I am not surprised that Coralie’s marriage hasn’t lasted long. Ramon turned out to be a philanderer, so when she learnt he had cheated on her, she kicked him out of the house. Ramon, though, is still around and cares for Noelle as much as always. Coralie is not too heartbroken as we know that she wasn’t in love with Ramon when she agreed to marry him.
A blow that she didn’t expect comes when Henriette Junot returns, and after the presentation of the collection, which is wholly Coralie’s doing, Henriette fires Coralie, claiming that she has allowed her friend Una McBride to get free items, so her supposed debt is quite high, and however much Coralie tells her that Una brings a great deal of business to the company, Henriette won’t listen. So once again Coralie is jobless, but this time she has friends who support her. What she really wants is to buy the Passerinette, the hat shop she has always longed for. The problem is that the woman running it has left when she couldn’t handle the company, and her shop assistant is having medical treatment in a clinic outside Paris. The only thing that Coralie could do is to contact Ottilia, but she doesn’t even have an address. So she tells Una to try to fi nd Ottilia as Una met her once, and in the end Una finally makes the contact, and on Christmas Eve, which is also Noelle’s birthday, and Coralie gets down to the matter at once. She tells Ottilia or Tilly that she wants to take a lease on the shop, and Tilly accepts. I imagine that now that Coralie is going to have her own shop, Henriette Junot is going to have real competition.
Before this happens, Coralie has been helping two Hungarian refugees when Ramon asked her to. Coralie is not very happy to have her apartment invaded by these two men even if the men are pleasant. The two men are musicians, and she comes up with the idea to find them work in one of the clubs. There is a competition in the Rose Noire and those who win will get a contract, so Coralie orchestrates everything for her new friends to play there, and she brings everybody she knows to cheer them and clap. What she didn’t know that there are a band that are part of a band of gangsters, and the night ends up with a fight. There in the club there is a group of British RAF officers, and Coralie notices one of them. When the fight breaks out in the club, she is taken out of the place by one of the soldiers, who kiss her, and she finally discovers that it is Donal, her Irish friend. Donal belongs to a past that Coralie can’t go back to, and even though she longs to know more about back home and it is obvious that she feels attracted to Donal, she has to walk away because she can’t allow her lies to be discovered.
Then we learn that on June 14, 1940, the Germans enter Paris, commandeered by Göring, and he comes with his old friend, Dietrich. The last sentence of the chapter describing Dietrich as a man hungry with revenge makes me fear for Coralie. We know that Dietrich is not really bad deep down, but he has lost what he loved most in life, and he blames Coralie for preventing him from being with his son in his last days. I imagine that sooner or later Coralie and Dietrich will meet, and the problem is that Coralie doesn’t know the grudge he has on her or how long he is ready to go to take his revenge.