Mistress of the Ritz (Hardcover)

A Novel

By Melanie Benjamin

Delacorte Press, 9780399182242, 400pp.

Publication Date: May 21, 2019

List Price: 28.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Description

A captivating novel based on the story of the extraordinary real-life American woman who secretly worked for the French Resistance during World War II—while playing hostess to the invading Germans at the iconic Hôtel Ritz in Paris—from the New York Times bestselling author of The Aviator's Wife and The Swans of Fifth Avenue.

Nothing bad can happen at the Ritz; inside its gilded walls every woman looks beautiful, every man appears witty. Favored guests like Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Coco Chanel, and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor walk through its famous doors, where they’re welcomed and pampered by Blanche Auzello and her husband, Claude, the director. The Auzellos are the mistress and master of the Ritz, allowing the glamor and glitz to take their mind off their troubled marriage, and off the secrets that they keep from their guests—and each other.

Until June 1940, when the German army sweeps into Paris, setting up headquarters at the Ritz. Suddenly, with the likes of Hermann Goëring moving into suites once occupied by royalty, Blanche and Claude must navigate a terrifying new reality. One that entails even more secrets. One that may destroy the tempestuous marriage between this beautiful, reckless American and her very proper Frenchman. For the falsehoods they tell to survive, and to strike a blow against their Nazi “guests,” spin a web of deceit that ensnares everything and everyone they cherish.

But one secret is shared between Blanche and Claude alone—the secret that, in the end, threatens to imperil both of their lives, and to bring down the legendary Ritz itself.

Based on true events, Mistress of the Ritz is a taut tale of suspense wrapped up in a love story for the ages, the inspiring story of a woman and a man who discover the best in each other amid the turbulence of war.


About the Author

Melanie Benjamin is the New York Times bestselling author of The Girls in the Picture, The Swans of Fifth Avenue, The Aviator’s Wife, The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb, and Alice I Have Been. Benjamin lives in Chicago, where she is at work on her next historical novel.


Praise For Mistress of the Ritz: A Novel

Praise for Melanie Benjamin’s The Girls in the Picture
 
“Benjamin has a flair for historical fiction about women’s lives. . . . A rich exploration of two Hollywood friends who shaped the movies.”—USA Today
 
“A boffo production.”—NPR
 
“Riveting . . . a star-studded story of female friendship, creative sparks about to ignite, and the power of women.”—Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You and Cruel Beautiful World