BASED ON THE TRUE STORY of Blanche Auzello, the “Mistress of the Ritz,” who ran the Ritz with her husband and assisted the French Resistance during the Nazi occupation.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR: The Swans of Fifth Avenue (1/16) debuted at #9 on the New York Times bestseller list. The Aviator’s Wife reached #15 and remained on the extended list for three months.
LUXURIOUS SETTING coupled with HARROWING HISTORY: Benjamin’s descriptions of life at the Ritz and Blanche’s myriad celebrity connections are enchanting. But the horrifying history of Nazi-occupied France makes this a profound story of survival.
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“A compelling portrait of a marriage and a nation at war from within…At the glittering height of the twenties and thirties, suave French hotel manager Claude Auzello has turned the Ritz into the jewel of Paris, installing his brash American wife, Blanche, as queen among the movie stars, fashion icons, and crowned heads who make up the hotel guests. But the Auzello marriage is rocked by infidelity and turmoil even as the Nazi shadow rises in Germany, and when the Ritz becomes Third Reich headquarters in occupied Paris, France’s ultimate power couple must decide if they will weather the storm together or crumble under the oppression and brutality of war. High fashion, royal gossip, political scheming, and French Resistance sabotage all swirl together to make Mistress of the Ritz a cocktail as irresistible as anything served at the hotel’s bar!”—Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Alice Network
“No one writes of the complexities of women’s lives and loves like Melanie Benjamin. In Mistress of the Ritz, Benjamin brings wartime Paris brilliantly to life—and brings home the terrible dilemmas and moral conundrums forced upon occupied citizens by the war. Blanche Auzello is a martini-soaked flapper with a heart of steel. Benjamin’s fascinating story brings this forgotten heroine vividly to life without flinching from the high price paid by those who fought back against the Nazi scourge. Intense, illuminating, and ultimately inspiring!”—Elizabeth Letts, New York Times bestselling author of Finding Dorothy
“In Mistress of the Ritz, Melanie Benjamin illuminates the little-known story of Blanche Auzello, the fiery American who, along with her French husband, secretly worked for the French Resistance while hosting senior German officials at their storied hotel. This meticulously researched and richly told story could only have been penned by Melanie Benjamin—already an icon of historical fiction, she has truly outdone herself. Important and inspiring!”—Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Girls of Paris
“This impeccably researched, lyrically told historical about a brash American woman and her French husband during WWII is a remarkable achievement…. Benjamin skillfully weaves in a host of historical figures—including Coco Chanel, alleged to be a Nazi sympathizer, and Ernest Hemingway—whose vibrant presences make Benjamin’s protagonists and engaging group of supporting characters shine all the more. Even readers who aren’t big fans of historical fiction might be swayed by this outstanding tale.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Benjamin’s new novel is a lively portrait of the opulent grand hotel which drew Picasso, Hemingway, Cole Porter—and Hermann Göring.”—Kirkus Reviews
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