Publisher: Penguin Putnam
I gave this book 4 stars.
The story begins in the Paris in 1937, where the main character, Annabelle is attending a farewell party at the Ritz. A good friend of her brother Charles is leaving to go back to America. Annabelle, who is from America also attends the party alone, while her husband is working, and runs into Stefan, the love of her life.
Next we meet Pepper and the year is 1966. Pepper finds herself in a dilemma, she's 9 months pregnant and on the run from the baby's father. Having restored a 1936 Mercedes Special Roadster, she's hoping to sell and use the money to go far away. By selling the car Pepper and Annabelle meet. Annabelle has an attachment to this specific car because years ago she had used it to escape the Nazi's, thus begins the story of Annabelle and Pepper.
Annabelle's story starts in 1935 Paris. She lives with her father and brother after the death of her mother. Her father owns a villa which is where Annabelle happens to meet Johann and Stefan. Johann, who is an army general from Germany is staying at the villa. He is a widower and although several years older than Annabelle, they seem to hit it off. Later the same evening she is summoned by her brother and not asking any questions, follows him to the boathouse where four of his friends are trying to help a wounded man. Annabelle, who has some nursing skills is asked to aid the young man. She takes him back to his yacht, where he is helped by a doctor on board and nursed back to health by her. Here is where she finds out that he is on the run from the Nazi's.
I found the story of Annabelle and her love affairs with both Johann and Stefan to be filled with danger, adventure and sadness. While the story of Annabelle is told in flashbacks, I found the switch from her to Pepper to be awkward, sometimes making it feel like I was reading two different books with not much in common. I usually read mysteries and thrillers and this book in the general fiction genre, which I picked up mistakenly believing to be a mystery, was a new experience for me. It is a beautiful cover to buy in hardcover or paperback and Annabelle's part of the story was really interesting and appealing to me. Thanks for the opportunity to read and review the book.
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Reviewed for MCT by Laurie W.