The Girl Who Dreamed of Paris 6 (Chapters 9 – 10)



Coralie has her daughter on Christmas Eve, 1937, and she names her Noëlle Una. Things in her marriage are not too good as her husband spends all his money on supporting different political groups, so she is the real breadwinner. Her career is going swimmingly, and she has been appointed the company’s director.

The novel then moves forward in time. It is November 1938, and in Germany Dietrich is in the cemetery with his wife. We learn that his son died a year ago. The boy has been always of a weak constitution, but Hiltrud, Dietrich’s wife, and her father had pushed the boy to join the Nazi camps even though Dietrich hadn’t liked the idea. The letter that Dietrich didn’t get because Coralie had hidden was the one in which Waldo tried to tell his father that he couldn’t go on any longer. The call he got the night he left Coralie was about his son’s death, and it was then he found the letter that Coralie had hidden. I knew that this was the reason why he had left Coralie like that, and now a year after that Dietrich’s thoughts about Coralie are not very warm. His memories show that he still desires her, but he says that if he were to run into her, he would show her how he feels after what she did and prevented him from seeing his son for the last time. I have the feeling that Dietrich and Coralie will meet again, and I’m already afraid for her. Dietrich is not really a bad guy, but his son was clearly very important to him, and Coralie didn’t behave well.

In this chapter we learn that Dietrich doesn’t support the Nazi regime, unlike his wife, his daughter, and his father-in-law who are staunch supporters. Dietrich loathes his father-in-law Ernst, who he blames for poisoning his wife and daughter against him. He thinks that it was Ernst, who made his wife dislike him, pointing at his flaws. In the conversation they have, Ernst tells him that the company belonging to Max von Silberstrom, who I guess is Ottilia’s father, has been aryanised and he has taken over it. Max has fled to Switzerland, and Dietrich doesn’t let his father-in-law enjoy his triumph, and he tells him that Max has taken with him some of the scientific secrets that with all probability he will sell to the Americans, and which he believes will make them lose the war that is about to start.


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