The Gray Angels by Nalbro Bartley
is a novel by Nalbro Bartley, first published in 1929. The novel tells the story of a young American woman named Cynthia Quest, who travels to France in the aftermath of World War I and becomes embroiled in a dangerous plot involving espionage and political intrigue.
Cynthia is a spirited and independent young woman who is eager to escape the restrictions of her life in America and experience the excitement and adventure of Europe. When she arrives in Paris, she is immediately drawn into a world of glamour and sophistication, filled with artists, writers, and political activists.
However, Cynthia soon discovers that there is a darker side to Parisian society. She becomes involved with a group of American expatriates who are working as spies for the French government, and she finds herself caught up in a dangerous game of espionage and betrayal.
As she navigates the complexities of her new life in Paris, Cynthia meets a charismatic and enigmatic Frenchman named Paul de Roux. Paul is a member of a secret society known as the Gray Angels, who are dedicated to protecting France from its enemies. Cynthia becomes deeply involved with Paul and the Gray Angels, and she finds herself torn between her loyalty to them and her growing love for Paul.
“The Gray Angels” is a thrilling and suspenseful novel that explores themes of loyalty, betrayal, and political intrigue. Nalbro Bartley was a skilled writer who had a deep understanding of the complexities of human relationships and the dynamics of power and politics. She was also deeply interested in French culture and society, and her novel is filled with vivid and evocative descriptions of Parisian life in the aftermath of the Great War.
One of the most striking aspects of the novel is its portrayal of women’s roles and identities in the aftermath of World War I. Cynthia is a strong and independent woman who is determined to make her own way in the world, despite the restrictions placed on women by society. She is a symbol of the changing roles and aspirations of women in the 1920s, and her journey of self-discovery is a powerful and inspiring aspect of the novel.
Another notable aspect of the novel is its portrayal of the politics and culture of France during this turbulent period. Bartley was deeply interested in the political and social issues of her time, and she uses her novel to explore the tensions and conflicts of French society in the aftermath of the war. The Gray Angels themselves are a symbol of the struggles and aspirations of the French people, who were still grappling with the legacy of the war and the challenges of rebuilding their country.
Overall, “The Gray Angels” is a gripping and engaging novel that transports readers to a fascinating time and place. Its themes of loyalty, betrayal, and political intrigue are timeless and universal, and its characters are complex and memorable. Nalbro Bartley was a gifted writer who had a deep understanding of the human experience, and her novel remains a testament to her talent and vision.