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January 24, 2023

The Three Lives of Alix St Pierre by Natasha Lester ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

An unforgettable and “fascinating tale” of an orphan turned WWII spy turned fashion icon in Paris

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of historical fiction novel The Three Lives of Alix St Pierre by Natasha Lester
January 2023; Forever; 978-1538706930
audio, ebook, print (432 pages); historical fiction

The Three Lives of Alix St Pierre
is not only a historical fiction book about WWII but is so much more -- it's a romance and it's a fantastic look at fashion in Paris and the rise in popularity of Dior as a fashion icon. It's told in three time lines -before, during and after the war.

World War II time line:  Alix is an orphan who has always dreamed of living in Paris.  It's where her parents grew up and she wants to experience that beautiful city.  She's recruited as a spy during the war and works on getting closer to a Nazi soldier who appears to be on the side of the Allies -- or is he actually a double agent?  She tries to help the Italian underground get information that will help them as they try to drive the German troops from their country.  She's involved in a failed mission near the end of the war and when she finds that the person responsible may be living in Paris after the war, she works to bring him to justice.  

After the war, she is offered a job by a new designer in Paris Christian Dior.  He wants to bring glamour back to the women of Paris - and of the world.  Dior's designs were more voluptuous than the boxy, fabric-conserving shapes of the recent World War II styles, influenced by the wartime rationing of fabric.  Working for a new designer in Paris is challenging for Alix and as the head if publicity, it's her job to bring his first fashion show to the eyes of the fashion writers.  Along with her work at Dior, she is trying to find the man who led her friends and the man she loved to an ambush that she was blamed for.  She gets in touch with many of her contacts from her war years and puts herself in extreme danger.  She becomes involved with one of the fashion writers who, it turns out was also a spy in the war so they decided to work together to bring the German traitor to justice.

Alix was a fantastic main character.  She was faced with rampant sexism during her time in the OSS but she faced it and worked hard to prove that she was much stronger than they were giving her credit for.  Even after the war, she continued to face discrimination in her work for Dior but his faith in her helped her to overcome it.  She was a strong and resilient character and knew what she wanted out of life and how to get it.

As usual with Natasha Lester's World War II books, this one was well-researched and it showed in every part of the story.  I especially enjoyed reading about Dior and how his new style was so popular,  I had to spend some time googling many of his earlier clothes after reading descriptions of them in the book.  This book is another winner from Natasha Lester and I highly recommend it.

Susan Roberts grew up in Michigan but loves the laid-back life at her home in the Piedmont area of North Carolina where she is two hours from the beach to the east and the mountains in the west.  She reads almost anything but her favorite genres are Southern Fiction and Historical Fiction.  

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