Monday 24 April 2023

Review - The Three Lives of Alix St Pierre by Natasha Lester

The Three Lives of Alix St Pierre by Natasha Lester
Publisher: Little Brown Book Group
Release date: 13 April 2023
Back cover blurb: A HIDDEN IDENTITY. A DANGEROUS LIE. A SECRET WAITING TO BE TOLD . . . 1943. War is raging, and after developing a successful propaganda campaign to recruit women into the workforce, Alix finds herself enlisted as a spy in America's fledgling intelligence organization, the Office of Strategic Services. Managing to make it through Vichy France before the Nazis close all borders, Alix is tasked with getting close to a Nazi who might be willing to help the Americans - but there's also a chance he's a double-agent. And then something goes terribly wrong. 1946. Determined to escape her dangerous past, Alix moves to Paris to work as a publicist for the yet-to-be-launched House of Christian Dior. But when a figure from her old life reappears and threatens to jeopardize her future, Alix realizes that she'll need to do something drastic to right the wrongs of the past . . .

Alix St Pierre has always been poor, and has been used to working hard to get what she wants. Orphaned at the age of 13, she is taken in by her best friend Lillie Van Der Meer. The Van Der Meer's live in a world of privilege that Alix knows she must use to her advantage if she is going to survive.

Sent to finishing school with Lillie, the two are separated when Alix travels to Paris. Wanting to stand on her own two feet, and make use of her language skills, Alix secures a job as a junior fashion editor When the second World War breaks out she returns to America and is reunited with Lillie. 

Their reunion is brief as Alix is enlisted in the USA's fledgling intelligence organisation the OSS. Her multilingual skills see her operating as a spy, assisting the Italian partisans. When a mission goes wrong with tragic consequences, Alix blames herself.

Years later, she returns to Paris to work in PR for the newly created house of Christian Dior. She keeps track of the post war trials and is horrified to discover that a face from her past has somehow avoided a jail sentence or worse.

When she receives an anonymous note advising her to leave Paris, she knows that she is in danger, and she knows that he has something to do with it. 

As much as part of her wants to flee back to America, she knows that the key to her forgiving herself for everything that went wrong that fateful night is understanding what really happened. He is one of the only people that can help her with that.

This is a beautifully written historical fiction novel, with a good mix of fictional and real characters. Some good, some not so good, but all of them with a story to tell. It deals with the brutality of war sympathetically, as well as addressing the injustices that many faced post war. Highly recommended.

The Three Lives of Alix St Pierre is available to buy now via Amazon online and all good book shops.

Thank You to the publishers who approved my request via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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