The Three Lives of Alix St. Pierre
by Natasha Lester
Release Date: January 10, 2023
Reviewed by PJ
Alix St. Pierre. An unforgettable name for an unforgettable woman. She grew up surrounded by Hollywood glamor, but, as an orphan, never truly felt part of that world. In 1943, with WWII raging and men headed overseas to fight, she lands a publicity job to recruit women into the workforce. Her skills—persuasion, daring, quick-witted under pressure—catch the attention of the U.S. government and she finds herself with an even bigger assignment: sent to Switzerland as a spy. Soon Alix is on the precipice of something big, very big. But how far can she trust her German informant…?
After an Allied victory that didn’t come nearly soon enough, Alix moves to Paris, ready to immerse herself in a new position as director of publicity for the yet-to-be-launched House of Dior. In the glamorous halls of the French fashion house, she can nearly forget everything she lost and the dangerous secret she carries. But when a figure from the war reappears and threatens to destroy her future, Alix realizes that only she can right the wrongs of the past …and finally find justice.
The Three Lives of Alix St. Pierre is one of those books that wrapped me up in its story and refused to let go. This one kept me eagerly reading way past my bedtime.
Told during three timelines before, during, and following WWII, Natasha Lester has created a compulsively readable journey of one unforgettable woman. Centered within the Paris fashion industry, WWII fighting, and the unique position of women of that day, it's a story that's compelling, evocative, poignant, suspenseful, and empowering. A tale I won't soon forget.
I enjoyed the method Lester used to tell this story, moving from Alix's present to past to present, divulging bits and pieces of this complex character each time until a full picture of her life began to emerge. It was an interesting and successful way to get to know and understand her, without the proverbial info dump. I don't always enjoy time hops but in Lester's hands it worked exceptionally well.
I loved all of the layers within the characters Lester created. Not only Alix but secondary characters as well. She brought them to life vividly, easily pulling me into their lives and eliciting a range of emotions within me. They were so realistic that, with real people (Christian Dior, for one) woven into the fictional fabric of the book, it was all too easy to believe that they all actually lived during that time, that all of the events in the book actually happened.
This was my first book by Natasha Lester but it sure won't be my last. I've already purchased her earlier novel, The Rivera House, and will be watching for any future books to come.