On Hist Fic Saturday
Let's go back to....Paris, 1938
|Simon and Schuster UK|
My thanks to the publicists edpr for my copy of this book
The story starts in Paris in 1930, when a devastating family tragedy occurs when twins, Florence and Romaine Duchamps are teenagers, only for the story to then flip forwards to 1938 when the twins are living very different lives. Socialite, Florence is married to a powerful business man and she has a five year old child, whilst Romaine is a female aviatrix who regularly risks her safety to take to the air in her flimsy, Gypsy Moth, aeroplane. That, Romaine is risking much more than her safety in the skies becomes apparent in her interaction with those who are fearful of the shadowy threat posed by Hitler in the dangerous months before the outbreak of WW2.
The story is compelling, from its decidedly dark beginning, through to the description of life in Paris for both Florence and Romaine. The sisters may be bonded by their birth but they are separated by their lifestyles and the secrets they keep from each other. The action is exciting, particularly Romaine's story as she gets drawn further and further into a dark underworld and yet, Florence's life is equally compelling, as she mingles with the social elite of pre-war, Paris.
The Betrayal is a truly compelling read, not just for the description of the relationship between the sisters, but also for the accuracy of the historical background which explains the build up to the outbreak of war, and of the steady increase in restlessness and apprehension which pervaded all levels of society. The author writes well and certainly brings time and place alive with an authenticity I found fascinating. The action is fast and furious and doesn't shy away from revealing danger and violence and of the consequences of actions which have devastating repercussions for both Florence and Romaine.
This is well written historical fiction which has an absorbing edginess which lasts throughout the whole of the story, from its startling beginning, through to its timely and dramatic conclusion.
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