Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite
In Where Do You Go To by Jean Cerfontaine, the year is 1948, Marie-Claire is eight years old, lost, cold and covered in blood. She can remember nothing of the events that brought her there, apart from a strong feeling she is escaping from something. She finds refuge in a nearby church and falls asleep, waking up in an orphanage just outside Rome the following day. Marie-Claire is soon adopted by the French ambassador and his wife. This is the beginning of a new life, travelling with her parents across post-war Europe from Greece to Moscow, where she is a promising student of the Bolshoi ballet. By 1965, Marie-Claire is living in Paris and mixing with the elite of society. She seems to have everything, but Marie-Claire is haunted by dark and sinister dreams. Are they a clue to her mysterious past? A chance encounter is about to uncover the truth behind that fateful night of 1948.
Prepare to be transported back to postwar Europe in this well-researched and engaging novel based on the song by Peter Sarstedt. The author really grabbed my attention with the opening scene and that continued throughout the book. Marie-Claire was such a beautiful character. Although she lived a very affluent lifestyle, she never lost her humility and compassion for others. The detail in the narrative is excellent and really transports you back to the eras of post-war Europe and the Communist Soviet Union. The characters were realistic and came to life, as did the setting of the story. This book has taken me on a wonderful journey emotionally. There are great moments of conflict and plot twists, but I never could have imagined the truth behind Marie-Claire's nightmares. The ending will bring a tear to the most hardened of hearts and the last line, ‘the pillow was dry’, was perfect.