Welcome to the seventh meeting of The Grown-Up Girls Report Book Club! I hope that kettle is boiling – because you are going to need a caffeine boost for this week’s book.

My great friend Mandy!! x

A big hello to our new friends. So lovely to have you on board. If you have just discovered us then you’ll soon deduce that we are undertaking an intense reading challenge until life resumes to ‘normal’. We have been reading a book a week for the last 7 weeks and we still have a few to go till we get to our target of reaching the end of June!

The Grown-Up Girls ‘virtual’ book club is all about getting us grown up girls back into reading while we self-isolate. BC- before children – I used to love reading but the busyness of raising 4 boys and juggling work unfortunately, put that fire out. One of the silver linings of the COVID-19 Pandemic is time – so let’s use it to read!

Our book of the week is The Paris Secret by Aussie author Natasha Lester and I am joined by my good friend and author Mandy Newman to workshop this wonderful book.

About the Author

Natasha Lester worked as a marketing executive at Maybelline and L’Oreal before returning to university to study creative writing. She completed a Master of Creative Arts as well as her first novel, What Is Left Over, After, which won the T.A.G. Hungerford Award for Fiction. Her second novel, If I Should Lose You, was published in 2012, followed by A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald in 2016, Her Mother’s Secret in 2017 and the Top 10 Australian and international bestsellers The Paris Seamstress in 2018 and The French Photographer in 2019. 

The Age described Natasha as ‘a remarkable Australian talent’ and her work has been published in numerous anthologies and journals. She has also had several books on The New York Times Bestseller list.

Natasha is an absolute doll on social media and has a very loyal fan base.

Why Alex chose it and Mandy read it?

Alex read The Paris Seamstress – one of Natasha’s previous books and was completely enchanted! Natasha’s books are always the top of reading lists and she has also had several of her titles on The New York Times Best Seller List!

Natasha has the ability to take ‘historical events people thought they knew about and retell them from the perspective of someone unexpected or overlooked; – very much like one of the characters from this novel, Elliot Beaufort.She blends fact with fiction to tell remarkable stories.

She is committed to telling the untold stories of women in history and doesn’t shy away from the injustices and misogyny they experienced.

Why You Should Read It

The Paris Secret is a story of strong women during war time and the present day. It is a story of love, bravery, war and female empowerment. It has a dual timeline: around WW2 and the present day and it is told from multiple perspectives.

The Paris Secret follows the story of Skye from a childhood spent in idyllic Cornwall to years spent in Paris all the way through to WW2 as one of the first female pilots flying planes to help with the war effort in England. Caught up in her story is an incomparable love between her and her childhood friend Nicholas and the battle she constantly has to have to fly planes as a women plus the constant problems she has with her younger sister Liberty.

This is a magnificent read that will sweep you up into a wonderful story of love and intrigue. It also has a dash of glamour with the 65 Dior gowns that are littered throughout the pages. But, most importantly – it commits to telling the untold stories of women during war – the personal sacrifices and hardships they made to defend their country.

Alex and Mandy both adored this book. It made them cry and feel deeply! It comes with a highly recommend!

You can listen to the podcast via your favourite podcast app, or by clicking on the link below.

Thanks so much for being part of our book club!

Alex xx