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Publisher's Summary

From the New York Times best-selling author of The Paris Orphan comes an unforgettable historical novel about a secret collection of Dior gowns that ties back to the first female pilots of WWII and a heartbreaking story of love and sacrifice.

England, 1939: The Penrose sisters couldn't be more different. Skye is a daring and brash pilot, and Liberty is the one to defy her at every turn. Even if women aren't allowed in the Royal Air Force, Skye is determined to help the war effort. She's thrilled when it reunites her with her childhood soul mate, Nicholas. She's less thrilled to learn Nicholas is now engaged to an enigmatic Frenchwoman named Margaux Jourdan. 

Paris, 1947: Designer Christian Dior unveils his glamorous first collection to a world weary of war and grief. He names his debut fragrance Miss Dior in tribute to his beloved sister, Catherine, who forged a friendship with Skye and Margaux through her work with the French Resistance.

Present day: Fashion conservator Kat Jourdan discovers a priceless collection of Dior gowns in her grandmother's vacant cottage. As she delves into the mystery of their origin, Kat begins to doubt everything she thought she knew about her beloved grandmother.

©2020 Natasha Lester (P)2020 Forever

Critic Reviews

"Sweeping romances, daring wartime exploits, and haute couture combine in this thrilling tale of love, loss and mystery during the Second World War. In Margaux, Skye and Liberty, Natasha Lester showcases the unforgettable strength of women who served in England and France, bringing to life the voices of those lost in the fog of war. And the fashion...need I say more?" (Bryn Turnbull, author of The Woman Before Wallis

"A sweeping family saga written in elegant, evocative prose that is as carefully stitched together as a couture gown. Meticulous attention to period details, impeccable plotting, and rich characterization will delight fans of Kate Morton or anyone in need of a gorgeously wrought ... tale of love, loss, courage, and compassion." (Booklist, starred review)

"Lester's magnetic characters, lyrical writing, and extensive historical research breathe life into this riveting tale. This is a stunner." (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

What listeners say about The Paris Secret

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AMAZING!

I LOVED this book! Such a beautiful story, I couldn't stop listening! I literally laughed out loud and cried in equal amounts throughout, never boring or lost my interest. The narrator was perfect, I couldn't say enough good things about this one! Thank you Natasha Lester for a fantastic, unforgettable WWII novel!

26 people found this helpful

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Flight girls of WWII

Wonderful narrative with well developed characters. Enjoyed following Sky and Nicolas’s carefree days of living in Cornwall to the harsh realities of WWII. The narration was excellent!

18 people found this helpful

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Interesting

Interesting story, a bit too much love story and not enough Dior history for me. But I read it right through so I did enjoy it.

14 people found this helpful

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Exciting, interesting and heartbreaking.

The characters were so real. They had real struggles, triumphs, loves and loss. Very transforming.

11 people found this helpful

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Loved this!!

Twisting story of lovers separated by war. Loved the input of the Dior dresses!! Listen well!!

10 people found this helpful

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this is a great book,

I recommend it, the story line is interesting, i did not want to put it dow.

8 people found this helpful

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Tears of Joy....

through a life filled with pain from loss. by far the best. it's gripping and keeps you guessing. just when you think you've figured it out another piece of the puzzle is added.

7 people found this helpful

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Excellent story!

I absolutely loved this book. I fell in love with the characters and was so sad when the book ended. I wanted more.

6 people found this helpful

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  • 08-06-21

Tragic Love Story

The Paris Secret was the first book by Natasha Lester that I have read. Ultimately it is historical fiction with a unique perspective, concentrating on the achievements, bravery, and sacrifices made by women during WWII. Ultimately it is a romance, a tragic love story created by misunderstanding, bureaucracy, lies, and secrets, set to the backdrop of the horrors and loss of WWII. The story actually shifts back and forth between 2012 and a period starting in the 1930s, running through WWII and then into post-war Europe. In the modern-day, the story follows Cat, a young Australian woman, and fashion historian, going through a divorce. Cat finds herself involved in investigating a mystery involving her grandmother’s actions during WWII.

The majority of the book follows two sisters as they grow up in England, their activities during WWII, and finally their future. The sections of the story revolving around WWII and flying were the most enjoyable to me, but I also liked the insight into the Special Operations Executive. I liked Skye and it was very interesting reading and learning more about the ATA and the bravery of the women who supported the war. Her sister Liberty is not as likable but the story hints that there is something more to Liberty.

On the downside, there were some annoying historical inconsistencies and issues associated with aspects of aviation. There were a few gaps and factual issues in the storyline that did not make sense. From my perspective, the story devoted too much attention to romance and longing for love, with too little effort spent dedicated to the history and achievements of women during WWII. The narration by Penelope Rawlins and Melle Stewart was very good. For me, this was a good story, but not great. Somewhere between 3 and 4 stars. I found that it dragged a bit, but the ending was very good. Readers who love romance will likely enjoy it more than I did.

3 people found this helpful

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Amazing!

My dad was an Austrian who escaped to the US in 1938 after the Nazis invaded Austria. He was drafted into German army, escaped to the US and ultimately became a spy for the US in the OSS. This book so affected me. After reading this book and many others about WWII I have so many questions I wish I could ask my father, and my mother who was a Red Cross girl in Europe. Sadly they have both passed. I am so grateful that many of these stories are being told. Thanks you for this book!

3 people found this helpful