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The Milliner's Secret Audiobook

The Milliner's Secret

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Publisher's Summary

June 1940. As Paris, the City of Light, approaches its darkest hour, a young woman treads the line between survival and collaboration. Londoner Cora Masson has reinvented herself as Coralie de Lirac, using a false claim to aristocratic birth to launch herself as a fashionable milliner.

When the Nazis invade, the influence of a high-ranking lover protects her business. But the cruel demands of war - and of love - cannot be kept at bay forever. Soon Coralie must find the courage to do what's necessary to protect her friends, her freedom and everything she believes in.

©2015 Natalie Meg Evans (P)2015 WF Howes Ltd

What the Critics Say

"Rich in detail, this is a pacy and engaging read, full of cloak and dagger intrigue, beautiful clothes and romance." (Sunday Mirror on The Dress Thief)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (56 )
5 star
 (43)
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Overall
4.6 (52 )
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3 star
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2 star
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Story
4.6 (53 )
5 star
 (41)
4 star
 (7)
3 star
 (3)
2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Amazon Customer 08/08/2017 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    19
    13
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    "Terrible!!!"

    Well what can I say! This book was just awful, I didn't even finish it & I rarely ever do that.
    Bad, dull, boring storyline with no interesting content what so ever! I felt sorry for the narrator reading such a dull story. Nothing was interesting at all and the story so ridiculous & unbelievable. I didn't warm to any of the characters & thought the main character was as bland as paint drying!
    When a story doesn't captivate you, make you laugh, cry & feel gutted when you've finished it then it's not a very good story in my opinion.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sally 08/10/2017
    Sally 08/10/2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    27
    3
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    "Absolutely brilliant!"

    This is by far the best audiobook I’ve ever listened to. The story is gripping, the narrator excellent- can’t recommend it highly enough

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 30/09/2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    19
    11
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    "Beautifully crafted"

    Beautifully crafted, deep and engaging characters along with a compelling plot make this an excellent book. Some of the chance meetings are a little convenient, but that's my only criticism of an otherwise very well written story. The historical details are chillingly realistic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David 08/08/2017
    David 08/08/2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    33
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    "Couldn't stop listening"

    The first 10 minutes or so had me worried as I thought I would not like this book. I couldn't see where it was heading, I didn't warm to the main character and the voice the narrator used for her grated. I almost turned it off straight away but decided to give it a chance and I am so pleased that I did. The narration soon became perfect and each character was brought vividly to life in my minds eye. At the start Paris and the art of hat making was a delicious treat of colour, texture and experiences helping to build the picture and the layers of the story, the perfect backdrop to the characters as they came to life. The pace was steady but in no way slow, each character slowly blossomed, information being slowly dripped in to the chapters until you saw each one in all their colours, dark and light, good and bad. In no time at all I cared about almost all of them, their fates mattered.
    The out break of war and the fear of living in occupied territory, food shortages, day to day peril, the struggle for survival. Intrigue, trust and betrayal weave continually through the text drawing the listener in to the centre of the characters world. There are so many ups and downs, none of which were predictable, the story did not fade at any point. This is a story that lasts with you, thought provoking a rollercoaster of emotions. Highly recommend

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynne Burton 30/07/2017
    Lynne Burton 30/07/2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
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    48
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    "Hold the put it down!"

    A great book! I loved it and would recommend it! Full of love and excitement !

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 19/07/2017 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    14
    9
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    Story
    "Intrigue, romance, some history and hats."

    The many strands of this book are focused on a hat maker and her life during the Second World War in Paris. The writer evokes the ambiance and atmosphere of an occupied city by detailing the everyday life of the characters. The central character, through her work, meets people and makes friends from all walks of society.
    An excellent narration and an enjoyable listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anonymous 18/07/2017
    18/07/2017
    RATINGS
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    6
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    Story
    "Good storyline."

    Shame that they chose someone who can't speak French to read aloud a book set in Paris with French street place and people's names. It really grated.
    Otherwise an interesting story and good characterization.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ANITA BLACKETT 06/07/2017
    ANITA BLACKETT 06/07/2017 Member Since 2016
    RATINGS
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    30
    3
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    Performance
    Story
    "Strangled French!!"
    Would you listen to The Milliner's Secret again? Why?

    A compelling story about wartime Paris ALMOST ruined by excruciating narration. Why, why, why use a narrator with no ability to pronounce French to tell a tale that involves countless French phrases and place names? Toe curling stuff. This book is definitely worth a read, but it's NOT a good listen.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 03/06/2017 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    22
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    "a great sequel to the dress thief"

    This had the same fast moving story line and engaging characters as the dress thief. Well performed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    shine-on2 UK 01/03/2017
    shine-on2 UK 01/03/2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    RATINGS
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    46
    11
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    "Gripping"

    loved this book .... I do like war time dramas. Even though it's fiction it is written and told very well in relation to events that happened.

    a great story teller!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Natalie Bezuhov
    09/12/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Absolutely Beautiful Story! A must read!"

    An epic love story. A story of being human. A love affair with Paris. War, betrayal, passion, suffering, and hope. Twists and turns galore that will have you spellbound. Oh yes, and a fine heaping dose of glamour and couture fashion. What more can ask for in a book? An exceptional writer? Natalie Meg Evans is just that. Perfection!

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Katherine
    Georgetown, Ontario, Canada
    11/02/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Immerse yourself in another time"

    Even though there are flaws in this book, I enjoyed it and would read another by this author. I actually quite enjoyed the fashion and millinery aspects to the book and found myself looking up styles of hats and French fashion in WW2. The story is a tad farfetched at times, but it's forgivable and it hangs together if you accept the twists and turns as is. The narrator didn't have a grasp of French pronunciation but was excellent at the different characters, which ultimately is more important. For those of us that are bothered by this sort of thing, there is minimal explicit violence or sexual scenes and no swearing that I can recall. My kind of book! If you can't escape winter with a holiday, take a trip to a Parisian hat shop during WW2.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    13/04/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing, you won't want to stop listening"
    Would you listen to The Milliner's Secret again? Why?

    This was one of my favorite books ever. I listened to "The Nightingale" prior to listening to this. It was a great follow up. So many different story angles without getting too confusing. Fast paced and will keep you wanting more!


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked all of the character descriptions. I felt as if I could really visualize them and know them as the people they were


    Have you listened to any of Julie Teal’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I listened to "The English German Girl" after listening to this. I enjoy Julie Teal's narration and I am very picky with narrators.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    I would keep the title of "The Milliner's Secret". It fits perfectly.


    Any additional comments?

    The only thing I found confusing in the book was the many names that Dietrich had. I found myself googling the meaning of his nickname "Graf" and "Grafin" (which when narrated sounded like "grafinvon" etc.)

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • L. Kirkman
    Seattle, WA
    21/02/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Learn to pronounce the words first!"
    What did you like best about The Milliner's Secret? What did you like least?

    I am just starting to listen to it so I will up date this. But I am only 10 minutes into the story and the reader has mispronounced several words repeatedly. There should be a test that you understand how to pronounce the words in the book before you are allowed to do this. People who speak French are going to be very annoyed.


    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • christi
    America
    06/01/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Epic, Love it - it's s'good!"
    Any additional comments?

    I love WWII books, and have listened or read all of them and this book, ugh it was SO GOOD. The story was a refreshing twist compared to others in it's genre,haute-couture is not usually a topic you come across too often in wwii books so it added a fun plot line. I never really gave millinery a thought and just figured their business slowed as much as everyone else's but I learned that none of their materials were rationed and you got an inside look into how cut throat millenery was in 1940's Paris - and was it ever!

    The characters are complex, intriguing and well thought. Their stories blended beautifully and you even found some compassion for some of the less favorable ones (briefly lol) At times you would think the story took a complete 180 with a different tangent but they would all interweave within the story flawlessly, and always added such exciting, shocking twists.

    This story had a lot of layers to it and was very complex but not once did I feel that any part wasn't essential. The historical details were accurate and helped move along the story.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Fran Foster
    Georgia
    28/02/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Complete Waste Of Time And Money"
    What disappointed you about The Milliner's Secret?

    The deception of the preface vis-a-vis the plot or story. Having recently read "Light of the Moon" by Elzabeth Buchan and found it fascinating, thie brief description of this audiobook caught my attention. Shame on me - will do more research next time - can not believe the reviewers listened to the same book as I.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Natalie Meg Evans again?

    No


    What three words best describe Julie Teal’s performance?

    I can not speak Gernman, so can make no comments regarding the critical reviews on the way she pronounces certain words; nor can I think of three words to describe her narration - one imagines she did the best she could considering what she had to read.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Milliner's Secret?

    This was not an audiobook with scenes - it was a circus with a variety of characters wandering in and out every five minutes - making no real contribution to the story and disappearing without explanation. The premise of the book - or as much of it as I can understand - is that drop dead gorgeous Cora Masson flees a drunken and abusive father in a small village near London, makes her way to Paris during its occupation by Germany, becomes romantically involved with a high- ranking German officer who changes her name to "Coralie," and surfaces as the owner of a fashionable millinary shop. However, this is the point at which the author turns Coralie into "Super Woman - she sews hats, she sings, she dances, she cooks, she nurses and heals the sick or wounded, she hides various Jewish people from the German authorities - and still finds time to be a mother and dabble in the French underground resistance movement. I have listened to this nonsense almost to the end of Part 2, and am still unable to understand by what magic she, out of all the dozens of characters in the book, escapes notice, capture, internment, etc., by the overly suspicious Gestapo; especially since her lover, Von-whatever (he also has several names), is heavily implicated in a plot to kill Hitler.


    Any additional comments?

    Save your time and money - buy and listen to "Light of the Moon" - you will enjoy it more than once !!

    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • kirsten
    09/04/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved it!!"

    I love WW2 fiction and have been making my way through all of the books I can find on this time period. this is such a great story. a little hard to follow at times but a great book.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Karen Smith
    WOODS CROSS, UTAH, US
    23/02/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A new favorite"

    I love this book. it was well written and well narrated. this has become a new favorite for me.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Diane Rothman
    18/02/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wow!"

    Wonderful story! You fall in love with the main characters in the book & are instantly engrossed. The audio was incredible - I could hardly wait for the ride to work!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Libby Sinclair
    17/09/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Thoroughly enjoyed it."
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Milliner's Secret to be better than the print version?

    Not necessarily.


    Any additional comments?

    My only negative was the strange overly bad American accent and occasional odd pronunciations of French. Unless I missed an intentional comment on American English, no one pronounces the Marsaillaise the Mar Sal Ayse. It was irritating, but the reader's overall performance was quite excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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