8th September 2016, MIRA, 384 pages, Ebook, Review copy
Paris, 1956. Eighteen year old Daphné may be from a tiny French village, but she knows she’s destined for more. Stepping off a bus into bustling Paris with a suitcase full of her home-made beauty products, she’s ready to do whatever it takes to claim her stake in the world.
London, 2016. Scandalous love affairs and an iconic cosmetics brand have kept Daphné Le Marche in spotlight – but her darkest secrets have never come to light. Now, in her London penthouse, enveloped in her rich signature scent, the Grande Dame of glamour has died.
But not even those closest to her could have been prepared for what came next.
Little beats putting 2 relatives together on a business after an elderly relative dies, especially when they don't know each other well. Billie and Celeste are very different, and have opposing views on their joint business, so there are a lot of clashes and disagreements. Yet it's because of these differences they are able to support each other's complicated life which continues to unravel at unwelcome moments. The twists were a constant surprise, and made the ending that bit more triumphant.
Their life is as vivid as Daphne's, which is shown in flashbacks. I was as eager to read her life as I was Billie and Celeste's. I posiively adore stories where a shop is run, as there are frequent mishaps and always some massive obstacle in the way. That's true for Billie and Celeste, and makes a superb read which I'm definitely going to reread, despite not liking all of the girls' choices.
I laughed a lot, sighed in frustration, wanted to bash certain heads together and got teary over the special moments which create this family themed tale. They find both support amd opposition from unexpected characters which added to the lovable chaos of a tale about forgiveness and moving on. I don't use makeup so found the cosmetic side of the tale fascinating-who knew you needed so many red coloured lipstick to suit various skin types!
Find out more on Kate's website, and be sure to check out the rest of the stops on the tour! Here's a sneak peek of the book for you...
Extract from The Last Will and Testament of Daphne Le Marche by Kate Forster
Edward wrote quickly and then handed the papers to Daphné, who lifted her hand.
Where do I sign?’ she asked with a tired sigh. Dying was exhausting, she thought. No wonder people only did it once in their lifetime.
Edward picked up a book from her bedside table for her rest the paper on.
‘The Book of Perfumes,’ he said with a wry smile. ‘Still working, are you?’
‘I am always working,’ she said tiredly, as the door opened and the nurse came into the room. ‘Even on my deathbed, I am working.’
‘Can you witness this, please?’ Edward asked the woman, in a tone Daphné admired. He had grown into a confident man and she trusted him, which was as rare in business as it was in love.
The nurse watched as Daphné signed her hand and then Edward and the nurse added their signatures to the document.
‘It is done,’ said Edward, in a deferential tone, after the nurse left the room.
‘I don’t envy you,’ she said, a small smile creeping onto her face.
‘Why is that?’ he asked, as he packed his papers into his satchel.
‘What is about to come, I am sure I don’t pay you enough.’ She laughed a little, happy at the thought she could still create waves, even after her death
‘I am capable of handling anything, I’ve been taught by the best,’ said Edward, reaching down and touching her hand. Her skin was cold, but her grasp firm, as she held his hand.
‘Thank you,’ she said, meaning it deeply. Edward had been her greatest support over the last years and she hoped he could be the same for the girls.
‘Look after my petites-filles,’ she said, so tired now.
‘I will, and I will be back to see you again,’ he said, his thumb stroking the back of her hand.
She nodded, but she knew he wouldn’t be back while she was alive. If there was one thing Daphné Le Marche knew how to keep it was a schedule.
After Edward had gone, and the fire was dying in the grate, she saw the colour she had been chasing her entire life.
Dernières lueurs—the perfect afterglow.
And she cursed God that she could never replicate it in her lifetime. All she had ever wanted was to create a product that gave women the glow as though they had just fallen in love or made love or even both. She touched her own cheek with her hand and tried to remember when she last had that glow.
It was too long ago, she thought sadly, and she closed her eyes and slept, and between the hours of two and four, just as she had suspected she always would, Daphné Hélène Le Marche née Amyx died. She had never been late to a meeting before, and she sure as hell wasn’t going to be late for this one.