The White Russian by Vanora Bennett Arrow, Paperback, £8.99
Evie was captivated by hints of her adventurous grandmother who was mysteriously rejected by her family. Living in New York, Evie makes an impromptu visit to a club where she hears an aged singer and discovers that it was her own grandmother who had helped the singer when she was young into the profession and encouraged her ever since.
Evie is determined to visit the old lady who her family have turned against. As soon as she arrives in Paris and meets the mysterious grandmother, the old lady dies and her dying words, a photograph, and a chain of events are brought to the front of the stage. The novel captures the pathos and difficulty of life in Paris for Russian exiles shortly before the Second World War, with the tension that was always theirs.
And a package of love letters leads Evie, and a new friend, Jean, a taxi driver and the son of a Russian General, into a dramatic ending. Delightfully written with pathos, intrigue and mystery on every page, this is a tribute to the author, herself a journalist and the other of seven previous books. It’s a broad-brush look at a traumatic period in world history – and a little love to sweeten the