hotel, an intricately woven plot, three strong women characters written by three eloquent authors.
France, 1914. Aurelie is at her family’s ancestral home, when the Germans move in and begin using it as their headquarters, Aurelie discovers she knows one of the German officers, Maximilian Von Sternburg. Despite their conflicting loyalties, Aurelie and Max’s friendship soon deepens into a love, that will shatter them both.
France, 1942. Daisy was raised by her indomitable grandmother in the glamorous Hotel Ritz. She continues to live in Paris with her two children and her husband Pierre, who becomes a Nazi collaborator after France falls to Hitler. Daisy agrees to act as a courier for a skilled English forger, who creates identity papers for the resistance and for Jewish refugees. As Daisy is drawn deeper into the underground network, she uncovers secret information, and commit the ultimate betrayal.
France, 1964. Babs was haunted by a mysterious woman known by her husband, Kit, as La Fleur. After Kit’s death, American lawyer Andrew “Drew” Bowdoin appears at Bab’s door. He was hired to find the Resistance fighter turned traitor known as “La Fleur,” Curious to know more about La Fleur, Babs joins Drew in his search, a journey of discovery that that takes them to Paris and the Ritz—and to unexpected places of the heart….
Three strong women characters, three eloquent women authors, an intricately woven story and a magnificent hotel. What could be better? The writing was superb and the story was mesmerizing. I enjoyed following the alternating chapters of Aurelie, Daisy and Babs and discerning their role in the story and their connections to one another.
One of my favorite parts of this beguiling story was the transitions between chapters which take place decades apart. While perhaps just a little thing, I very much looked forward to these skillfully-crafted transitions which referenced to an item, for example, a scarf, at the conclusion of one chapter and then picks up on a scarf reference in the opening scene of the next chapter. This simple connection between the chapters captivated me. The attention to details such as this, makes this a treasure of a book,. If you like historical fiction, strong women characters, and a little romance thrown in this is the book for you.
I also appreciated the reference to the Scarlet Pimpernel and to the French Revolution.
Thanks to authors Karen White, Beatriz Williams, and Lauren Willig for a delightful experience. I listened to the audible version of the book and felt the narrators also helped bring the story to life.
Publisher William Morrow
Published January 14, 2020
Narrated Helen Sadler, Nicola Barber, Saskatchewan Maarleveld