The Lost Sister of Fifth Avenue by Ella Carey
New York, 1938: Martha pulled the door of her Fifth Avenue apartment closed, her heart thumping, re-reading the telegram she’d been dreading. Her beloved sister Charlotte needed her help. She was alone in Paris, and the threat of Nazi invasion was growing ever stronger. The time had come for Martha to make the bravest decision of her life. She needed to bring Charlotte home.
As Martha looks out of her bedroom window at the blossom-covered trees in Central Park, she is a world away from Europe and the threat of war. But when a telegram arrives from her sister Charlotte telling of the death of their Jewish friend Anita, Martha’s quiet life changes in an instant. With the threat of the Nazi invasion growing, Martha knows she must travel to Paris to convince Charlotte to return home.
When Martha arrives, she finds a city preparing for war. Soldiers patrol Paris’ cobbled streets and families talk of packing up and fleeing with whatever they can carry. Clutching her sister tightly, Martha knows that Charlotte has already decided to stay. Charlotte’s heart is in France, and as an American in Paris she believes she will be safe.
When the Nazis march through Paris’ streets and raise their flags over the city’s most beautiful buildings, Charlotte is determined not to give in. She works for the Resistance with a Frenchman named Louis, carrying messages, and hiding Anita’s family’s precious art collection from the Nazis. Meanwhile, Martha vows to help a female Jewish professor to safety in America, only to be faced with impossible odds.
But as the war rages, Martha and Charlotte’s determination will be tested like never before. And when Charlotte uncovers a shocking secret about her family which threatens her own life, can she find the strength to protect those she loves the most?
From top ten bestselling author Ella Carey comes an utterly heartbreaking novel about the strength of sisterly love and the courage of the women of the Resistance. Perfect for fans of The Nightingale, All The Light We Cannot See and Fiona Valpy.
|The Lost Sister of Fifth Avenue by Ella Carey - Books-on-tour|
I’ve been enjoying Ella Carey’s historical novels for many years, and it was great to be back in her latest book, The Lost Sister of Fifth Avenue. One of the things that I particularly loved about this book, was the overlap with The Girl from Paris, and the opportunity this gave to revisit some of the characters, as we join another family whose lives are thrown into turmoil by the war and the Occupation in Paris.
This book is a cleverly woven dual time-line novel that slowly reveals the extraordinary stories of Sandrine, Chloe and Anita, from their nursing days during the First World War to their lives and those of their families during the Occupation. From the younger generation, sisters Martha and Charlotte find themselves on different continents, pulled in different directions by their emotions, as Paris prepares itself for war once more. I took to Martha straight away and enjoyed watching her confidence grow throughout the novel. She might have thought Charlotte was the braver and more adventurous one, but for me she showed strength, independence and reliability. She had a lot more to give than she thought and all through the book my wish for her was to find her place of happiness.
Despite growing up in New York, Charlotte has always felt the pull of France and the first thing I felt was her stubbornness as she followed her heart and did all she could for her beloved second home. She takes risks, but through her story I learned more about the mission to hide the artworks of France from the Germans, both the private collections, often from Jewish families who had fled Paris, as well as the collections from the galleries like the Louvre. Charlotte had a determination that made it impossible for her to give up, despite the personal dangers involved and the worry of her father and sister at home.
This was an emotional read, that was heartbreakingly tough in places, but also soft and comforting in others. As with all of Ella’s novels she has a gift for making magic with her characters, plot and location. Her books always bring history to life for me, and I can’t wait for the next one.
If you enjoy historical fiction, with family dramas and hidden secrets, I’m sure you will love this latest read from Ella Carey.
Ella Carey is the international bestselling author of The Things We Don’t Say, Secret Shores, From a Paris Balcony, The House by the Lake, and Paris Time Capsule. Her books have been published in over fourteen languages, in twelve countries, and have been shortlisted for ARRA awards. A Francophile who has long been fascinated by secret histories set in Europe’s entrancing past, Ella has degrees in music, nineteenth-century women’s fiction, and modern European history. She lives in Melbourne with her two children and two Italian greyhounds who are constantly mistaken for whippets.
Ella loves to connect with her readers regularly through her facebook page and on her website.
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