Studio Saint-Ex

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This sleek, stylish novel set in 1940s New York, between the shock of Pearl Harbor and the landing of American troops in Europe, is a deft, romantic novel about a wartime love triangle involving a 22-year-old fashion designer poised to launch her career; the French expatriate writer and war pilot, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, who's left his Nazi-occupied country and come to Manhattan for a month, only to stay for two years; and his beautiful, estranged Salvadoran wife determined to winback her husband at all costs - and seductions.

With Paris under occupation by Hitler's troops, New York's Mayor La Guardia has vowed to turn his city into the new fashion capital of the world. A handful of American designers are set to become the industry's brightest names, and Mignonne Lachapelle is determined to be among them. Her ambition and ethics are clear until she falls for the celebrated and tormented adventurer Captain Saint-Exupéry.

In New York, Saint-Ex writes a new book on the fall of France, Flight to Arras,and collects (a year late) his National Book Award for Wind, Sand and Stars. But he suffers under exile and, todistract himself from his malaise, begins work on a new book at his US publisher's offhand suggestion: an exotic fable.

Nothing about Mig's tempestuous, romantic relationship with Saint-Ex is straightforward, but the greatest complication will come in the form of his deceptively simple manuscript about a petit bonhomme in the Sahara Desert fallen to earth on a journey across the planets.

©2013 Ania Szado (P)2013 Blackstone

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