A Parisian flat that has been untouched for over 70 years is the inspiration for this story. The owner left Paris for the south of France before the outbreak of WWII, never to return again. The apartment, miraculously in tact, unscathed from the war and thieves, quietly lay in waiting and gathering almost a century's worth of dust.
There is a further twist, there was a painting of a lady in pink, and love letters tied with coloured ribbons amongst the items inventoried. The painting is believed to be Ms. de Florian's grandmother, Marthe, a beautiful French actress and socialite. It is thought that she is the artist Giovanni Boldini's muse.
Richman's fictitious tale of the events of the apartment's occupants is told by Marthe de Florian, and her granddaughter, Solange in alternating points of view. Their relationship develops through the novel as we shift in time from the past, starting in 1888, and what is present day, 1938.
A must read! This book would be an excellent choice for a book club.