A lush and engrossing novel of one woman’s quest to keep Nazis from stealing priceless art during WWII, perfect for fans of The Rose Code.
Paris, 1939: The Nazis think Éliane can't understand German. They’re wrong. They think she’s merely cataloging art in the Louvre and unaware they’re stealing national treasures for their private collections. They have no idea she’s carefully decoding their notes and smuggling information to the Resistance. But Éliane is playing a dangerous game. Does she dare trust the man she once loved with her secrets, or will he only betray her once again? She has no way to know for certain . . . until a trip to a stunning home on the French Riviera brings a whole new level of peril.
Present Day: Wanting to forget the tragedy that has left her life in shambles, Remy Lang heads to a home she’s mysteriously inherited on the Riviera. While working on her vintage fashion business, she discovers a catalog of the artworks stolen during World War II and is shocked to see a painting that hung on her childhood bedroom wall. Who is her family, really? And does the Riviera house hold more secrets than Remy is ready to face?CNN Underscored: Most Anticipated New Books to Read this August
A great book club pick
Natasha Lester draws you in and writes a remarkable and engaging book set in dual timelines of WWll and Present Day.
When WWll begins, Elaine is faced with having to set aside her own ambitions of art school, in order to take on the responsibility of taking care of her mother and sisters and keeping the family’s brasserie running, while her brother and father go off to fight in the war. Elaine and her families world is turned upside down when her brother returns to warn them they must leave Paris because the Nazis are coming. Elaine decides to stay to work at her job at the Louvre, but is it what it seems?
Remy is in the South of France for work, vintage clothes and jewerly seller, who also loans her collections to celebrities, and are featured in magazines. Remy is hoping the South of France is the place that can help her cope with the death of her daughter and husband due to a car accident. Will this be the escape Remy is looking for?
Both of these women have parallels of love, and immeasurable loss in their lives, even though they lived in different time periods. What will connect them in the end? This book will having you turning the pages to find out.
I love how this Natasha Lester includes in her Author’s note her inspiration and which characters are linked to actual people in history!
An incredible story that is a must read and leaves you thinking about long after it’s done. Be sure to add to your TBR! A great book club pick!
Beautiful dual timeline historical novel
The Riviera House by Natasha Lester is a beautifully written, historic novel, with dual timelines set in France during WWII and the present. I was entranced and blown away by the beauty of the writing and the stories inside.
The first timeline starts in Paris in 1930 and follows Éliane as she struggles to go to school and learn about art and art history and also helps care for her sibling. She also falls in love with Xavier, an Englishman who trades fine art, however, he disappears just before the Nazi invasion and breaks her heart. Once the Nazis invade she works at a museum, cataloging fine art pieces. The Nazis don’t believe she knows understands German and she’s free to pick up information and pass it on to the Resistance.
In the present-day timeline, Remy discovers she inherited a stunning villa on the French Rivier from her birth parents that she never knew. Remy is has a vintage fashion business but is also still grieving the loss of her young daughter and husband in a car accident nearly three years ago. Once in the Villa, she meets a boisterous family next door, who all have their own secrets. She also discovers that an old painting she’s had with her since her childhood was once stolen from the Louvre by the Nazis in World War II. How did she get that painting?
The Riviera House is a stunning and beautifully written story about unimaginable courage and survival during one of the most horrendous times in our history. The Riviera House is also two of the most enchanting love stories I’ve read in a while. This book is huge at 480 pages, but I zipped through this book in only two sittings because I was enthralled by the story from the very first page. The descriptions of the exotic settings in this book are stunning.
Often in dual timeline books, one of the timelines is better than the other, but in The Riviera House, I found both stories equally enthralling, for different reasons. I loved the past timeline and was fascinated with the historical details as well as the courage and bravery of Éliane and her friends and family. In the present timeline, I was drawn to Remy and empathized with her grief and sadness, but I was also interested in her vintage fashion business. The neighbors next door, especially her love interest, Adam, were interesting and realistic. I thought the author did an excellent job at describing the beautiful scenery, the villa, and the vintage clothes.
What I also found surprising about this book was the unexpected twists and turns the story takes. I could not guess the ending, nor the relationships between the timelines until the very end. I received a complimentary copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Don’t read this if you don’t want to know the ending! I have read several books set in this era. I know there will be some horrors and bad results, but nothing prepared me for this crappy ending and the characters were fictional! This writer is great. Romantic, intriguing, she keeps your interest. Knowing I was headed for a #%$&*+@ ending, I was hoping. Alas….I was betrayed!