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The French Photographer

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  1,972 ratings  ·  359 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
Paperback, 448 pages
Published March 26th 2019 by Hachette Australia
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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, ...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
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
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
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Poignant, heartbreaking, and enthralling!

The Paris Orphan is an absorbing, emotive tale predominantly set in France during 1942, as well as 2005, that is told primarily from two different perspectives; Jessica May, a young model turned photojournalist who journeys to Europe to document the real dangers, consequences, and atrocities of war; and Darcy Hallworth, a young art handler who inadvertently stumbles upon a family history littered with secrets and sacrifices while preparing a collection of
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 ...more
Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Well, I am having a hard time accepting the ending.....
Sep 09, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first part of this book could not have been better, I relished the story, the characters and the superb writing.
Come Chapter 26 it all fell apart.
The personal relationships were unrealistic, ridiculous and annoying.
I wish I could say more without giving spoilers, but I can’t.

Literary Soirée
Natasha Lester’s latest historical novel is a drop-dead gorgeous winner!

It features Jessica May, a protagonist inspired by real life Vogue model and WWII correspondent Lee Miller.

The dual timeline narrative starts in 1942, when Jessica leaves modeling in Manhattan after her boyfriend destroys her career. Vogue sends her to Europe as a photojournalist, but the Army’s sexist restrictions make covering the war a nightmare.

She finds salvation, however, through journalist
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 ...more
Robin Loves Reading

Every word I write is as difficult as tears wrung from stone.

She’d tried letting her photographs speak for her and it wasn’t working. Time to unleash a different weapon.

The war was marching on without them. Their male counterparts were the only ones reporting anything worth reading.

she knew the moment she caught it that it was the image that would show America what war had become. Not a gallant and heroic jousting for glory but a savage and bestial destruction of humankind.

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.
May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful, heartbreaking and utterly captivating. Some authors write a book or two and peak and that’s it – but my goodness, Natasha Lester is an absolute gem whose talent is just amazing and again and again I am totally in awe of her books. I am so happy I loved this book as much as her previous books if not more. Based on a real photojournalist in WWII and how women tried everything possible to be included in reporting the war, this book features a storyline and narrative that just takes you ...more
✰  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
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.
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 ...more
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Absolutely brilliant, loved it from start to finish. It’s soulful, heartbreaking, with powerful imagery.
Best quote
“She caught it, it was the image that would show America what war had become, not gallant and heroic jousting for glory, but a savage and bestial destruction of humankind.”
Lisa Zetes
I totally loved the 1st part of this Historical fiction and couldn't wait to keep reading it. Then after midway into the book and after the WWII era I started losing interest in the book. This is so sad I had such high hope's for this book and it was more of a soap opera ending, needless to say very disappointed.
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
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 a ...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
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
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.
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
Sue Seligman
Sep 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an amazing and engrossing historical fiction novel set during World War II, along with a secondary timeline of present day. This will be one of my favorite of this genre to date, up there with The Nightingale, Sarah’s Key, The Diary of Anne Frank, The Things We Cannot Say, The Lost Wife, Lilac Girls, and many others. I never tire of reading these books, and it seems to me that I learn something new from each one. This book is about the female war correspondents and photographers who ...more
Sharni Alexander
I write this review with tears streaming down my very sad face.
This fantastic story is beautifully tragic; every human emotion is felt whilst reading Natasha Lester’s novel.
The characters make you “feel” as you watch their stories unfold. Jessica May, whose character was based upon the true story of model and photographer, Lee Miller, lured me into the story with her beauty, passion, spunk and dedication. Dan Hallworth, the handsome, honourable and mysterious hero, made me swoon.
The entwined
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
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Natasha Lester is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of THE PARIS ORPHAN / THE FRENCH PHOTOGRAPHER and THE PARIS SEAMSTRESS.

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