Carole Desanti colors the pages of this drawn out French-period novel with mountains of purple majesty. The dreaded purple prose, flowery and full of poetic nostalgia, much like Hemingway, works to romanticise the time period, which is muddied by sin and war. The premise of the book has all the makings, but suffocates any tension with gruelingly prolonged descriptions. Instead of building the scene, I felt this approach drained any footing gained by forcing the reader into a poetic, meandering tirade that often went off course. These jaunts through the floaty prose dulled the plot and consistently made me lose interest. Early on, the dialogue is disjointed and it is difficult to keep track of the speaking characters. The dialogue is the weakest part of the book and I was disappointed by the lack of significance and emotion - especially, given the amount of laborious work that was spent on descriptions. In the later half of the novel, much attention is directed towards the detailing and history of the war. The reader is taken on a history lesson while intermittently being brought back to the characters and plot. Most likely praise and consideration for this book will be given based on the author's credentials in the publishing world, but perhaps she should stick to the other side of the desk. It's a bit of a snooze-fest, unless you're really into purple pose and beginner-style dialogue, I wouldn't recommend it. This has been done before and it has been done much better by other authors.