Sunday 22 August 2021

Book Review: The Riviera House by Natasha Lester

The Riviera House 
Natasha Lester
Inspired by a true story - From wartime Paris to the sun-soaked French Riviera.

Publisher: Hachette Australia 
Publication date: 1st September 2021
Genre: Historical Fiction
RRP: $32.99AUD 
Format read: Uncorrected paperback
Source: Courtesy of the publisher via Better Reading Preview
 About the book
Paris, 1939: The Nazis think √Čliane 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 √Čliane 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?
My review
Narrated in dual time lines The Riviera House is an absorbing read that focuses on the enormous lengths Parisian citizens went to to protect the art works that were being stolen by the German army during WWII.
The tension is compelling and the conflict simmers on the page. The German army is unrelenting and many citizens had to comply seemingly collaborating with the enemy. Lester writes about ordinary people doing extraordinary things and quite often I was asking myself what I would do in their situation. I’m not nearly as brave!
I really enjoyed Eliane’s story as she put herself in grave danger time and time again to document the famous works of art ensuring that they would not be lost to the world forever. I was so engrossed in Lester’s imagined world that when it changes time lines I initially had a feeling of disappointment. However Remy’s story, set in 2015, is as equally engrossing as we delve into the mystery that surrounds Remy’s ancestors and the beautiful Riviera house she inherited.
Lester has written another riveting historical fiction filled with strong, resilient women and swoon worthy men.
The Riviera House is rich in sacrifice, loss, perseverance, tenacity and love all wrapped around the world of fine art.
I am again holding this book up against A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald which left big shoes to fill. 
My rating 4/5  ⭐⭐⭐⭐
 Challenges Entered: Australian Women Writers Challenge AWW2021
                                   Aussie Author Challenge #Aussieauthor21
                                   Historical Fiction Challenge 


There was no better book to celebrate my 5 year blogiversary than a book by Natasha Lester. My first post on 22nd August 2016 was for A Kiss From Mr Fitzgerald. It has remained one of my top reads.
Click on the cover to read my review


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