The Girl Who Dreamed of Paris 10 (Chapters 19 – 25)

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SPOILERS!!!

The plan to help Ottilia escape goes awry, and Coralie fears the worst when she sees Dietrich appear. Yet, she is wrong to fear him as he eventually helps her. It is the Gestapo, who appears, but Dietrich is able to get Ottilia out of the place as well as Coralie. Later when Coralie is safe in Ottilia’s old apartment, who Dietrich is now living in, he tells her that it was Mantel, the owner of the club, who betrayed her, calling the Gestapo. Now Mantel knows that Coralie is English and she has been involved with Ottilia. However, Dietrich has sent Ottilia to safety, but he won’t tell Coralie where she is.

Dietrich also talks about his pain and tries to explain the reason why he left years ago, but as he is about to speak, they are interrupted by someone bringing some food for Coralie, and Dietrich leaves. Despite her worries, Coralie sleeps like a log, and when she wakes up, she gets a note from Dietrich, asking her to meet him at eight before he leaves Paris, but unfortunately, Coralie has woken four hours later.

Time goes by as Coralie gets busy in her shop, serving French women and German officer’s wives alike. She hasn’t heard from Dietrich, and as for Ramon, she knows he is living with a new mistress called Julie. Coralie wonders if this Julie is her former nanny, but Ramon always changes the subject when she asks. Then one day Martel visits her in the hat shop, threatening to take her little girl if she doesn’t give him information about Dietrich, who he tells her is back in Paris. He also hints that he is in a relationship with someone who is also called Julie.

Coralie is very scared not only for Dietrich, who she wants to find, but also for Ramon, who is an anarchist. So he sends word to Ramon to meet her, and that day Teddie turns up in her shop with Noëlle and her nanny, inviting her to lunch. Coralie accepts the invitation, and while they are having lunch, Dietrich appears and greets Teddie, who asks him to sit with them. Coralie uses this moment to write a message to Dietrich and secretly puts it in his hand. So after lunch he walks her and Noëlle back home. Once in the house Coralie tells him about Martel and his threats, but once again Dietrich says he won’t leave until he tells her the pain she caused her all these years ago. So they walk into the house to find Ramon. Coralie asks Dietrich to wait in the living room while she takes Ramon to the kitchen. There she tells him about Martel, and Ramon confirms that the woman he was living with is Julie, the nanny, but she left her for Martel, apparently because Ramón called Coralie’s name when he was with her. Ramon says that it is Julie that has betrayed her and she should be careful and avoid Julie at all costs. Coralie doesn’t understand how Julie could act like this when she only showed her kindness. I imagine that Julie is just jealous of her success with men, and I think she envies her child – didn’t she once say that she was Noëlle’s second mother?

Ramon is not coming back as he thinks he is not safe in Paris. When he leaves, Coralie finds Dietrich alone in the living room. Noëlle is nowhere to be found, and Dietrich tells her that she went to find her. Coralie looks for her everywhere, and then they go out of the apartment to find her. Coralie is frantic with worry as they go to all the places Noëlle might have gone, and she is nowhere.  She fears Martel might have taken her like he threatened to do so. Dietrich tries to appease her, and they eventually return to the apartment, and in their second search they find the little girl hiding in a cupboard. What a relief!!! I was also so scared.

When Noëlle falls asleep, Coralie and Dietrich finally have their outstanding conversation. Dietrich tells him that in the minutes she thought Noëlle was gone, she surely understood what he must have felt when his son died. He confesses that he came back to hurt her because he feels that she was responsible for Waldo’s death. Coralie tries to make her understand that it was Brownlow, the servant, who manipulated her, leaving the letter there because he knew she was jealous of any interference in their relationship. The conversation is very passionate, and Coralie even confesses that she still loves her, and although Dietrich wants to hate her, he can’t, and they eventually become lovers again.

Coralie moves to the apartment above the one that belonged to Ottilia, where Dietrich lives. Noëlle is now four, and she hardly remembers her daddy Ramon, and she is very fond of her uncle Dietrich. Coralie is busy with her hat shop, and the new collection she is launching. I am still afraid for Coralie. Many of her customers are German, and her lover is a German officer, and she might be seen as a Germany sympathizer when Paris gets liberated, and we know that many women who were believed to be sympathisers suffered humiliations, were beaten and even raped. So I am scared about what will happen to Coralie and Dietrich after the war.

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