By Luke Devenish
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Australia
Polly Hartford has only ever known her aunt Marjorie from the letters she has been sending over the years. Aunt Marjorie’s life sounds glamorous, wonderful and so exciting. When Polly turns 16 and her father dies, she is sent across the seas from Australia to France and into the care of Aunt Marjorie. They are aboard a train, first-class carriages no less, and Polly can sense that something is wrong. Why is the cabin door closed? Why is her aunt fidgeting so much? Then all of a sudden, another tragedy unfolds in front of her.
Set in France, April 1940, Polly is thrown into a world where there are many secrets and unanswered questions. She is soon wondering who her aunt really was, why did she give Polly a gun and why has Polly received a strange letter? Who are her Aunt Marjorie’s friends, what secrets are they keeping from Polly and how can they be in such denial of the impending German invasion?
This is a story of four women, with characters as tough as nails, who demonstrate extraordinary courage and conviction whilst remaining committed to the style they are known for and accustomed to.
The author has such a descriptive style of writing, it is easy to imagine these ladies dripping in their finery, jewels, beautiful clothes, and cocktails; their society lifestyle seems wonderful, I would love to visit The Ritz.
This book could very well be made into a movie; Baz Lurhmann would enhance the story, giving such elaborate costumes to the characters and the setting, just imagine the Ritz Hotel.
I commend the author Luke Devenish on a very well written book. Thank you to Beauty and Lace Book Club and Simon & Schuster for the opportunity to read and review such an exciting novel.
A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club members are reading The Heart of the Ritz by Luke Devenish. You can hear what they thought in the comments section below, or contribute to the discussion.