The Girl Who Dreamed of Paris 11 (Chapters 25 – 28)

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SPOILERS!!!

Coralie’s life changes once again. The trigger comes from Serge Martel and Julie, her former nanny. During the launch of her spring collection, Martel and Julie come, and he makes a comment about Dachterrasse, which Coralie has no idea what it is. When she tells Dietrich, he tells her that he and she are in danger and makes her take a pill in case the Gestapo arrest them. Then they go to Martel’s club, and there is a confrontation between Martel and Julie and Coralie and Dietrich. The Gestapo are there, and Dietrich skilfully informs them that Martel has accused him, a man loyal to the German nation, of plotting against Hitler, and when the Gestapo questions Martel, he backs down, saying that Julie just repeated something that she misinterpreted, and even though the girl keeps claiming that her fiancé told him that Dietrich planned to kill Hitler, Martel lets her down. Then Julie accuses Coralie of being a spy, and she produces a betting ticket from the only day she went to the races. Julie found it in a handbag that she took from Coralie. Thankfully, Dietrich is quick to react and tells the Gestapo that Coralie was there as his guest, and when the men question Coralie, she manages to answer the questions satisfactorily, and then Julie is arrested.

Back in the apartment Dietrich and Coralie are with Kurt, Dietrich’s most trusted friend and his wife. There Coralie discovers that Dietrich is part of a circle who plan to assassinate Hitler. The group is called the Dachterrasse Circle, and that is why Martel mentioned the name to Coralie. What they realise now is that someone must have told on them, and as Coralie muses, she plays with the idea that Teddy might be the spy, and despite her feelings, she tells Kurt and Dietrich. The next thing she knows, Kurt and Dietrich have left to find Teddie, and Coralie regrets having told them, so she tries to call Teddie to warn him, but to her shock she hears Dietrich voice at the other end of the line.

Feeling herself and Noëlle in danger, Coralie takes her daughter out, and then she gets help from the last person she could ask, Henriette Junot. The woman first refuses, but when Coralie begs her and tells her to think of Ramon, Henriette caves in and gives her the key to an apartment of hers where Coralie starts living from then on. The following day Una tells her that Dietrich was there to leave a message for her. He is leaving Paris, and he tells her that it is better for them to part ways and how her betrayal hurt him. Coralie is miserable after this episode because she does love him. I find their relationship quite interesting. It is obvious that they are crazy for each other, but then politics and the war separate them intellectually. I don’t think Dietrich trusts her much, especially after this new lie, and Coralie doesn’t really know his loyalties and beliefs. He is a German officer who doesn’t believe in what his nation is doing, but I think that Coralie doesn’t know where his loyalties lie. Does he believe in the supremacy of Germany? Does he think the war is justified? Which policies does he support and which ones does he refuse? Coralie doesn’t really know, and I think that deep down she knows that being with him is a danger for herself and her daughter.

After Dietrich leaves, Coralie tries to find out what happened to Teddy, but nobody knows a thing. Then the Nazis and the Vichy government impose new rules for the Jews, and Jeanne Thomas and Amelie Ginsler, who work for Coralie and are Jews, have to wear a David’s star sewn onto her clothes. Then some time later when Coralie and Noëlle returns from a holiday, something has changed. She soon hears that the Jews have been rounded and sent to the Velodrome d’Hiver. So Jeanne Thomas and Amelie Ginsler are among the thousands of Jews sent away, and then she learns that her assistant Violaine is actually a Jew, and her former boss Lorienne Royer reported her. So now Coralie founds herself alone in her shop.

Shortly afterwards Una is also detained alongside all the Americans in France. Before leaving, she tells Coralie to look after her bulldog, and Coralie understands that she means the British she has hidden. It is then that she joins the resistance. Seeing she is putting her life in danger, she makes the hardest decision in her life. She sends Noëlle away with Henriette; they are to stay in Switzerland with Ottilia, who in the last months contacted her through some cryptic postcards. Coralie sobs for days after she sees her daughter off. Then an agent contacts her; it is her former tutor from her first times in Paris, who tells her that someone called Moineau will contact her. Yet, several months pass, and the day that Moineau talks to her, she also sees Dietrich. He is back in Paris, but as soon as she sees him, she runs away from him.

Coralie’s mission is to take in a Dutch fugitive and take her to a boat on the Seine, which will take him to safety. So she does that, and it is when she completes the mission that she feels she is part of the resistance for real. When she returns to her apartment, there is a letter from Dietrich, asking her to meet him. Yet, Coralie feels she can’t do that and tears up the letter. This is a sad love story. These two people love each other, but unfortunately, they can’t really free to love because many things stand in their way: their nationalities, the lies, the war… I am curious to see how the novel will end and if Coralie and Dietrich will be able to be free to love. Yet, I have the hunch that Dietrich won’t survive the war, and this won’t have a happy ending.

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