Natalie Conway should be thrilled at the prospect of covering the Cannes Film Festival. She's desperate to revive her struggling career, she's passionate about movies, and Cannes is the heart and soul of cinematic glamour and tradition, the place where film legends are born, made, or left withering on the vine.
But Cannes is in France, and going to France means facing painful memories of Nattie's brief childhood in Paris and the bizarre accident that killed her mother and forced her mother's lover, Michel Claudel, to ship Nattie off to the New Mexico desert to live with a father she had never met. So France is Nattie's personal nightmare -- but with the bank foreclosing on her house in Los Angeles, it is a nightmare she must finally face.
The moment she sets foot in Paris, Nattie's past hits her with the force of a mistral wind. Long-forgotten sights and fragrances and the melody of the language stir up hazy recollections of her mother and Claudel. And then she's whisked away to Cannes and engulfed by the film festival, juggling movies, celebrities, her demanding editor, a seductive ex-lover, and a reckless starlet hell-bent on providing juicy copy.
When Nattie discovers a mysterious link between her mother and a mercurial French director named Jacques Vidanne, she turns to the only man she can trust, with questions that may be too painful to answer. Accustomed as she is to digging into the lives of movie stars, she finds that digging into her own life threatens to unravel her reality. In the end, she must make a choice -- to move forward toward her future or to remain in the shadow of her past.
The Lumière Affair is filled with delicious insider movie dish from a seasoned celebrity journalist, but it is also the tender and charming story of a woman's journey to find herself. From California to Corsica, you will fall in love with Nattie Conway and root for her -- all the way to the Martini Shot.