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All the Ways We Said Goodbye: A Novel of the Ritz Paris

Review

All the Ways We Said Goodbye: A Novel of the Ritz Paris

Set amid three different time periods, ALL THE WAYS WE SAID GOODBYE by Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig and Karen White follows Aurélie de Courcelles, the French heiress; Marguerite “Daisy” Villon, the Resistance fighter; and Barbara “Babs” Langford, the widow.

Aurélie’s story is set in 1914 during World War I. After dropping off her intended, Jean-Marie d’Aubigny, to report for military service, she decides on a whim to visit her father at his country estate instead of returning to her residence at the Paris Ritz. This proves to be a very bad, life-changing idea when the castle is requisitioned by the Germans and she is trapped there.

In 1942, during World War II, Daisy is drawn into the Resistance, putting herself and her two children at risk.

"[A]s always, with Team W, the writing was absolutely seamless. If I didn’t know better, I never would have guessed that it was co-authored by three separate (brilliant) minds."

Lastly, in 1964, Babs has been floundering since being widowed by her dear husband, Kit, a year ago. After being invited to travel from England to France to help American lawyer Andrew “Drew” Bowdoin uncover the mystery of a woman known as La Fleur, she also unexpectedly uncovers a missing piece of herself.

How do their three stories intertwine? And, despite their hardships and all that they have lost, how will these strong and determined women persevere and continue to inspire their friends, family and even countries?

“Life is complicated, without any sort of road map. We are bound to have disappointments and setbacks, and with each one we make the choice to reinvent ourselves as a stronger version of who we are.”

As with the authors’ previous collaborations, THE FORGOTTEN ROOM and THE GLASS OCEAN, ALL THE WAYS WE SAID GOODBYE is chock full of fabulous characters, adventure, intrigue, suspense and, of course, romance. Featuring three different main characters in three different time periods is always a bit confusing for the reader at first, but I sorted this one out pretty quickly. I was intrigued by all of the story lines, and enjoyed going back and forth between them as I tried to piece everything together while patiently waiting to see if all of my hunches were correct.

"Some women are lost in the fire, and some are built with it."

With much of this story centered on the luxurious Ritz Paris, I would highly encourage you to take a few minutes to search it online so you too can ogle the extravagant photographs of this opulent hotel. Oooooh la la! Once you return to the book, super fans will be thrilled to discover that, yet again, past characters are part of the current story…and it feels just like visiting old friends.

Fully immersed in the story, these characters made me laugh (oh, Precious, how I adore you!), and they made me cry. And, as always, with Team W, the writing was absolutely seamless. If I didn’t know better, I never would have guessed that it was co-authored by three separate (brilliant) minds. Their latest ambitious undertaking made for a satisfyingly rich tale that I won’t soon forget. Never say goodbye, darling…only au revoir until the next book!

“This won’t be goodbye so I’m not going to say it.”

Reviewed by Rebecca Wasniak on January 17, 2020

All the Ways We Said Goodbye: A Novel of the Ritz Paris
by Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, and Karen White

  • Publication Date: January 14, 2020
  • Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction
  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow
  • ISBN-10: 0062931091
  • ISBN-13: 9780062931092