This is an excellent book. I believe it's the author's debut novel -- hopefully she'll write more.
A fabulous historical ficton set in Paris before, during and after the atrocities of WWII. I was aware before reading the book of the looting of masterpieces but not aware of the extent. Although fiction, much of Houghteling's book is based on facts, and was a book I couldn't put down. She seamlessly blends historical fact with fictional romance and storylines, which kept me captivated. I was so interested in the loss of great art I'll be following up by reading the book The Rape of Europa and watching the documentary.
Max, son of a legendary Paris art dealer, grows up to see WWII change his privileged life to one of hiding and the loss of all the artwork his family owns as the Nazis systematically try to appropriate artwork for art's sake and anything Jewish as a matter of course. One person who stands in the way is the remarkable Rose Clermont, whose story is based on a real person.
Wonderful first novel.
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