This fast paced thriller is mainly set in Paris during the dangerous years of German occupation. American Claire Harris has arrived just in time to witness the soul crushing sight of German soldiers marching under the Arc de Troimphe. Claire is a fascinating, mysterious woman, who manages to keep secret her transformation from an Oklahoma dust bowl farmers daughter to the sophisticated trophy wife of a wealthy New York City entrepreneur. Now, as a run-away wife, she has found work as a poor assistant in a famous Parisian flower shop. Needing falsified identity papers, she agrees to take on her most dangerous deception - spy for the French Resistance.
Drawing upon her beauty, charm, and nimble adaptation skills, Claire surrounds herself with diverse 1940s personalities. There is her controlling New York husband, her brutal German officer lover, her female employer and instructor of all things Parisian, her hardened female contact to the French underground, and, above all, the mysterious Englishman in the Resistance who becomes the true love of her life.
Always there is Paris and the Parisians themselves. Some are collaborators, one of whom threatens to betray the Resistance and Claires secret work. Others work with the Resistance. Most simply get by, waiting with courage and determination for the time when their city will be freed. Claire, too, longs for the time when Paris can become the enduringly beautiful city of her dreams.
A Readers Guide with evocative questions included.