From the roaring 1920s to the ruinous Spanish Civil War and Adolf Hitler's rise into power, the lives of an Irish schoolteacher, a provocative heiress and her Spanish muse are intricately interlaced, sharing the same destiny and passion.
On a rainy night in 1933, the young, rebellious and provocative heiress of a French champagne magnate, Gilda Bessé, storms into the quiet life of the timid Oxford undergraduate, Guy Malyon, taking him by surprise. And before he knows it, Guy is love-smitten, and taken in the Parisian apartment of the now famous photographer, Gilda, living under the same roof with her muse and Spanish political idealist, Mia. However, as Spain gradually succumbs to the Nationalists, Mia and Guy's commitment to the cause of the Spanish Republic will threaten to break up their bohemian and almost idyllic coexistence. In the end, as Adolf Hitler rises into power, can a war-torn Europe separate the three companions forever?Written by
Charlize is terrific. And as if that wasn't enough, there's Penelope too! The story addresses many aspects of the times and places in which it takes place, particularly nazi occupied Paris. Themes of sexuality, expanded definitions of relationships between lovers, loyalty, duty to humanity, futility of war, art, decadence...
The big question it poses is when is it time for an individual recognize the horror taking place in their world and to put aside their personal comfort and sacrifice themselves in resistance to a greater evil? One living in the world's current superpower might be asking themselves such a thing these days.
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