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Friday, November 22, 2019

Review: The Heart of the Ritiz

Title: The Heart of the Ritz
Author: Luke Devenish
Publisher: 1st September 2019 by Simon & Schuster (Australia)
Pages: 400 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: historical fiction, womens fiction
My Rating: 3 crowns

France, April 1940. Orphan Polly Hartford has been sent  across oceans to her Aunt Marjorie, known only from letters. When Marjorie dies in suspicious circumstances, Polly is left with her aunt’s loaded pistol in a beautiful Hermès handbag . . .  and to the care of Marjorie’s three closest friends: an elegant Comtesse, a gutter-born film star and a big-hearted American heiress.
Polly is taken to live at the Hôtel Ritz, where guests and staff believe wealth and prestige protect them from war. But when the Nazis invade, the illusion is shattered. As Paris deteriorates, Polly and her guardians face the horrors of the Occupation with daring, humour, style – even romance – and despite their dangerous secrets, they discover just what they are capable of.
As the Liberation approaches, those who survive at the Ritz must face a day of reckoning, but one truth stands tall: at the heart of the Ritz is the soul of resistance.
My Thoughts

‘The Heart of the Ritz’ is an interesting book taking place in the famous ‘Ritz’ hotel of Paris during the Second World War. Young orphaned Polly arrives from Australia in 1940 to live with her Aunt Majorie. However, the aunt soon dies under somewhat suspicious circumstances, leaving Polly in the care of the aunt’s three favoured friends. 

These new guardians care for Polly at the Ritz hotel but with the German invasion looming large. When Occupation does eventuate and their hope of protection from within the walls of the Ritz evaporates, each has to step up and learn through hardship, what they are capable of. 

This was a well written book, although certain parts - particularly the middle sections - were extremely slow moving and difficult to get through. Sadly it was a struggle, however, the end does redeem the overall story somewhat.

It is always good to read historical fiction that is based on fact in some parts or with relation to certain characters. The Author’s Note at the conclusion of the book is most enlightening. It was also good to read a war tale from a different perspective, that being the hotel itself.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release.

1 comment:

Mystica said...

I like the era and the setting of course. What could be better than the Ritz. Sounds a wonderful look at the War from another angle.