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Mistress of the Ritz : A Novel
2019
Availability
Fiction/Biography Profile
Characters
Blanche Auzello (Female), American, Independent, Married, Wife of Claude, manager of the Ritz Hotel; played hostess to the invading Germans at the Ritz Hotel in Paris
Claude Auzello (Male), Hotel manager, French, Married, Husband of Blanche
Genre
Fiction
Historical
Love story
Suspense
Topics
Husbands and wives
Wealthy lifestyles
Troubled marriages
German occupation of France
French Resistance
Secrets
Wartime romances
World War II
Setting
Paris, France - Europe
Time Period
1940s -- 20th century
Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews

  Publishers Weekly Review

This impeccably researched, lyrically told historical about a brash American woman and her French husband during WWII is a remarkable achievement. Blanche Ross Auzello doesn't care for being a proper, quiet wife, much to the dismay of her somewhat stuffy husband, Claude, the manager of Paris's luxurious Hotel Ritz. In June 1940, Claude returns from military service to find that a host of high-ranking Nazi soldiers have commandeered the hotel as their Paris headquarters. For the next four years, he and Blanche play unwilling hosts to the Germans-and, unbeknownst to each other, both begin working in the French Resistance. They narrowly avoid disaster until immediately before the Americans liberate Paris, when Blanche gets into trouble Claude can't resolve, and a shocking secret about Blanche's past is revealed. Benjamin (The Aviator's Wife) skillfully weaves in a host of historical figures-including Coco Chanel, alleged to be a Nazi sympathizer, and Ernest Hemingway-whose vibrant presences make Benjamin's protagonists and engaging group of supporting characters shine all the more. Even readers who aren't big fans of historical fiction might be swayed by this outstanding tale. Agent: Laura Langlie, Laura Langlie Agency. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Summary
In March 1940, the Nazis sweep Paris and immediately take up residence in one of the city's most iconic sites- The Hotel Ritz. There, under a roof legendary for its unprecedented luxury and for its fabled residents-including Coco Chanel, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Cole Porter, Hemingway, Balanchine, Doris Duke, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and now Hermann G ering-the Nazis rule over a paralyzed city.<br> <br> But two residents of the Ritz refuse to be defeated- its director, Claude Auzello, and his beautiful American actress wife, Blanche. They not only oversee the smooth workings of the hotel, but both Blanche and Claude throw themselves fearlessly into the dangerous and clandestine workings of the French Resistance.<br> <br> This is a true-to-life novel of a courageous woman and her husband who put their marriage-and ultimately their lives-in jeopardy to fight for freedom. Intimate, fearless, and moving, it spins a brilliantly and unforgettably vivid human portrait at a time of unimaginable crisis and sacrifice.<br> <br> Story Locale- Hotel Ritz, Paris, WWII
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