This heart-wrenching novel about family and war unearths generations of secrets and sacrifices—perfect for fans of The Paris Orphan and The Lost Girls of Paris.
2017, London: When Aurelia Leclaire inherits an opulent Paris apartment, she is shocked to discover her grandmother’s hidden secrets—including a treasure trove of famous art and couture gowns. One obscure painting leads her to Gabriel Seymour, a highly respected art restorer with his own mysterious past. Together they attempt to uncover the truths concealed within the apartment’s walls.
Paris, 1942: The Germans may occupy the City of Lights, but glamorous Estelle Allard flourishes in a world separate from the hardships of war. Yet when the Nazis come for her friends, Estelle doesn’t hesitate to help those she holds dear, no matter the cost. As she works against the forces intent on destroying her loved ones, she can’t know that her actions will have ramifications for generations to come.
Set seventy-five years apart, against a perilous and a prosperous Paris, both Estelle and Lia must unearth hidden courage as they navigate the dangers of a changing world, altering history—and their family’s futures—forever.
Bowen (the Lords of Worth series) draws on the lives of Nancy Wake and Josephine Baker and the 2018 discovery of a Paris apartment untouched since WWII in this rich historical tale. Lia Leclaire learns she has inherited a Paris apartment from her grandmother Estelle Allard in 2017 after Estelle's death. The apartment appears to have been locked and abandoned since the war and is filled with paintings and a postcard to her grandmother from Hermann G ring, leading Lia to believe Estelle may have been a Nazi collaborator. Lia hires art appraiser Gabriel Seymour to help assess the value of the art after discovering his connection to William Seymour, the artist whose painting Estelle left for Lia in a safety deposit box. Eventually, Gabriel and Lia discover how Estelle worked tirelessly to aid those persecuted by the Nazis. Flashbacks highlight how Estelle used her position as a Paris socialite to gain information from the Germans to help the Allies. The stories unearthed in the apartment pique from the first page in this magnetic novel full of tragedy and rich characters. Bowen's fans will embrace her foray into historical fiction.
Great story of mystery and resolution. Interesting, intriguing, good character development, and a page-turner.
As a Holocaust survivor I have read many books in that genre. I found this book touching my own memories and couldn’t put it down.