I walk away from this novel very enlightened on the Treaty of Versailles. WWI and its consequences sadly seem to go largely unnoticed in history and in school. Ms. Jenoff does a remarkable job educating while entertaining.
The setting is France. A young woman who'd been rather...coerced into agreeing to marry a man when war hit is trying to postpone her impending marriage by staying with her ambassador father for the conducting of the treaty. She's German in a country that at the moment, hates Germans.
There's so much going on here... there's duty. Does she do her duty because it's the right thing to do or does she follow her heart? Is it wrong to just want to LIVE for a while before typing oneself down? When does doing the right thing really become doing the wrong thing? There's information falling into the wrong hands. Betrayal: the act of committing and the act of being betrayed. There's the after effects of war, how people are treated. There's politics. And above all it's the story of how lies...no matter how small...often have the most dire of consequences.
There's spying, intrigue, romance, and history.
I really enjoyed it thought at times I struggled with the heroine and her decisions. I'd like to have seen her handle some things differently, namely her fiance Stephan, but had t his story not gone the way it did, the moral would not have been as strong.
Wonderful writing. It really planted me in France during the signing of the Treaty. I didn't find the love was all that passionate as in a previous book I read by Jenoff, but I could feel the heroine's guilt and turmoil just pop off the page.
Four bikes. Brace yourself for lots of surprises. And that's hard to do nowadays, what with every plotline being done over and over and over. Ms. Jenoff really pulled this off. I received this from netgalley.