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Mistress of the Ritz

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3.77  ·  Rating details ·  7,601 ratings  ·  1,146 reviews
A captivating novel based on the story of the extraordinary real-life American woman who secretly worked for the French Resistance during World War II--while playing hostess to the invading Germans at the iconic Hotel Ritz in Paris--from the New York Times bestselling author of The Aviator's Wife and The Swans of Fifth Avenue.

Nothing bad can happen at the Ritz; inside its
...more
Hardcover, 372 pages
Published May 21st 2019 by Delacorte Press
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Lissa I was doubting it too, but it does get a bit more exciting. It's much more of a romance novel than my favorite Benjamin book--Swans of Fifth Avenue-- …moreI was doubting it too, but it does get a bit more exciting. It's much more of a romance novel than my favorite Benjamin book--Swans of Fifth Avenue-- but it's still pretty good. (less)

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Average rating 3.77  · 
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 ·  7,601 ratings  ·  1,146 reviews


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Debra
4.5 stars

"How can you recognize a Semite?" Throw her in the back of a Nazi truck with her hands tied too tightly behind her back, and point a German gun at her head."

Ahh, the Ritz. A grand and glamorous hotel which hosts Coco Chanel, Ernest Hemingway, and F. Scott Fitzgerald to name a few. It is the place to see and be seen. It is where Blanche Auzello, who is American, and her French Husband and Hotel Director, Claude Auzello live. They use the glamour of the Ritz to mask the trouble in their m
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Tammy
Mar 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
When the Nazi’s occupied Paris the Luftwaffe (including Hermann Goering) took over half of the Ritz as their headquarters. The other half was inhabited by civilians among them Coco Chanel. The director of the hotel (Frenchman Claude Auzello) and his American wife (Blanche) are forced to continue to operate the hotel to the usual stellar standards in order to survive. Based on a true story that is mostly unknown, Mistress of the Ritz fictionalizes the marriage and resistance work undertaken by th ...more
Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
4.5 stars!

A mesmerizing and atmospheric tale centered around the Hotel Ritz in Paris during WWII.

Claude Auzello is the director of the Hotel Ritz where he and his wife, Blanche, reside. They have a tumultuous relationship, Blanche constantly feeling Claude’s attention is focused on everything but her. Blanche spends her days mingling with the glamourous guests who visit the hotel, while Claude caters to his guests every whim. Never a dull moment within the walls of the hotel, Blanche takes it a
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Liz
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I expect three things from historical fiction:
•A good story
•The ability to paint a picture so true I feel immersed in the time and place
•To learn something I previously didn’t know.

The Mistress of the Ritz manages all three. Based on true events, the Auzellos are the “master and mistress of the Ritz”, he the manager of the famous hotel. The story gives us their history from their tempestuous beginning through their 17 years of marriage when the Nazis arrive in Paris and take over the hotel. And
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Norma
May 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Captivating, affecting, & illuminating!

MISTRESS OF THE RITZ by MELANIE BENJAMIN is an engaging, suspenseful, and hauntingly beautiful historical fiction novel that totally captures something extraordinary here as well as fully capturing my heart. I was immediately taken with this story and found myself totally mesmerized and in awe of MELANIE BENJAMIN’S ability to weave such a fantastic story that is based on real-life people and actual historical events with her own liberties of juicy fictional
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Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
May 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh, how I love love love a Melanie Benjamin book! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

I’m sure many of us knew that the Nazis claimed hotels in their occupied areas, but have you heard about the Auzellos?

The Ritz is a glorious hotel in France where the rich and famous stay. Blanche, an American, and Claude Auzello, her French husband, have welcomed into their hotel the likes of Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Chanel. Their busy work lives keep them from facing their challenging marriage.

In June 1940, the Nazis arrive i
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Dorie  - Cats&Books :)
This novel takes place during the Nazi’s occupation of Paris. I was quite aware of this part of history but this book talks pretty specifically about the Ritz. It’s a very interesting piece of history which is “inspired” by true events. Quoting the author “So I would say that Mistress of the Ritz more than any of my other novels, is “inspired” by a true story and real people, rather than based on them. With so few details to go on -- and so few true glimpses into Blanche and Claude’s characters, ...more
JanB
Jun 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Ah, the Ritz Paris. Doesn’t it bring to mind glitz, glamour and opulence? The iconic hotel is as much a character in this book as are Claude and Blanche Auzello, the hotel director and his American born wife. In the pre-WWII years, the hotel was in its glory and the Ritz was a symbol of the finest in luxury and elegance.

The book opens in 1923 when Blanche and Claude meet, and they eventually marry. Blanche is an American-born flapper, headstrong and independent, while Claude is a traditional Fr
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Theresa Alan
Feb 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
American Blanche falls for Frenchman Claude. After a brief, dizzying, whirlwind romance, they marry. The bliss quickly turns to petty fights, in part because of their different cultural upbringings. However, they both enjoy the glitz of the Ritz in Paris, where Claude is the hotel’s director. They revel in hobnobbing with the likes of Hemingway and Coco Chanel and F. Scott Fitzgerald. But when Nazi’s take over the hotel during World War II, Claude has keep his disdain and anger toward them to hi ...more
Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
4.5 Stars

I read Mistress of the Ritz with a few of our Traveling Sisters and we all really enjoyed this one with us having similar thoughts on it.

An extraordinary real-life American woman, a proper Frenchman and a glamorous Iconic hotel

Mistress of The Ritz explores the lives of brash and reckless real life Blanche and proud Claude Auzello The Mistress and Master of the Ritz. The story starts off slow and it’s all about the characters here. The story delves into their marriage where secrets and
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Michelle
My first and only read from Melanie Benjamin was The Aviator's Wife and I enjoyed it so much that I knew I needed to read her latest. I join quite a few before me who thought the later half of the book was the strongest and what ultimately redeemed this book overall.

Claude and Blanche Auzello run The Ritz hotel in Paris, during the Nazi occupation of German forces of WWII. The book begins with the Nazi's using the hotel as their headquarters and are forced to serve and live alongside their capto
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Marialyce
Writing and reading historical fiction is often a difficult task. The author often travels a fine line between what is real and what is imagined in the lines of a book. It can be hard for a reader to fully appreciate a story when the details are frequently overused and murky. However in this book, Melanie Benjamin has been able to capture a piece of history and make it into an interesting story that was much enjoyed by Jan and I.

I so enjoy an historical fiction book that when completed has me s
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Judy
Apr 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
A compelling read about a marriage set against the backdrop of World War II and the glamorous Ritz Hotel in Paris, France. Claude's infidelity and Blanche's brash American attitude cause troublesome times as the couple struggle with their marriage and manage life in the face of war. The couple is hiding one huge secret that would place them both in the crosshairs of the Germans. Claude, as the director of the hotel, has to bow and scrape to the Germans in order to keep his job

Benjamin's prose fl
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Stephanie
rounded up to 4.5 stars

I knew when Melanie Benjamin was writing a book set in Paris, one of my most beloved cities in the world and at the sumptuous Hotel Ritz on the Place Vendome no less, that I wanted to read it! Throw in the fact that it's set during WWII, and this was a must-read book for me.

Mistress of the Ritz is a fictionalized account of the lives of husband and wife Claude and Blanche Auzello, shifting time between the 1920s, when the couple met in a whirlwind love affair and got marri
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Davida Chazan
When it comes to the French Resistance of WWII, the names Blanche and Claude Auzello aren’t all that well-known. Thankfully, Melanie Benjamin has just written a biographical, historical fiction novel about them, and especially about Blanche, who during the Nazi occupation of Paris, was known as the “Mistress of the Ritz” and she was the wife of the hotel’s manager, Claude. You can find my review of this amazing book on my blog here (Thanks for the free book, @PRHGlobal/@prhinternational.) https: ...more
Faith
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
As is often the case when I read historical fiction, this book made me want to read some actual history about the people or events depicted in the novel. Unfortunately, it seems that there is very little information about Claude Auzello and his American-born wife Blanche. Claude managed the Hotel Ritz in Paris during World War II and he and Blanche both lived in the hotel. The author didn’t have many facts to go on, but she still managed to create an interesting story about Paris during the war ...more
Celia
Blanche Ross is an aspiring actress from Cleveland visiting Paris in 1923. She meets Claude Auzello, manager of the Hôtel Ritz. He is smitten; she is too, I guess. They marry, but marriage is not what either of them expected.

"Married women in Paris in 1923 couldn’t open bank accounts and had to turn over all their money to their husbands. Women—married or not—in Paris in 1923 weren’t allowed in the bar of the Hôtel Ritz."

Not only that, Claude has the idea he can keep a mistress. All French men d
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Whitney
Dec 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Overall: An interesting and engaging novel based on an extraordinary woman playing in two very different roles, mistress of the Ritz and helping the French resistance. Recommend to fans of WWII, historic fiction, and strong female leads. Some issues throughout the book but overall an engaging and good read. 6.5/10 or 3.5/5

Summary: Blanche Ross Auzello is an American wanna be film star that falls in love and marries a somewhat stuffy husband, Claude, the manager of Paris’s luxurious Hotel Ritz. I
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Cam
Jul 16, 2019 rated it liked it
It took me a while to get into this book. This book is based on real events that took place during ww2 in Paris France. A married couple by the name of Blanche and Claude who directed the the Ritz hotel during german occupancy. They both secretly worked for the French resistance.
Dennis
May 28, 2019 marked it as dnf
I had to put this one down. After about 80 pages, I just wasn’t interested in the story.
DeAnn
May 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
4 French Resistance stars to this historical fiction tale

A fascinating glimpse of what life was like at the Paris Ritz during the German occupation and American liberation. We get to know Claude, the French manager of the Ritz and his American wife Blanche. Their tempestuous marriage is chronicled in this historical fiction story by Melanie Benjamin. Part of their issues stem from cultural differences, part result because they aren’t completely honest with each other.

There are many famous patron
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Melike
Nov 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mistress of the Ritz is inspired by the American born Blanche Ross who was married to Claud Auzello, the director of the Hotel Ritz in Paris. The first half of the book focuses on their marriage and it did not capture my interest as much as the second half of the book when Germany invades France and the Nazis take up residence at the Hotel. The story really picked up then and it made it hard to put the book down. The book was very interesting, there was a lot I did not know about and wanted to f ...more
Tammy
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've long been a fan of Melanie Benjamin's writing and absolutely loved Mistress of the Ritz. The story is based on true events during the Nazi occupation of Paris and is a pageturner! Melanie Benjamin is a fabulous storyteller and all her research shines in this book!
Maine Colonial
Mar 09, 2019 rated it did not like it
I’m a voracious reader of WW2 fiction and non-fiction, I love Paris and I enjoyed Melanie Benjamin’s Swans of Fifth Avenue (though not so much The Girls in the Picture), so there was no chance I wasn’t going to read this book. On the other hand, I was underwhelmed by a recent book about The Ritz in World War II, Tilar Mazzeo’s The Hotel on Place Vendome. Because of those competing experiences, I went into this with a wait-and-see attitude.

The book started off a little too self-consciously porten
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Lorna
Mistress of the Ritz is the latest historical fiction novel based on the life of Blanche Auzello, an American actress who falls in love with Paris and Claude Auzello, Managing Director of the famed and iconic Ritz Hotel, that later became the headquarters of the Luftwaffe during the German occupation of Paris during World War II. It was during this time that Blanche became involved in the French resistance at great personal risk. It is an interesting and compelling story, certainly making me wan ...more
Barb
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Thank you to Netgalley and Random House for the opportunity to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Melanie Benjamin excels at doing the necessary research and writing novels that have real people as the main characters...be it Anne Lindbergh, Mary Pickford or Truman Capote. In her novel "The Mistress of the Ritz", she introduces us to the little known true story of Blanche and Claude Auzello during the WWII German occupation of Paris. Claude is the director of the Ritz Hotel. Blanche ...more
Jenny Q
May 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
I so wanted to love this book, my first by Melanie Benjamin, but I didn't. The story switches back and forth in time and switches from past to present tense, and I found that a little jarring. I also formed an immediate dislike for both main characters, and though neither of them ever endeared themselves to me, and indeed I grew to absolutely loathe Claude, I eventually got sucked into the story and kept reading to see how it would play out...but then I hated the ending. This book just wasn't me ...more
Tina Woodbury
Apr 30, 2019 rated it liked it
This book opens with Claude and Blanche Auzello returning home to Nazi-occupied Paris. Their first stop is the Ritz, a place they call home, and Claude is the director. They are shocked and saddened to discover that it has been overrun by Germans and that they have been displaced in their own home.

This book spans two decades and is told in alternating POV’s between Claude and Blanche. We learn how they meet, their quick courtship, marriage and so on.

Claude and Blanche’s marriage ran hot and cold
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Dawnny
May 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc-publishers
Based on true events. The novel is set in the twenties and thirties in the Hotel Ritz in Paris. The hotel is favored by the likes of Hemingway, Coco Chanel and F.Scott Fitzgerald and run by Claude Auzello and his American wife Blanche. Everything is glitz and glamour at the Ritz until the German Army sets up headquarters inside. What follows changes their lives. A suspenseful and intriguing story of little known Blanche Auzello, a brash American secretly working for the French Resistance while h ...more
Shomeret
I received a digital review copy of Mistress of the Ritz from publicist Ariel McCarter. I decided to review this book because it deals with the French Resistance during World War II.

Protagonist Blanche Auzello seemed somewhat superficial to me as the novel opened. She experiences growth as a result of meeting Lily, an eccentric political radical. My favorite character in Mistress of the Ritz was Lily. Lily is in the historical record, but almost nothing is known about her. So she is very nearly
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2,346 followers
Melanie Benjamin is the author of the New York Times bestselling novels THE SWANS OF FIFTH AVENUE and THE AVIATOR'S WIFE, as well as the national bestseller ALICE I HAVE BEEN, and THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MRS. TOM THUMB and THE GIRLS IN THE PICTURE. MISTRESS OF THE RITZ, a captivating novel based on the story of the extraordinary real-life American woman who secretly worked for the French Resistance d ...more

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“People do that, of course—they come into your life, illuminate some dark corner you’d not even known was there, then they disappear. True connection is rare, but that’s just the way it is.” 2 likes
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