Resistance in Red Lipstick.

Book Review for “Code Name Hélène” by Ariel Lawhon Nancy Wake was an ex-pat Australian, working as a freelance journalist in France sending stories to the Hearst papers in the US, when she fell in love with the wealthy businessman, Henri Fiocca. That was in 1936, and Nancy had already witnessed the beginnings of the … Continue reading Resistance in Red Lipstick.

Liberty, Equality, Sorority!

Book Review for “Ribbons of Scarlet: A Novel of the French Revolution’s Women” by Stephanie Dray, Laura Kamoie, E. Knight, Sophie Perinot, Kate Quinn, and Heather Webb. This is not a novel but it’s also very much a novel. To be precise, rather it’s a collection of six short stories (or more accurately, six short … Continue reading Liberty, Equality, Sorority!

The Tint and the Taint

  Book Review of “The Blue” by Nancy Bilyeau. In the author’s notes of this book, Bilyeau calls this “a spy story set amid the rivalry of eighteenth-century porcelain factories,” in which the author tells the story of Geneviève Planché, who becomes entangled in the intrigue behind discovering a new shade of blue that is … Continue reading The Tint and the Taint

Women’s Wartime Communications

 Book review of "Girls on the Line" a Novel by Aimie K. Runyan.  The women of the US Army’s Signal Corps were known as the “Hello Girls,” and their deployment to France at the end of 1917 was considered both controversial and expedient. When Ruby Wager’s brother is one of the first casualties of the … Continue reading Women’s Wartime Communications

Bottling their History

Book review of "The Lost Vintage" by Ann Mah Kate knows that if she’s ever going to pass the Masters of Wine test, she’ll have to learn much more about French wines, particularly the ones from Burgundy. To do that, she’ll decides it’s time to go back to France, where her family’s ancient vineyards are … Continue reading Bottling their History

Leaping Late in Life

Book Review of The Little Breton Bistro by Nina George. When 60-year-old Marianne Messmann is visiting Paris on vacation with her husband, she decides to commit suicide by jumping off the Pont Neuf bridge. Her failed attempt leads her to let her husband go back to Germany on his own and search out the Breton … Continue reading Leaping Late in Life

Mystifying Masquerade

Book Review of "The Phantom’s Apprentice" by Heather Webb. In Heather Webb’s latest novel, she re-envisions the famous story of The Phantom of the Opera, best known as the powerful Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. In this book, Webb puts Christine Daaé more firmly at the center of the story, with a newly invented back story … Continue reading Mystifying Masquerade

Matching Wartime Messages

Book Review of "Last Christmas in Paris" by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb When the "war to end all wars" began in the summer of 1914, British soldiers were sure that they'd all be home for Christmas. Unfortunately, they didn't know that many of them wouldn't make it to see that Christmas, or the next … Continue reading Matching Wartime Messages