My latest francophile read is The Hotel on Place Vendôme, by Tilar J. Mazzeo. It’s the historical account of life at the Ritz and the people who lived there before the war, during the occupation, and the liberation of Paris.
The chapters are quite short and generally tell one self-contained story. Each chapter is devoted to a different person, from American socialite Laura Mae Corrigan, to brash Ernest Hemingway. During the occupation, the Nazis, resistants, collaborators, and those who remained neutral all shared the same roof. Even the famous Valkerie plot to kill Hitler was hatched here.
The word “ritz” in English is translated as le luxe (luh lux). It’s interesting that the English word that symbolizes all that is luxury was inspired by a French hotel. And if you’re putting on the ritz to celebrate New Year’s Eve, I hope you get to do it in a place that is as mythically beautiful as the famous hotel on the Place Vendôme.