Tag Archive | German occupied France

#Mistress of the Ritz by Melanie Benjamin–Review–4 stars–#NetGalley

Mistress of the Ritz::.jpg 850.jpgMelanie Benjamin’s Newest Novel–Coming 5/21/19!

 

Mistress of the Ritz is an engrossing historical fiction novel. It tells the story of Blanche and Claude Auzello during WWII, in occupied France. After a quick, whirlwind romance in Paris, Claude and Blanche married. Claude never considered the possibility that his new American wife would have difficulty in accepting her role as a French wife. He should have. Claude expected Blanche to cook, clean, satisfy his needs, and then look the other way when he took a mistress. Blanche assumed that her husband would be faithful to her. She realized too late that she’d made a big mistake. Although their marriage was turbulent, bitter, and hurtful, they stayed together.

Blanche enjoyed her role as mistress of the Ritz until the Nazis stormed in, took over, and used the Ritz as their headquarters. During the German Occupation, the Auzello’s marriage difficulties rose to a new destructive level. Blanche looked upon her husband with disgust whenever he bowed to the Nazis and fretted over them. She was also fed up with him leaving in the middle of the night to be with another woman. So, Blanche changed, made friends, drank, and worked on a new purpose for her life. And, Claude didn’t like it one bit. Claude really wanted to tell Blanche his secret. He wasn’t convinced though, that she was trustworthy enough. What Claude didn’t realize was, that Blanche was hiding something as well. A secret, that was as dangerous, and risky as his own.

Although the pace of the book slows down at times, it is still captivating and enjoyable. If you love reading WWII historical fiction books, this may be just the read for you.  

Thank you, Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.

~4 out of 5 stars~

 

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Bio (from author’s page on Amazon)

Melanie Benjamin was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. An avid reader all her life–as a child, she was the proud winner, several years running, of the summer reading program at her local library–she still firmly believes that a lifetime of reading is the best education a writer can have.

While attending Indiana University–Purdue University at Indianapolis, Melanie performed in many community theater productions before meeting her husband, moving to the Chicago area and raising two sons. Writing was always beckoning, however, and soon she began writing for local magazines and newspapers before venturing into her first love, fiction.

By combining her passion for history and biography, she has found her niche writing historical fiction, concentrating on the “stories behind the stories.” Her most recent novel, THE GIRLS IN THE PICTURE, tells the fascinating and timely story of the first true female partnership – and enduring friendship – in Hollywood, between the silent film star Mary Pickford and her collaborator (and first woman to win an Academy Award for Best Screenplay), Frances Marion. 

Her previous novels, THE SWANS OF FIFTH AVENUE, and THE AVIATOR’S WIFE, were New York Times, USA Today and IndieBound best sellers. Her first novel, ALICE I HAVE BEEN, was a national bestseller; this was followed by the critically acclaimed THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MRS. TOM THUMB. Her next novel will be out in May, 2019. 

She and her family still live in the Chicago area; when she’s not writing, she’s gardening, taking long walks, rooting for the Cubs–

And reading, of course.

 

The Room On Rue Amelie by Kristin Harmel–#Review–5 Shining Stars

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Don’t Miss Kristin Harmel’s Newest Release—The Room on Rue Amelie—Coming 3/27/18. I Absolutely Loved It!

 

The Room on Rue Amelie is an amazing story that takes place during WWII in Paris, France. Ruby, an American woman, was ecstatic when her dream to go to Paris came true. A whirlwind romance with Marcel led to a quick marriage and an apartment in Paris. Although Europe was on the verge of war, Ruby didn’t want to return to America. She had made her new life with her French husband and wanted to stay by his side. Ruby’s blissful honeymoon, however, wouldn’t last long. The man she had loved and thought she knew, changed drastically, seemingly overnight. Instead of being loving and attentive, Marcel became secretive and intense. He was often out late at night and whenever Ruby questioned him as to where he had been or with whom, she was met with an abrupt, harsh attitude and an evasive answer.

While in Paris, Ruby befriended a neighbor, Charlotte, a young Jewish girl, and her parents. They became Ruby’s lifeline especially when she went into labor early, and her husband was nowhere to be found. Ruby became very protective of her Jewish neighbors, and when she saw the Germans coming, Ruby ran to their apartment to warn them.

Charlotte’s life changed forever after her parents were taken by the Germans. Ruby dedicated herself to caring for Charlotte, and to assisting British RAF pilots, to escape German-occupied France. Ruby never thought that she would fall in love again, but after meeting Thomas, a pilot whom she had nursed back to health and then helped to escape, she knew that just wasn’t true.

The Room on Rue Amelie is a superbly written, riveting novel. If you enjoy reading WWII, historical fiction, you’ll love this book. Highly recommended.

Thank you, Gallery Books and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy. I loved it!

~5 out of 5 stars~ Review by Peg Glover

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Bio (from Author’s Page on Amazon)
Kristin Harmel is an international bestselling novelist whose books have been translated into numerous languages and are sold all over the world. A former reporter for People magazine, Kristin has also freelanced for many other publications, including American Baby, Men’s Health, Glamour, Woman’s Day, Travel + Leisure, and more.

Her latest novels — The Sweetness of Forgetting, The Life Intended, How to Save a Life (a long novella), and When We Meet Again — are out now from Gallery Books, a division of Simon & Schuster.

Kristin graduated summa cum laude from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications (Go Gators!). She lives in Orlando, Fla., with her husband and son.