Paris, 1919.The world's leaders have gathered to rebuild from the ashes of the Great War. But for one woman, the City of Light harbors dark secrets and dangerous liaisons, for which many could pay dearly.
Brought to the peace conference by her father, a German diplomat, Margot Rosenthal initially resents being trapped in the congested French capital, where she is still looked upon as the enemy. But as she contemplates returning to Berlin and a life with Stefan, the wounded fiancé she hardly knows anymore, she decides that being in Paris is not so bad after all.
Bored and torn between duty and the desire to be free, Margot strikes up unlikely alliances: with Krysia, an accomplished musician with radical acquaintances and a secret to protect; and with Georg, the handsome, damaged naval officer who gives Margot a job—and also a reason to question everything she thought she knew about where her true loyalties should lie.
Against the backdrop of one of the most significant events of the century, a delicate web of lies obscures the line between the casualties of war and of the heart, making trust a luxury that no one can afford.
The plot is interesting and the characters are well-fleshed out. Though politics is a backdrop, it isn't overpowering. The mysteries are revealed at exactly the right times, leaving you guessing as long as possible.
Good Moses, what a stupid little twit! It was like watching one of those movies where the heroine is just too stupid to think or do anything for herself and instead of going to others for help, she lies and manipulates and steals and gets herself in even deeper. I absolutely despised Margot and I'm only thankful she's not a real life person and in my personal circle. Yes, she does grow up a little during the book, but by then my hatred for her had developed to the point that I really just didn't care. In fact, there were only two characters in the entire book that I liked as people. Most of them were dirty, wretched people who made me angry that I was reading about them. The bright side to this is that as a writer, Jenoff has definitely evoked a strong reaction in me. I wish it had been more favorable, but even hating characters is better than being apathetic.
Most readers who enjoy drama will enjoy this book. The actual story is good and some of the characters aren't detestable little wretches. It reads quickly and has enough to keep you interested in what's going to happen next. If you're looking for romance, don't bother. Though it's hinted at, it's more of an 'Oh I have a crush on him...Oh now he's professed he loves me' sort of romance. There isn't any actual romance other than they aren't together and then suddenly they might be. The politics were actually the most fascinating part for me and if you've read any of my reviews, you'll know that that's highly unusual for me. I don't do politics, but it's portrayed beautifully here and kept me entertained without too many facts. 3/5
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. Shawn
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