Scent Of Triumph was a family drama set during World War II. Danielle was separated from her son, Nicky, early in the war and was intent on finding him. At the same time, the story focused on Danielle’s mother-in-law who was tasked with watching Nicky. Later on, the focus turned to Danielle’s love life, but this was so much more than just a cheesy romance. This was a searing portrait of people desperate to reunite with the love of their life.
This book focused on several unique things to create a really engaging story. Danielle had to deal with being widowed and also giving birth to a daughter amidst the invasion of Nazis into France. Danielle’s brother used the family’s perfume business to aid the resistance by placing messages in the bottles and using the tops as compasses. She got pulled into the resistance when it allowed her to take steps to find her son. In contrast to the efforts of the resistance, another member of Danielle’s family decided to join ranks with Hitler and become a henchman. All of these plights joined together to create an interesting network that was enhanced by their familial relationships.
I liked Danielle as a character because she was thoughtful about each action she took. I really felt that she was battling each obstacle she faced. I especially enjoyed when her life led her to travel to Hollywood. The studio system and orange groves provided a great background for the relationships Danielle struggled with in California. The author focused on many characters throughout the novel and gave each of them a background that provided them with motivations that worked well with the overall plot. Everyone seemed well rounded and believable.
I also just loved that this novel gave so much attention to the sense of smell. Scent is such an underutilized aspect in books that I was surprised by how much those descriptions added to the overall feel of the novel. This was an enjoyable read that I would recommend.