Set in 1938 Paris, France. The story of Romaine and Florence DuChamps – twin sisters whose lives are thrust into turmoil after a shocking series of events that unfolded in their fathers study eight years earlier. Who killed him? And why? The novel is set in the backdrop of the late 1930s Paris. We are shown both the dismal, dingy, gloomy side of Paris through the eyes of Poker playing, promiscuous, partially alcoholic, but nevertheless talented aviatrix Romaine DuChamps. She is struggling with the guilt of having killed her father with a paper knife eight years earlier and more so having an innocent gardener executed for the crime.
She is wild, fierce and friendly with all sorts of Parisian delinquents. From the flamboyant man who works at the second hand store down the road, to the brooding, dark and mysterious Lèo Martel who runs the airfield where Romy flies her planes secretly into Spain to deliver packages – right in the heat of its Civil war.
Romaine has strong political principles, ethics, morals and values and is long haunted by the events that transpired in the study all those years ago. If only she could recollect what had happened….
We are also introduced to her sister Florence. A diametrically opposed lifestyle living as a socialite in a gorgeous apartment in the heart of Paris. She is married to the powerful and influential Minister in the Ministry of Defence – Roland Roussel. (A man who is seemingly dripping of corruption and questionable behaviour from the onset of the novel) and their gorgeous six year old daughter Chloè who loves her tante Romy more than anything else in the world.
The events that unfold accurately describe a binding link between France and Germany and depicts the way the two countries were on a teetering edge of war. The politics that surround the negotiations are evidently well researched and the names of people and places involved make you feel you have returned to France in a time capsule to watch this happen.
More so, Furnivall relayed extremely well researched knowledge on Airplanes and Jetfighters that existed in those times. It’s palpable to the reader that the information came from a great source and I actually learned a lot from reading it.
Captivating, riveting and historically accurate. The novel involves political events that surprisingly didn’t put me to sleep. The characters are realistic in their courage and bravery – their actions (or non actions) are justified. Furnivall does extremely well in personifying the characters and the ending encapsulates twists and turns that you never could have seen coming – no matter how much you pride yourself on being able to guess the ending of every novel.
I rate the book 4.5/5 an amazing read that I would strongly recommend.