Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932

  • From the Publisher
May 22, 2014

Francine Pros­e’s nov­el evokes Paris from the siz­zling hedo­nism of the Jazz Age to the mael­strom of fear and vio­lence that blan­kets the city dur­ing the Nazi occu­pa­tion. As the exu­ber­ant 20s give way to the depres­sion of the 30s, Lou Vil­lars aban­dons her job as a serv­er and a per­former at the Chameleon Club in Paris to become a tal­ent­ed race car dri­ver. She falls in love with a seduc­tive Ger­man dri­ver, Inge, and is soon ensnared in a web of flat­tery and lies that will warp her earnest desire for love and approval into some­thing dark­er. Even­tu­al­ly Lou becomes a Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tor dur­ing the Ger­man occu­pa­tion of France.

As increas­ing­ly dif­fi­cult cir­cum­stances turn one thwart­ed indi­vid­ual to treach­ery — and oth­er char­ac­ters to defi­ant acts of brav­ery and per­se­ver­ance — the nov­el rais­es crit­i­cal ques­tions about the dif­fi­cul­ty of locat­ing his­tor­i­cal truth, much less dis­pens­ing moral judg­ments. Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 explores the gen­e­sis of evil, the unfore­seen con­se­quences of love, and the ulti­mate unre­li­a­bil­i­ty of all narrative.

Discussion Questions