The Riviera House by Natasha Lester
Paperback, 480 pages
Publication: August 31st 2021 by Forever
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, WWII, France, Adult Fiction
From Goodreads: The New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Secret weaves a lush and engrossing novel of World War II inspired by a true story and perfect for fans of Kate Quinn and Pam Jenoff.
Paris, 1939: The Nazis think Éliane can't understand German. They’re wrong. They think she’s merely cataloging art in a Louvre museum 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?
Natasha Lester brilliantly explores the impossible choices ordinary people faced every day during extraordinary circumstances, weaving fact with fiction and celebrating women who push the boundaries of their time.
My Thoughts: WWII, sigh…I would not want to live during the war, but I devour anything I can find that is written during that time. I loved every word; I could picture the Louvre along with the workers trying to save the art while the Germans were taking whatever they wanted. The Mona Lisa was talked about often and I learned so much about the lengths that were taken to keep her safe and not lost to the world.
The relationships were not easy with so many things working against love, but Elaine and Xavier start their relationship before the war starts and I found it intriguing to see how the war could change their relationship. The love that had for each other did not falter, it was not easy, it was not simple, but it was true. Even when forced apart they never let their hearts give up on each other.
I am focused on the past, but the current story was just as entertaining. I was not sure how it would all come together but I knew that it would at some point. The catalog is found, the Riviera house, all held the clues as to what had happened and the hope for what the future could hold.
Love and loss during a time of war with the hope and love of a future kept me turning pages and hoping for the happy ending I wanted the characters to achieve.
**Thank you NetGalley and Read Forever Publishing for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
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Lester: Natasha Lester
is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of THE PARIS
SEAMSTRESS, THE PARIS ORPHAN / THE FRENCH PHOTOGRAPHER, and THE PARIS SECRET.
Her new book, THE RIVIERA HOUSE, is coming in August 2021.
Prior to writing, she worked as a marketing executive for L’Oreal, managing the Maybelline brand, before returning to university to study creative writing.
Her first historical novel, A KISS FROM FITZGERALD, was published in 2016. This was followed by HER MOTHER'S SECRET in 2017 and her first international bestseller THE PARIS SEAMSTRESS in 2018. Since then, her books have been translated into many different languages are now published all around the world.
Natasha lives in Perth, Western Australia with her 3 children and loves fashion history, practicing the art of fashion illustration, collecting vintage fashion, traveling, Paris and, of course, books.