Mistress of the Ritz
Book Review - Mistress of the Ritz by Melanie Benjamin
Join me on May 29 at 7pm at the St. Louis County Library Headquarters as I interview Melanie Benjamin about her latest novel, Mistress of the Ritz. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. Seating is limited; early arrival is highly recommended. Books for signing will be available for purchase at the events. For more information, click here.
The first book I read by Melanie Benjamin was The Swans of Fifth Avenue. I loved that book. There was a quote that has stuck with me for years, and has since inspired the way I try to live my life. It goes like this, “I admire that- I think that's the epitome of living, to be able to create art out of your life.” It still speaks to me, even as I type it out now, and makes me stop to think what exactly that means to me and how it might play out in my life. Gosh I love that book.
Fast-forward three years, I get an email from the St. Louis County Library asking if I’d like to interview Melanie Benjamin in an on-stage conversation at the end of the month. I didn’t think twice before I replied, in all caps, YES! I received an advance copy of the book, which is about Blanche and Claude Auzello, the manager and mistress of the Ritz in Paris during WWII. Imagine a Frenchman and his wife having to run a hotel filled with Nazis. How would you handle that situation?
This book broke my heart, especially at the end. Melanie did a phenomenal job bringing these complex characters to life. From the moment these two met, their whirlwind romance, and unconventional marriage…Blanche and Claude led incredible lives, together but separate. I’m just so intrigued by them. I have a feeling this is a book I’ll be thinking about long after I’ve turned the last page.