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The Paris Model    by Alexandra Joel order for
Paris Model
by Alexandra Joel
Order:  USA  Can
Harper, 2020 (2020)
Softcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

In The Paris Model, Alexandra Joel gives readers a historical with a strong romantic element, centered on the fashion House of Christian Dior in postwar Paris. The story features a lovely young Australian, Grace Woods, who grew up a tomboy on a vast sheep farm in New South Wales, in a childhood swirling with secrets.

Grace adored a close family friend, Reuben Wood. She named him Siddy, and he called her Princess. She was devastated when he was lost in France during the war, believed dead. Grace married her close friend, Jack Osbourne, after he came back from the fighting, but lived to regret it. This was not a life she wanted.

When opportunity knocked in 1948, Grace left her husband and headed to Paris to work as model Grace Dubois. The story moves back and forth in time and space, between France and Australia, postwar and prewar. In France, Grace tries to find out what happened to Siddy, clinging to the belief that he might still be alive.

In Paris, her Australian directness as well as her beauty, contribute to Grace's success as a model. She meets many of the rich and famous, and befriends Jacqueline Bouvier among others. When a fellow model introduces Grace to her cousin, Philippe Boyer, a good looking journalist (and spy), they fall in love. Philippe introduces Grace to a different side of the City of Light and later enlists her help in a dangerous venture.

That, and the unearthing of secrets from her childhood, threaten Grace's newfound happiness. The Paris Model is a thoroughly engaging read, in which readers can share Grace's success as a model and encounters with celebrities, as well as the mystery of her origins.

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