The Paris Secret | Natasha Lester
Reading a book goes beyond simply the story.
Yes, the words are key, but it’s the wonderful weight of these words that distils the essence — and it is this that speaks to me. A delicious aural hum from within, extending all the way to my periphery and delivering pure joy, no matter the subject.
It is an invitation 一 a beautiful bienvenue.
It’s the kind of solace that only books can gift. A marvellous, guilt-free escape. A soul salve when nothing else is.
Reminiscent of my original 2001 business slogan 一 “brownskin…painting a picture with words,” The Paris Secret does this with aplomb! Natasha Lester beautifully weaves words that paint a picture rich in lasting reader response.
This story is an insight into the lives of a group of women pilots during the second world war. The friendships, the camaraderie, the love. It is also a love story that lasts a lifetime. And despite the air of pervasive gloom and cruel unfairness, there is a kind of hope-in-hell tenacity that not only warms but powers one’s heart.
The staunch spirit of these women ー of the human spirit, amidst hellish inhumanity, is fierce, soul-tearing, mesmerising and utterly heart-wrenching. This spirit is entrenched in the decision to live 一 and the practical steps to ensure it. One small thing, each day to be “the currents of air, holding one another up, keeping each other alive”.
In the dark depths of this time, my mind’s paint-palette takes flight, (pun intended), into the full spectrum of colour, making Lester’s words bright and hopeful and filled with pure joy!
It is more than simply seeing these protagonists’ lives in full swing. What holds my attention, is that they continue to wholeheartedly engage in living, even when everything around them gives them fair reason to not want to continue!
I am fed and fuelled with hope 一 as well as an ensuing excitement for my life, thanks to Skye and Kat and Margaux, to name a few. I am in awe of these fictional characters who carry the hearts of the real women whom they represent. I am buoyed by their chutzpah, their determination, their dreams, their fears and the way that they love.
And I am thankful and honoured to have made their acquaintance.
I’d never, before, been aware of the historical fiction genre. I had probably shunned it in my formative years, because history and war are not, intrinsically, my jam. So I am really pleased that 2021 has continued to, intuitively lead me to this genre, making The Paris Secret the fourth book in my historical fiction climb.
What is also simply delightful, is that Natasha Lester is an Australian author ー one, of a few more, who has crossed my book-feasting vision, this year!
Addendum: It is quite apt that I unintentionally chose to submit this book synopsis, alongside the launch of The CBR Gals Network’s official book club — Gals, Becoming! Thursday, 29 April, marked our inaugural meet-up to discuss Yumiko Kadota’s Emotional Female — and it was stellar!
Join us for our next one on Wednesday, 23 June at Highball Express, from 6-8pm.
We’re delving into American author, Michelle Obama’s Becoming. It is set to be another juicy session brimming with FUN!