“ONE UNFORGETTABLE SUMMER . . . When Remy discovers she’s mysteriously inherited a house on the French Riviera she drops everything to go there…”
Available August 31, 2021
Natasha Lester worked as a marketing executive for L’Oréal, managing the Maybelline brand, before returning to university to study creative writing. She completed a Master of Creative Arts and has written several novels including A Kiss From Mr. Fitzgerald, Her Mother’s Secret, The Paris Seamstress, The French Photographer, and The Paris Secret.
In her spare time Natasha loves to teach writing, is a sought after public speaker and can often be found playing dress-up with her three children. She lives in Perth.
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The Grateful Reader Review by Dorothy Schwab
An envelope with money, a key, and the title to a villa on the French Riviera.
Natasha Lester’s The Riviera House is the tale of daring women protecting famous artworks since the Nazis are coming for France! It’s 1939, and the Louvre is closing for three days for “essential repair work.” Main character, Eliane Dufort, a student of art history, goes to school and works at the Louvre. Eliane, becomes involved in protecting the art by adding codes on crates of artwork being sent to another smaller museum, the Jeu de Paume, for cataloging and eventually transit. Her brother, Luc, an aspiring artist, and his friend Xavier, also become involved in the plot to save the famous artworks. Natasha Lester provides an excellent character study of brother and sister, and the wealthy friend, Xavier Laurent, whose father owns art galleries in Paris, London, and New York City. According to Xavier, Hitler is “not just seizing nations, he’s destroying their art and culture, too.” Readers learn to distrust both Luc and Xavier, for different reasons. Eliane and the reader fall for Xavier as Natasha Lester, in a time of such fear, gives a very calming and tender description of Xavier’s love for Eliane. Later Xavier appears with Reichsmarshall Goring as a guide at the Louvre and readers are filled with extreme doubt! Who can Eliane trust?
In a dual timeline, Natasha Lester whisks the reader to the grand vistas of the French Riviera, to a breathtaking villa in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. (See below!) At the urging of her best friend Antoinette, Remy Lang has come from Sydney, Australia, to spend three months in France to recover and reassemble her life. In 2015, Remy is a widow of two years, and owner/curator of a vintage fashion business. Remy is in a “coma of agony.” Natasha Lester has a way with the language that speaks to the soul. As Remy navigates her journey of grief NL injects doubt and questioning, so readers are urged to examine their own conscience and come to conclusions. The villa is part of Remy’s inheritance, and her quandary is “How do I have in my possession a painting that Herman Goring stole seventy years ago?” That answer is filled with art history, mystery, and “Wait. What?” moments.
As Xavier says, “Art is all we have when words fail us, mankind fails us, and we fail each other.” Join the throng of Natasha Lester fans, to discover the treasures and uncover the mysteries hidden in The Riviera House.