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The French Photographer

4.55  ·  Rating details ·  205 ratings  ·  66 reviews
Inspired by the incredible true story of Lee Miller, Vogue model turned one of the first female war photojournalists, the new novel by the bestselling author of The Paris Seamstress

Manhattan, Paris, 1942
: When Jessica May's successful modelling career is abruptly cut short, she is assigned to the war in Europe as a photojournalist for Vogue. But when she arrives the army m
Paperback, 448 pages
Published March 26th 2019 by Hachette Australia
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4.55  · 
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 ·  205 ratings  ·  66 reviews

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Jessica May’s modelling career stalled when she headed for Europe as a photojournalist in 1942. She was only allowed to the hospital camps – women couldn’t go near the front line – and while the male journalists had their own areas to send copy from, Jess and her friend Martha Gellhorn had to do the best they could. It would be the meeting by Jess of Dan Hallworth, paratrooper in charge of many men and well respected by those same men, that would change Jess’ ability within those pages of war, a ...more
Brooke - One Woman's Brief Book Reviews

The French Photographer by Natasha Lester. (2019).

Paris, 1942. Jess's modelling career ends abruptly and she manages to get assigned to the war in Europe as a photojournalist. The army men make her life as difficult as possible but three friendships keep Jess going: journalist Martha, paratrooper Dan and a little girl called Victorine. But Jess's success comes at a price...
France, 2005. Australian art curator D'Arcy arrives at a beauti
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The French Photographer is the fifth novel by best-selling Australian author, Natasha Lester. Art handler and aspiring documentary maker, D’Arcy Hallworth has travelled to France in June 2004 to pack a collection of photographs for exhibition in Australia. D’Arcy has long admired The (anonymous) Photographer’s work, and D’Arcy is sure work of such compassion could only have been done by a woman. At the chateau, Lieu de Réves, D’Arcy encounters The Photographer’s agent, Josh Vaughn, an attractive ...more
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have no idea where to start with this book, what an intensely, powerful, beautiful, emotional and moving story that was so hard to put down, yet I read slowly and savored every word, as I journeyed through World War 2 with Jess and Dan and then 2005 I got to know D’Arcy as she un-ravels some secrets that cause some more heartbreak but also opens hearts to forgiveness, keep the tissues ready.

Jessica May is modeling for Vogue in New York in 1942 she is a beautiful woman who is open and honest an
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
A writing star on the rise’, we are just so lucky here in Western Australia to call Natasha Lester one of our very own. She is truly a megastar in the historical fiction world, cementing her place as one of the leading specialists in the field of dual timeline and historical narratives. The French Photographer exudes Natasha Lester’s style, grace, commitment to history and her ability to place the focus on our female trailblazers of yesteryear.

The French Pho
Theresa Smith
Last year, when I reviewed The Paris Seamstress, I wrote that it was my favourite novel by Natasha Lester, and indeed, it was in my reading highlights list for 2018. But here we are, a new year with a new novel by Natasha, The French Photographer, and yes, I’m saying it again…this is my favourite novel by Natasha Lester. I’d go so far as to say that it is her best yet. There’s a strength to the writing in this novel, a reckoning with regards to her themes that just elevates this novel into a cla ...more
Rachael McDiarmid
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Easy five stars from me. Why!? Even though the author broke my heart (like she will yours) it is a wonderfully written story of an amazing, strong, courageous woman in WWII (Jessica - the photographer in the book’s title). You can’t help but love her. She’s feisty. And obviously talented. Fast forward to 2005 where we meet D’Arcy, another strong willed young woman - and how she uncovers the connection between the two of them. The world works in mysterious ways and I’m not going to give away anyt ...more
Leanne Lovegrove
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Natasha Lester makes you feel so much in this, her latest novel. We fall in love with the main characters, Jessica, Dan, Victorine and D'Arcy and shed tears over what they must endure. Everything is perfect - the settings, the history, the exquisite writing. It's a passionate and heart-wrenching fabulous read.
✰  BJ's Book Blog ✰Janeane ✰
Oh my, Natasha Lester knows how to write amazing stories.

Before you start reading, google Lee Miller Hitler bathtub for a bit of an idea of what kind of woman our leading lady, Jess May is inspired by.

I just started singing Pop Musik by M as I was writing this, as our story takes us from New York and all across Europe during the last couple of years of WW2.

I was drawn right into this story, and swept away with Jess and the other female war correspondents, who tackled not only war, but misogyny a
Monique Mulligan
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What can I say about The French Photographer by Natasha Lester that hasn’t already been said? Natasha goes from strength to strength, delivering old fans and new immensely engaging stories one after another. I don’t know how she does it (although if you check her blog, she shares a lot of her process)! Inspired by the true story of American photographer and photojournalist Lee Miller, The French Photographer is romantic, captivating and bursting with historical insight. It’s exactly what I’ve co ...more
Vanessa Carnevale
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved every minute of it! It was everything I want in a novel and more. Sweeping, romantic, and utterly captivating. Natasha Lester has done it again. I won’t forget this story in a hurry.
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a story! Told in two timelines, this is the story of Jessica May, a model-turned-photographer for Vogue during WWII, and D'Arcy Hallworth, a curator in modern-day Australia. It has all the hallmarks of a Natasha Lester novel—meticulous research, brave women, a story that keeps you guessing and romance.

I was particularly drawn, too, to the Author's Notes at the back of the book. I'd never heard of Lee Miller, upon whom the protagonist is based. As soon as I'd finished reading, I found an of
Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Well, I am having a hard time accepting the ending.....
Kerran Olson
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
I love Natasha's books because not only are they beautifully written and full of well rounded characters, but I also learn so much reading them! All the research that went into creating this story is evident in the little details, the locations, the descriptions of hotels and chateaux and photographs. The character of Jessica May is inspired by the life of Lee Miller,  and some of the things that Jess (and in reality  also Lee) has to endure in this book is astounding. The fact that appearing in ...more
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
From historical fiction author, Natasha Lester, comes her best novel to date, The French Photographer. Released overseas as The Paris Orphan, Lester’s fifth outing is set in the beautiful country of France with a dual timeline of 1942 and 2005. Right from the beginning, it is clear that Lester has researched her historical narrative. With Lester’s attention to the smallest detail and vivid descriptions, the reader feels as if they stepped through time, back to World War II.

The protagonist durin
Tanya Nellestein
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book, definitely my favourite of Lester’s. the story of female correspondents in WWII is one that deserves telling again. The love stories that weave in and out of the timelines are both beautiful and frustrating as a reader....sliding doors.... the final act seems a little cruel - without spoilers....both on the same soil, couldn’t Lester have given them just one more moment??????
Apr 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The French Photographer is a beautifully written novel by Natasha Lester.

Inspired by a true story of one of the first female war photo-journalists, Natasha brings us this new enticing novel, The French Photographer where we meet the main character, Jessica May, a Vogue model and photographer in Paris.

It's historical fiction with a vision into all aspects of photography in the 1940's ~ a time of war and destruction.

There's solace, peace and tranquility to be found in the gardens of the chateau na
Sam Still Reading
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Sam Still Reading by: love Natasha Lester's novels
The ending of The French Photographer had me at a standstill. It is that powerful. My emotions were in a tangle. I didn’t know whether the cry my heart out with sadness, smile at the happiness for some characters or just collapse in a heap. It is simply a marvellous novel that combines the horrors of war with the dramas of life wrapped up in a beautiful setting (and with quite a few examples of delicious food).

Like Natasha’s past historical novels, The French Photographer has a dual timeline. Th
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Natasha Lester books have all been five star reads for me. So it was with great anticipation that I took up her latest novel. Yet again Natasha has floored me with her storytelling, almost to the point of speechlessness. Where to start with a read that was so powerful, so raw and intense, taking the reader on a rollercoaster ride of emotion. This book consumed me and, closing the last page, left me almost bereft.

Just when you think she can’t get any better, Natasha produces another spellbinding
Anna Loder
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved it! I love historical fiction, I love romance, I love characters though so I was always going to love it. I could feel the dirt beneath my nails, everything was all so well described. I know and love Jessica May, I have always admired go getters. Dan is such a gentlemanly hero. I will just always read whatever Natasha Lester writes, I knew I was in the safest hands. Fantastic book
An Aussie Book Nerd
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A book that it so far from my usual reads that I almost didn't read it. But boy, am I so glad I did. I laughed, cried, ugly cried, and was angered; essentially I did a full circle of emotions because the content called for it. A story about women's rights and their experience during WWII which was a time that really focused on the masculinity of men going off to war and woman staying home and tending to the house and children.

Jess's character was admirable. She was strong, and identifiable. I lo
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Once again, Natasha Lester has delivered a captivating and touching historical fiction novel. Natasha's writing gets better with each novel she writes. The stories are more complex but still retain her trademark voice and ability to dive deep into the characters. I loved the premise and the switch between timelines. The settings were vivid and the emotion heartfelt. It's hard not to rave on about Natasha's books, so I'll simply say - go get it and devour it - you won't be sorry you did. 
Sharah McConville
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The French Photographer is a beautiful and heartbreaking story set during World War II. This is my first time reading one of Natasha Lester's novels. I read this for the April 'Books With Heart Book Club' read and think this is their pick yet! I loved this story and now want to read about the real model and war photojournalist, Lee Miller.
Danna Kleisner
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourite
I cannot believe that Natasha Lester could write a book to top all her other books but The French Photographer just blew me away! The meticulous research to bring this stunning story to life and the description of the surroundings so beautifully depicted. You really felt like you were there with each character . The story shows how far we have come with women in the workforce compared to 1942 which this novel is set in. We meet Jessica May, a feisty, well-known Vogue model who becomes a photojou ...more
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lester-natasha
Natasha Lester, thank you! Thank you so much for what it must have taken to write this story. I have read just a little about the real person the character Jessica May is based on. And I am happy and proud to say that I have known quite a few men like Dan in my life! I have read a lot of books, mostly fiction, on the savagery, suffering and desolation of the people, especially women, in countries invaded by the enemy in both World War I and World War II. Not one of them has left me dry eyed. Thi ...more
Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars!
Loved this book, couldn’t put it down and didn’t want it to end! I’m a huge Natasha Lester fan, and will read anything she writes but this is my new favourite.

Natasha Lester tells a fabulous story. This one is set in wartime France/Italy and is told through the eyes of young model turned war photographer, Jessica May, and her experiences as she tries to do her job with the added challenges for women operating in male dictated war zones.

The highlight of the book for me was the likeab
Hands down The French Photographer by Natasha Lester is perhaps my favourite book that I've read this year to date... and that's not a comment I make lightly.

Right from the very first page, I was  effortlessly transported to the world of 1942; first in New York City then to Italy, London and later France. Lester's world building was fascinating, and she contrasted war torn Europe and that of 2005 France exceptionally well. So well in fact, that I found myself racing through the book's 448 pages
wow! what an evocative and emotional read.
Loved every page, even the ones that were really hard to read.
Hard as I tried I couldn't get through the final chapters without tears.
Natasha Lester you have done it again. What an amazing story.
Taneqa Crake
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've loved Natasha Lester's books ever since the first one I read and this one would have to be my favourite so far. I cried, I laughed, I fell in love with the characters and I didn't want the book to end.
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant book that I loved reading and found hard to put down. Sad at times but with such likeable characters.
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Natasha Lester is a USA Today, internationally best-selling author. Prior to writing, she worked as a marketing executive for L’Oreal, managing the Maybelline brand, before returning to university to study creative writing.

Her first historical novel, the bestselling A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald, was published in 2016. This was followed by Her Mother’s Secret in 2017 and The Paris Seamstress in 2018.