I just finished an excellent book this past weekend and highly recommend it!
Riviera House is a striking work of historical fiction penned by the talented Natasha Lester, who masterfully intertwines art, love, and war in a tale of intrigue set in both wartime Paris and the present day. Lester’s keen attention to detail and ability to weave together two different narratives captivates the reader from the start and holds their interest until the very last page.
The plot follows two main storylines: one set in wartime Paris, detailing the life of Remy, a young woman volunteering at the Louvre who comes in contact with the Nazi’s deplorable looting of art; the other in present-day Paris, focusing on the ambitious art curator, Leah, who stumbles upon the critical information about her familial past. As the two narratives – separated by decades – begin to intertwine, the reader discovers how the echoes of the past resonate in the present and shape both Remy’s and Leah’s lives.
The characters in Riviera House are richly developed and leap off the page, engaging the reader’s imagination as they navigate love, loss, and sacrifice in both war-torn Paris and contemporary France. The main characters – Remy and Leah – are resourceful, brave, and independent, showcasing the resilience of their spirits and refusing to back down in the face of adversity. The pacing of the novel is well-executed, balancing the shifting timelines and balancing suspense and revelation effectively.
Lester’s writing style is both lush and evocative, painting a vivid picture of the world her characters inhabit. The historical details feel well-researched and authentic, and the emotive prose leaves a lasting impact on the reader. The use of themes such as love, sacrifice, and the power of art adds depth to the story and serves to heighten the emotional stakes for these characters. Additionally, motifs such as art restoration and familial secrets help to tie the two narratives together, enriching the overall experience of the novel.
One particularly striking aspect of Lester’s work in Riviera House is how seamlessly she interweaves the novel’s dual narratives. The story’s structure provides a complex and layered reading experience, revealing the profound impact that choices and events from both the past and the present have on the lives of the characters. This intricate plot construction serves to enhance the book’s emotional depth and amplifies the compelling nature of the story.
In conclusion, Natasha Lester’s Riviera House stands as a testament to the power of love, the resilience of the human spirit, and the inimitable importance of art. Her captivating characters, engaging themes and motifs, and fascinating dual narrative construct a compelling and thought-provoking read that I wholeheartedly recommend to fans of historical fiction and those who simply want to get lost in an exceptional story. From the glamorous world of the French Riviera to the dark days of World War II, this exquisite novel will stay with you long after the last page has been turned.
I’ve also read A Paris Secret and it was equally exceptional. 🙂