Natasha Lester is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of historical fiction.
Her new novel THE PARIS SECRET is out now in Australia and will be published in the US and the UK later in 2020. Her other books, THE FRENCH PHOTOGRAPHER / THE PARIS ORPHAN, THE PARIS SEAMSTRESS, A KISS FROM MR FITZGERALD and HER MOTHER’S SECRET are also available from all good bookshops.
The Paris Secret
“A wardrobe of Dior gowns, a secret kept for sixty-five years, and the three women bound forever by war … from the New York Times bestselling author of The French Photographer
England, 1939: Talented pilot Skye Penrose joins the war effort where she encounters her estranged sister, Liberty, and childhood soulmate Nicholas Crawford, now engaged to enigmatic Frenchwoman Margaux Jourdan. Paris, 1947: Designer Christian Dior unveils his extravagant first collection to a world weary of war and grief. He names his debut fragrance, Miss Dior, in tribute to his sister, Catherine, who worked for the French Resistance. Present day: Australian fashion conservator Kat Jourdan discovers a secret wardrobe filled with priceless Dior gowns in her grandmother’s vacant cottage. As she delves into the mystery, Kat begins to doubt everything she thought she knew about her beloved grandmother.An unspeakable betrayal will entwine all of their fates. The Paris Secret is an unforgettable story about the lengths people go to protect one another, and a love that, despite everything, lasts a lifetime. “
The Grateful Reader Review by Dorothy Schwab
Captivating characters. Breathtaking, emotional relationships developed in the innocence of childhood and others wrapped in the arms of a devastating war. The novel opens in Cornwall, England in 1928, with young, adventurous Skye and sister “in the house” Liberty, more often than not, at odds with each other, kicking and fighting! Their mother, Vanessa Penrose, with a devil-may-care attitude, is loved by both girls. Vanessa is a pioneer in her own right and loves to fly-even trying to set records. Readers are buoyed along the beaches of Porthleven with Skye and her friend, Nicholas; collecting cowrie shells, floating in caves or exploring lost gardens finding adventures on rope bridges! All simply exhilarating until the idyllic childhood ends and Skye & Liberty – following Vanessa’s footsteps, are sunk into the quagmire of women becoming pilots and clawing through the red tape of the WAAF-Women’s Auxiliary Air Force and the SOE-Special Operations Executive. This triple timeline moves from England, 1939 to Paris, 1947 and the unveiling of Christian Dior’s first collection. The world has known and admired Dior’s designs and creativity for decades; but his sister, Catherine, is the real heroine of the French Resistance. Catherine is superbly intertwined with Skye and Liberty as the war’s scarring memories have a life long impact on the sisters- and eventually, Kat Jourdan, a granddaughter. Natasha Lester brings the family saga full circle as present day, Kat, a fashion conservator, discovers a priceless collection of 65 Christian Dior dresses in a cottage in Cornwall. Readers will appreciate the depth of research into the WAAF, the Resistance, and struggles of the female pilots to actually fly and make a difference in the war. Natasha Lester’s background in fashion really shines through in her descriptions of the Dior gowns as Kat begins to wear them for meetings and rendezvous!
Plot “pattern pieces:” Dior gowns, sisters at odds, concentration camps, stolen identities, most of all a love story spanning decades. These pattern pieces are designed and stitched together to create a dream novel worthy of a Dior tag and definitely one for your collection!