The Girl Who Dreamed of Paris 12 (Chapters 28 – 36)

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SPOILERS!!!

Coralie and Dietrich’s relationship is a story of ups and downs. After going back to Paris, Dietrich goes to find Coralie when she fails to meet him at his request. Dietrich has a surprise for her. Teddy is with him, and Dietrich tells her that the night they last saw each other, she was angry, thinking that Teddy could be the traitor, but then as he walked to his apartment, he realised that Teddy couldn’t have betrayed him. So he sent Kurt to the Rose Noire while he rushed to Teddy’s and warned and advised him to go. Coralie, who had thought that Dietrich had killed Teddy, is overcome by emotion and ends up sobbing, crying that everybody has left her. So Teddy gives him a piece of advice: stand up by Dietrich and trust him. The next day Dietrich secretly takes Teddy to a train that will take him to Switzerland and Ottilia.

Dietrich returns, and he and Coralie become lovers once again. What neither knows that there is a threat to their love. Dietrich’s mother, who had been very sick that winter, goes to see Hiltrud, Dietrich’s mother. Hiltrud is not well, and she tried to commit suicide a few months ago. Dietrich’s mother, the Gräfin, tells her that since Dietrich thought she was dying, he confessed everything that had been going on in his life in the last years. So the Gräfin tells Hiltrud that Dietrich could be in serious danger as he is involved in a plot to kill Hitler, but what pushes Hiltrud into action is when her mother-in-law tells her about Coralie being Dietrich’s lover and how he desires to marry her after the war. So after this chapter we know that Hiltrud is on her way to Paris.

This is the first thing we learn about Dietrich’s family, but  we learn something else when Coralie asks him why she didn’t marry Ottilia, who he was obviously so fond of. Dietrich confesses that it was her mother who stopped the marriage when she confessed to having had an affair with Ottilia’s father, and as a result, she got pregnant and had Dietrich. That meant that  Dietrich is Ottilia’s half-brother, so that he couldn’t marry her. Ottilia never knew the truth and always thought that Dietrich had left her because she was a Jew, and Dietrich tells Coralie that if he had confessed his origins, he wouldn’t have inherited the title and the money, and thanks to all these assets, he was able to help Ottilia and her brother.

Dietrich and Coralie’s new attempt to love doesn’t last long. They return to the Rose Noire, and there they are met by Kurt and his wife, who Coralie hadn’t seen since the night they thought Teddy was the traitor. Whenever Coralie comes to the Rose Noire, something happens, and this time it is not different. When Coralie and Fritzi Kebler, Kurt’s wife, go to the restrooms, what the woman tells her makes Coralie consider what she is doing with Dietrich. Fritzi has stopped visiting her hat shop and started going to Lorienne’s, and the woman reasons that they couldn’t see together because of their involvement in Dietrich’s plan. Fritzi also tells her that she also needs to keep some dignity and couldn’t be seen with a woman who is married and has a dalliance with a married man, and what shocks Coralie the most is hearing Fritzi despise Jews. I have the feeling that the traitor that Kurt and Dietrich wanted to uncover is much closer, and I’m pretty sure Fritzi betrayed her husband to the Gestapo for some reason. After the conversation Coralie realises that what Dietrich and she have cannot continue, so she decides to leave. She takes off the ruby ring that Dietrich had given her and leaves a note, telling him that their relationship makes no sense and they both should go back to their respective spouses.

The next day, unbeknownst to Dietrich, who is dead to the world, Hiltrud arrives in the apartment. After Coralie’s brutal dismissal, Dietrich is drunk and sleeping. That is how Hitlrud finds him, and then in the living room she finds the ring and the note. She cannot read the French note, but on the back Dietrich has written a reply, begging Coralie to return to him and telling her how much he loves her and longs to have a child with her. This sends Hiltrud over the edge, and when she sees Dietrich in the doorway, she attacks him with a knife. Dietrich is stabbed a couple of times, so when the doctors save his life, they send him to Germany to recover while Hiltrud is locked in a mental hospital in Paris.

Coralie hears from Fitzi that Dietrich has been killed , but then Kurt comes back to her and tells her that Dietrich is alive and in Germany. Once again Coralie is alone. She still helps the resistance, and there is news about Italy surrendering to the Allies, and people talk about victory. Around this time she decides to hire an assistant, and even though there are several women who come for the job, somehow they remind her of Violaine, and this is something she can’t stand. Coralie finally hires a man, Georges, who assures her that has been a milliner all his life. I was suspicious of Georges from the moment he tries to cajole Coralie into creating a new spring collection to beat Lorienne, her enemy, and he even tells her that they should create turbans and hide a supporting message for the allies on their crowns. I knew Georges was not trustworthy, especially as Coralie mused she didn’t remember telling him anything about her competence with Lorienne. So I was right and the day she launches the new collection. The turbans have Vs on their crowns, and when Coralie sees George and Lorienne smile at each other in complicity, she knows that she has been duped. The gestapo appears promptly, and Georges denounces her and the Vs on them, which he claims that they mean victory for the allies. Coralie tells herself that she won’t let herself be intimidated and beaten, so she delivers a great speech about the meaning of V, and then to my joy Dietrich reappears, and before everybody he says that V can also be the initial of the street where they became lovers for the second time.

So once again they are back together. Dietrich has bad news for her. Ramon has been with the maquis and he is a sought man after being involved in a attack to a train, killing hundreds of soldiers and civilians. Dietrich turns serious about intending to report Ramon if he sees her, and he warns her that if she were to be seen with him, she will also have to face charges against her. Once again these two can’t see eye to eye even though they love each other passionately. I think their story is beautiful, but they live in a time when life is too complicated and so many things separate them. Will they both survive the war? And if they do, what will happen to them? Will Coralie be judged as a Nazi sympathiser? And will Dietrich be judged as a Nazi? Even if they don’t, could they finally be able to love each other freely? I don’t know, but it seems that I can’t really picture a happy ending for them.

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