A wardrobe of Dior gowns, a secret kept for sixty-five years, and the three women bound forever by war… from the New York Times bestselling author of The French Photographer.
England, 1939 Talented pilot Skye Penrose joins the British war effort where she encounters her estranged sister, Liberty, and childhood soulmate Nicholas Crawford, now engaged to enigmatic Frenchwoman Margaux Jourdan.
Paris, 1947 Designer Christian Dior unveils his extravagant first collection to a world weary of war and grief. He names his debut fragrance, Miss Dior, in tribute to his sister, Catherine, who worked for the French Resistance.
Present day Australian fashion conservator Kat Jourdan discovers a secret wardrobe filled with priceless Dior gowns in her grandmother’s vacant cottage. As she delves into the mystery, Kat begins to doubt everything she thought she knew about her beloved grandmother.
An unspeakable betrayal will entwine all of their fates.
While my love of reading was nurtured as a child thanks to Enid Blyton and Frances Hodgson Burnett, among others, it was really forged as a teenager by authors like Shirley Conran and Barbara Taylor Bradford who wrote about glamorous, gutsy women, and stories spanning continents and decades. These books that transported me right out of the small-town life I was raised in and into a more exciting, glamorous world.
A few pages into The Paris Secret and I experienced the same excitement that I used to feel as a teen reading Lace, something I hadn’t felt for many years. Admittedly, being in isolation for weeks on end probably contributed to this, but what a wonderful feeling to revisit. And revisit I did. I fell in love with Natasha Lester’s world, the characters, and this wonderful book.
It’s a stunning adventure, beautifully written and with compelling, unique characters. I especially loved intelligent, gutsy Skye (and her bohemian mother, the tarot reading, gypsy moth plane flying Vanessa). Skye has flown a plane from a young age, and that is weaved into this fabulous tale, through war, post war and more. Skye also has a strong love bond with her childhood friend Nicholas, which brings romance into this story, although I’m reluctant to say it’s a romance. For me it’s really a tale about women and blazing a trail for women.
Weaved throughout is, of course, the world of haute couture but like the themes of romance, this storyline complements, rather than overshadows this wonderful, multilayered novel. Meticulously researched, superbly delivered, The Paris Secret is an unforgettable story about the lengths people go to protect one another, and a love that, despite everything, lasts a lifetime.
Take a fabulous journey away from the everyday with The Paris Secret. Natasha Lester is now on my must-read list. Perfection!