Sunday 13 January 2019

#BookReview The Parisians by Marius Gabriel @amazonpub

The Parisians by Marius Gabriel
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Paris, 1940. The Nazis have occupied the city¬—and the Ritz. The opulent old hotel, so loved by Parisians, is now full of swaggering officers, their minions and their mistresses.

For American Olivia Olsen, working as a chambermaid at the hotel means denying her nationality and living a lie, every day bringing the danger of discovery closer. When Hitler’s right-hand man moves in and makes her his pet, she sees an opportunity to help the Resistance—and draw closer to Jack, her contact, whose brusque instructions may be a shield for something more…

Within the hotel, famed designer Coco Chanel quickly learns that the new regime could work to her benefit, while Arletty, one of France’s best-loved actresses, shocks those around her—and herself—with a forbidden love.

But as the war reaches its terrible end, all three women learn the true price of their proximity to the enemy. For in the shadow of war, is anyone truly safe?


I will say this about this book, thank God for Coco Chanel and Arletty! Those two women made the book worthwhile reading. I found the beginning of the book very hard to get into thanks to Olivia Olsen, this young artist who has come to Paris to paint. She's just the kind of character I have a problem with, a young naive thing that on the very first pages of the book meets a young anarchist that will take her by storm. I was not amused, I found Olivia to be boring to be very frank. However, I kept on reading because as I wrote before there were two bright spots in this book Coco Chanel and the French actress Arletty. Personally, I wouldn't have minded that Olivia had been cut out of the picture and the book had been just about Coco Chanel and Arletty. Although I have to admit Olivia role become more interesting after the Germans occupied France and she started to help the Resistance.

At first, I gave the book 4-stars, but after some considerations did I lover the rating to 3-stars. And, that's because I've read two books previously by Marius Gabriel that I really enjoyed, The Ocean Liner and The Designer. The Parisians can't really measure up to them. It's just not as interesting, unfortunately. Still, there are some really good parts in the book, well everything concerning Coco Chanel and Arletty. I felt that Olivia personality was truly bland and I felt it the most when she interacted with them. She grew a bit better towards the end, but still, the stars of this book were Coco Chanel and Arletty!

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

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