Book Review: The Three Lives of Alix St Pierre by Natasha Lester

About the Book:

Lavish and compelling, this is the story of a young woman trying to forget her devastating part in the war.

1943. After spearheading several successful advertising campaigns in New York, PR wizard Alix St Pierre comes to the attention of the US government and finds herself recruited into a fledgling intelligence organisation.

Enlisted as a spy, Alix is sent to Europe where she is tasked with getting close to a Nazi who might be willing to help the Allied forces – but there’s also the chance he might be a double agent.

1946. Following the war, Alix moves to Paris to run the Service de la Presse for the yet-to-be-launched House of Christian Dior. But when a figure from the war reappears and threatens to destroy her future, Alix realises that only she can right the wrongs of the past and bring him to justice.

This completely enthralling story takes readers from the dangerous, intrigue-filled rooms in Switzerland where elites of both sides mingled and schemed during the war, to the glamorous halls of the House of Dior in the golden age of French fashion and journalism.

Published by Hachette Australia

Released 28th September 2022

My Thoughts:

‘He’s like a Heminway novel – aggressively male and not worth the effort.’

What a quote! I just adore it and not in isolation. This entire novel is sublime. Natasha Lester is an author who is so at ease within her own writing, every new novel is just utter perfection. I feel like this is the novel Natasha has been moving towards for some time now. With all the research she must have done over the years on the roles of women in the years preceding, during, and post WWII, The Three Lives of Alix St Pierre feels like a culmination of it all.

‘There was one brief and shining moment, wasn’t there, when it looked like the world would change. For four years we spied and we worked damn hard and we saved people’s lives and we made a difference and nobody cared too much that we were women. And then it all ended. Went backwards, even.’

Alix St Pierre is a fiercely independent woman, she has had to be, orphaned as a young teenager and absorbed into a male world of espionage as a young adult. She epitomises so many brave and intelligent women who sacrificed so much throughout WWII as spies and military agents. One of the things I loved most about this novel was that we stayed with Alix for the duration. This was not a dual timeline with one foot in the present and one foot in the past, as is Natasha’s usual style. I loved seeing Alix’s character growth over the ten-year period of her life that Natasha has broken this story up into, within three timelines – hence the title, The Three Lives of Alix St Pierre.

‘We make the world possible – but the world makes almost everything impossible for us.’

There’s so much within this novel to enjoy, fashion at the top of the list for me. I love reading about couture and the early years of designing houses. Natasha excels at bringing this to life for the reader. I could picture the gowns without even needing to look them up and I love how she once again highlighted the importance of the fashion industry in post-war Paris.

The Three Lives of Alix St Pierre is also a gorgeous love story, although this aspect doesn’t overshadow the rest of the plot. Rather, it plays out alongside key moments and builds to a crescendo that was all too lovely and very near to heart-breaking. I really loved this latest release by Natasha Lester. Another solid five star read by her and one that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to readers of historical fiction.

Thanks to the publisher for the review copy.

2 thoughts on “Book Review: The Three Lives of Alix St Pierre by Natasha Lester

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