An interesting look at Paris during World War 2, concentrating on the guests and staff at the plush Ritz hotel. It has a mixture of real and fictional characters, including icons such as fashion designer Coco Chanel and French actress Arletty. We also follow the life of fictional character Olivia Olsen, an American chambermaid at the Ritz, hiding her identity behind a Swedish passport. We explore their stories during the Nazi occupation, and the ways each individual handles the oppressive regime. As the Nazi's take over one wing of the famed hotel we find our ladies risking their lives as the war drags on and on. I did enjoy this book, and some of the characters are memorable, but not really fleshed out too much. This is a very believable tale, we get the lowdown how the Nazi's treated those in a position of privilege. My only real gripe is we don't really get a sense of time. It seems like characters have only just met, then suddenly two years have passed. All in all it's not a bad novel, it just doesn't have what it takes to stand out in a very popular genre. My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
As a lover of historical fiction based on fact, I can’t recommend this book highly enough. It’s well researched, eloquently written and a fantastic story of the lives that were woven together during this horrific time.
Following the story of an American girl in WW2, scattered with famous characters and the passion of the resistance. A softer wartime story with only interludes of the reality that is imagined in this time.