Thursday, January 30, 2020

Review for All the Ways We Said Goodbye by Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, Karen White

All the Ways We Said Goodbye

Published January 14th 2020 by William Morrow

The New York Times bestselling authors of The Glass Ocean and The Forgotten Room return with a glorious historical adventure that moves from the dark days of two World Wars to the turbulent years of the 1960s, in which three women with bruised hearts find refuge at Paris’ legendary Ritz hotel.

The heiress . . .
The Resistance fighter . . .
The widow . . .
Three women whose fates are joined by one splendid hotel

France, 1914. As war breaks out, Aurelie becomes trapped on the wrong side of the front with her father, Comte Sigismund de Courcelles. When the Germans move into their family’s ancestral estate, using it as their headquarters, Aurelie discovers she knows the German Major’s aide de camp, Maximilian Von Sternburg. She and the dashing young officer first met during Aurelie’s debutante days in Paris. Despite their conflicting loyalties, Aurelie and Max’s friendship soon deepens into love, but betrayal will shatter them both, driving Aurelie back to Paris and the Ritz— the home of her estranged American heiress mother, with unexpected consequences.

France, 1942. Raised by her indomitable, free-spirited American grandmother in the glamorous Hotel Ritz, Marguerite “Daisy” Villon remains in Paris with her daughter and husband, a Nazi collaborator, after France falls to Hitler. At first reluctant to put herself and her family at risk to assist her grandmother’s Resistance efforts, Daisy agrees to act as a courier for a skilled English forger known only as Legrand, who creates identity papers for Resistance members and Jewish refugees. But as Daisy is drawn ever deeper into Legrand’s underground network, committing increasingly audacious acts of resistance for the sake of the country—and the man—she holds dear, she uncovers a devastating secret . . . one that will force her to commit the ultimate betrayal, and to confront at last the shocking circumstances of her own family history.

France, 1964. For Barbara “Babs” Langford, her husband, Kit, was the love of her life. Yet their marriage was haunted by a mysterious woman known only as La Fleur. On Kit’s death, American lawyer Andrew “Drew” Bowdoin appears at her door. Hired to find a Resistance fighter turned traitor known as “La Fleur,” the investigation has led to Kit Langford. Curious to know more about the enigmatic 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. . . . 

My Thoughts…

From three wonderfully talented authors comes a story of three women who live in different times but somehow their stories intertwine.  From 1914 we meet Aurelie, who is stuck living with the enemy in her own house while WWI was happening all around her.   In 1942 we meet Daisy, who does what she must to keep her family safe during WWII.   1964 introduces us to Babs, who travels to Paris to find answers to her husband’s secrets.     All three stories have their own paths, all three women are incredibly strong, and all three stories tie together in amazing ways.

I am in awe of how strong Aurelie, Daisy, and Babs are.   They are living in times that are not easy, searching for ways to keep their families safe, yet continue to put themselves out there to help others while trying to get a grip on all that life is throwing at them.    I kept reading looking for the clues as to how it would all come together and putting the pieces together bit by bit, I did have it mostly figured out before the end.

Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, and Karen White are all authors that I have read before.   Writing as one, there are no gaps in the story and the book flows perfectly from one character to the next.     The chapters alternate between the three main characters and are not short, but they are easy to follow.    The storyline pulls you into three wonderful eras and the world as it was happening at that time.  I could picture the characters and hear their voices, I could see the places they were visiting and living, and I could feel their emotions as their worlds were changed by the lives they were living.   

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