long, complex and beautifully written. i read the first quarter then gave up for lack of time and read the final chapters... but then skipped all through the middle. every voice is different.
loved the countess and her quirky Husband but Lou ? not so much she seemed to be sleep walking through most of the story yet it read well sometimes it got stuck in moral platitudes but not so much I couldn't stomach it.
Very engrossing book. Through the alternating voices of several characters, the author takes the reader into Paris from the late 1920s to just before the end of World War II. Most of the main characters are not sympathetic but I did have sympathy for their difficulties in love, self-identity and making choices in an increasingly dark and brutal country. The only thing I didn't like about the book was the ending, which seemed inadequate.
"As a teenager, athlete and Olympic hopeful Louisianne “Lou” Villars travels to Paris, where she becomes a coat check girl at the infamous Chameleon Club, a cabaret favored by the city's bohemian demimonde, Lou falls in (and out of) love with performer Arlette, eventually achieving notoriety as a cross-dressing professional racecar driver with connections to the Nazi party. Inspired by the subjects of Brassaï's iconic 1932 photograph "Lesbian Couple at the Monocle," Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932, draws on the real-life experiences of Violette Morris and her contemporaries." Historical Fiction May 2014 newsletter http://www.libraryaware.com/996/NewsletterIssues/ViewIssue/e50d3b6d-378e-4915-9d8d-81d97c403015?postId=c0b70f16-386e-48a4-b591-361bd05d1065
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