Rating: 2 Stars ★★☆☆☆
Everything, now, is done à trois.
In the dazzling summer of 1926, Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley travel from their home in Paris to a villa in the south of France. They swim, play bridge and drink gin. But wherever they go they are accompanied by the glamorous and irrepressible Fife. Fife is Hadley’s best friend. She is also Ernest’s lover.
Hadley is the first Mrs. Hemingway, but neither she nor Fife will be the last. Over the ensuing decades, Ernest’s literary career will blaze a trail, but his marriages will be ignited by passion and deceit. Four extraordinary women will learn what it means to love the most famous writer of his generation, and each will be forced to ask herself how far she will go to remain his wife…
Rating: 2 Stars ★★☆☆☆
When she walks through the door of my exhibition, everything disappears: the sound of the rain against the windows, the wax models, the customers, even the children.
Marie is a young woman in love with her oldest friend and neighbour, Henri. But she is also a determined businesswoman, eager to see her family’s waxwork museum keep them safe and solvent. Her gift for modelling faces in wax brings her to Versailles, where she must teach the king’s sister her skill. But the coming revolution will place Marie, her family and all of Paris in grave danger. As the monarchy is overthrown and the guillotine becomes a fixture in French life, Marie is expected to show her patriotism by making death masks from the severed heads of every key figure killed as the Reign of Terror begins and France enters its darkest time. How will Marie survive the Revolution? Who will survive it with her? And just how will this girl come to be known as the woman behind one of the most famous museums in the world?
Rating: 3.5 Stars ★★★☆☆
The Opera ghost really existed.
Christine is a beautiful young singer at the Paris Opera. She is watched by the Opera’s ‘phantom’ – a mysterious masked figure who terrorises the Opera’s management and players. With the Phantom’s help, Christine rises to become the Opera’s star performer, but when the Phantom demands her heart in return, Christine is torn between gratitude and pity for her strange benefactor, and love for her childhood sweetheart, Raoul.
Rating: 3 Stars ★★★☆☆
After changing his five-franc piece Georges Duroy left the restaurant.
Georges Duroy is struggling in Paris, but he wants more. He thinks he deserves more than to be a lowly clerk. And when the opportunity arises, he takes it. He is particularly gifted at using the women of Paris for his own ends. Called Bel-Ami by them, he will stop at nothing to get to the top of fin-de-siecle Paris.
Rating: 2.5 Stars ★★★☆☆
The rue du Coq d’Or, Paris, seven in the morning.
As a young man living in Paris, George Orwell finds himself struggling to survive with very limited resources. This memoir chronicles his time among the poor in Paris, and his drudging work as a dishwasher in a Paris hotel. Later, he recounts the time he spent living among the vagabonds in London.