Book of the week

THE BE­TRAYAL Kate Fur­ni­vall Si­mon and Schus­ter, $35

The Dominion Post - Your Weekend (Dominion Post) - - Books -

Re­viewed by Felic­ity Price

It’s easy to see why Kate Fur­ni­vall has so many fans. Although The Be­trayal is my in­tro­duc­tion to her page-turn­ers, it is un­likely to be the last of her nov­els I’ll read be­cause she keeps you guess­ing right to the end with tight writ­ing, en­gag­ingly vul­ner­a­ble sis­ters as the two main char­ac­ters, and a sense that there just might be more than one be­trayal in the wind.

Set in Paris in 1938, it cen­tres on sis­ters Romy and her twin Florence, who could not be more dif­fer­ent, although they are equally pas­sion­ate about which side they’re on – Hitler’s or the Re­sis­tance.

Romy flies planes, wears drab clothes when not in her fly­ing suit, lives in a squalid dive with empty whisky bot­tles un­der her bed, and hates Hitler and every­thing he stands for. Florence lives in a man­sion, wears de­signer clothes, and, with her hus­band Roland, col­lab­o­rates with the Ger­mans in­fil­trat­ing Parisian so­ci­ety.

But the two share a fierce bond with each other and un­con­di­tional love for Florence’s daugh­ter Chloé. They are even more tightly bound to­gether by a se­cret – a se­cret that has ru­ined Romy’s peace of mind and keeps her liv­ing on the edge, fear­ing dis­cov­ery.

As Romy gets more in­volved with the anti-hitler move­ment, she is in­creas­ingly at risk – some­thing she doesn’t mind too much be­cause her life is in ru­ins any­way. The pace picks up and the reader is swept into the fear and breath­tak­ing dan­ger Romy and her lover Leo face – a dan­ger only height­ened by the facts we all know about Hitler and his hunger for war.

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