The French Gift: A Novel of World War II Paris

Morrow. Nov. 2021. 336p. ISBN 9780063045569. pap. $16.99. F
Margot serves as a maid at Villa Sanary, a luxurious vacation home on the French Riviera, where an American heiress has been murdered on Bastille Day in 1939. Framed for the murder, Margot is sent to prison, where she meets Joséphine, who was captured by the Gestapo for her resistance efforts. Both are convicted and sent to a labor camp in Germany, where their friendship helps them get through the horrors of their imprisonment and debilitating work. In the present, Evie and her teenage son Hugo are visiting Villa Sanary, which Evie and her husband inherited from his beloved aunt Joséphine, who became a famous crime novelist after being freed at the end of the war. Now widowed, Evie is tasked with going through Joséphine’s papers and helping Dr. Clément Tazi curate a museum exhibition about Joséphine. Hoping to find a rumored unpublished manuscript, they soon discover further mysteries when they uncover Joséphine’s wartime diary.
VERDICT Manning’s (The Lost Jewels) lush, moving novel connects the past with the present and describes the scents and tastes of France as it tells the intertwined stories of three smart, strong women.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing