The Traveling Sisters are discussing The Mistress of the Ritz by Melanie Benjamin and highly recommend this story that is now available!
Norma and I along with a few of our Traveling Sisters have finished reading this story and we are excited to share our reviews with you. The discussion is still going on and Lindsay is finishing up. Please check back for Lindsay’s review.
Captivating, affecting, & illuminating!
MISTRESS OF THE RITZ by MELANIE BENJAMIN is an engaging, suspenseful, and hauntingly beautiful historical fiction novel that totally captures something extraordinary here as well as fully capturing my heart. I was immediately taken with this story and found myself totally mesmerized and in awe of MELANIE BENJAMIN’S ability to weave such a fantastic story that is based on real-life people and actual historical events with her own liberties of juicy fictional storytelling.
MELANIE BENJAMIN delivers a vividly descriptive, interesting, and well-written read here with characters and a setting that totally captivated and intrigued me. I was totally taken and fascinated with both Claude and Blanche’s dynamic relationship as well as with their lives spent in the highly acclaimed Hotel Ritz in Paris.
I was thoroughly entertained and enjoyed how this story unfolded right from the very beginning. And I was totally wrapped up in this couple’s relationship and loved the suspense of the unraveling of the secrets and lies.
I read Mistress of the Ritz with a few of our Traveling Sisters and we all really enjoyed this one with us having similar thoughts on it.
An extraordinary real-life American woman, a proper Frenchman and a glamorous iconic hotel.
Mistress of the Ritz explores the lives of brash and reckless real life Blanche and proud Claude Auzello The Mistress and Master of the Ritz. The story starts off slow and it’s all about the characters here. The story delves into their marriage where secrets and lies threaten their marriage along with the Hotel Ritz in Paris. The real-life people and events are the inspiration of this story and Melanie Benjamin skillfully weaves them into the story well giving her own fictional account to the story and characters. She brings vibrant life to the Ritz and what it must have been like hosting the German’s in this beloved hotel.
The second half takes off and I flew through the pages as fast as I could as we see the secrets and lies unfold. I was completing captivated by Blanche and Claude as they learn the truth about each other. My heart was warmed yet broken after reading this one.
Melanie Benjamin wraps up that ending well and brilliantly left us wanting and needing to talk to each other about it. It was nice to be able to share how that ending made me feel and see how it made my TS feel. The Mistress of the Ritz makes for a great choice for a group read and you will want to talk about it. I highly recommend.
The books begins with the couple meeting and showcases the issues in their marriage, their cultural issues and through the use of differing POV, chapters, the reader is given each character’s inner thoughts, motivations and secrets. Some have found the beginning to be slow, but I actually enjoyed the pace. I appreciated how the Author took her time introducing each character and their marital issues. I thought this was nicely done to show how they grew to keep secrets, had misconceptions about the other, lacked effective communication skills and how this affected each other throughout their marriage and especially during a time of great danger. They loved each other, but how well did they know each other? From Debra’s review on Goodreads
Although the book was a tad slow to start as it centered a bit on the marital problems of the Auzellos, I found by the second half that I couldn’t put the book down and was completely immersed in the story. I thought Benjamin did a great job with telling this story, especially since there is so little record about the Auzellos, but Benjamin takes what is known and turns it into an inspiring, captivating read about two people that I’d never heard of in history. The characters really came alive for me in the second half, and the novel was written as smooth as silk. Of course, the Auzellos aren’t the only main characters in the book as I think the Ritz took on a life of its own with the story sweeping and swirling in and around it. For Stephanie’s full review
Cover: Lovely, intriguing, majestic, eye-catching and a fitting representation to storyline.
Title: Appealing, suspenseful, intriguing and absolutely love how the title plays so fittingly into storyline.
Writing/Prose: Well-written, beautiful, fluid, vivid, engaging, and captivating. I totally connected with and absolutely loved MELANIE BENJAMIN’S writing style.
Plot: Haunting, memorable, fascinating, inspiring, suspenseful, perfectly-paced, original, absorbing, enjoyable and entertaining. I absolutely loved that this book was inspired by the real-life couple of Claude and Blanche and the setting of the Ritz. As I thoroughly enjoy books that are based on real life events and people. Knowing that just makes the story that much more appealing, memorable and fascinating to read.
Ending: An exceptional and extremely palpable ending that warmed my heart but also left it a little broken-hearted.
Overall: 4.5 Stars! I was totally captivated by this book and totally taken with these characters and their lives and with the events that happened at the Ritz. A book that I am glad that I took my time with and savoured every single word! Loved this book so much!!!! Would highly recommend!
Thank you so much to Ariel at Wunderkind PR, NetGalley, Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine / Delacorte Press, and Melanie Benjamin for the opportunity to read an electronic ARC of this book.
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