As she watched the Nazis murder her father, beautiful, aristocratic Gilberte de Permont made the terrible promise that wouls shatter her innocence and force her to choose between her best friend, American Ann Blakely, and the man both of them loved. From war-torn Paris to New York's chic fashion world, Ann and Gilberte would become women competing for success, fighting for the same man - and sharing a monstrous secret. One of them would realize all her dreams. And one would face the shocking consequences of obsession.
When the Nazis occupied Paris during WW2, schoolfriends and neighbours, Gilberte,daughter of aristocratic French parents, and Anne, born in Paris of American expats, both become tragic victims of this cruel regime. Gilbert survives the war as a raped and tortured victim who lives with a Nazi general and becomes pregnant to him. With her head shaved as a collaborationist, she gives birth to a boy and survives in degradation as a prostitute. Anne was torn between saving herself with the help of Gilberts cousin Quent and staying with her ineffectual parents who dithered about leaving France.After the liberation of Paris, Anne and Gilberte met again with Anne finding medical supplies fot Gilberts baby, Michel.Anne has never forgotten her first lover,Quent but when she doesn't hear from him in some years, assumes that for him, it was just a fling and agrees to marry an American soldier Larry, dashing and fun as a soldier but a loser in civilian life.By lies and deception Gilberte marries Quent and she and Anne begin a successful clothes design company with Larry as the P.R. man. Gilberte however,is convinced that her dying father made her swear to kill the person who betrayed them and also their children.Annes father was unknowingly the cause of Gilbertes parents arrest and so she plots a terrible revenge on the woman she pretends to befriend. This is a tale of vengeance, betrayal and love which survives the terrors of the war years and beyond.
Jacqueline Briskin excels herself in this beautiful tale narrated with such raw clarity that one can almost form a strong kinship with the characters' passions and strifes.
The saga revolves mainly around an deep yet turbolent friendship between Gilberte de Permont, daughter of aristocratic French parents with deep dark secrets forever haunting her life and the bubbly American Anne Blakely. Over a time span of two decades from wartorn, Nazi occupied Paris to England, America and back full circle to their homeland, the author depicts the intimate details surrounding their friendship, their lives and of those who loved them.
Centered in the world of fashion, a rivalry explodes between 2 former best friends over business and the man they love
the story and characters draw you in, and though the synopsis sounds overwrought, the book still works. I really enjoyed it.
A story about friends, the occupation of Paris and revenge.Stockard Channing does a fabulous job at telling the story.I usually do not read/listen to these types of book but this I give 9 stars! Give it a try.