Maud Heighton is one of the female students at the Lafond Academie, a Parisian art school in the early 20th Century. Lessons in the segregated school are not cheap, and Maud is running out of both money and food at the beginning of the tale. When she takes advantage of an opportunity to earn some extra money, as well as having room and board, by teaching a young French woman to speak English, she falls into a situation of intrigue over which she has no control. With her two friends, Tanya and Yvette, at her side, she struggles to keep her orderly life together.
Robertson's book is populated with interesting characters and situations, as well as historical facts and persons. Suzette Valadon, Maurice Utrillo, Amadeo Modigliani and others step into and out of the tale, which involves the rise of the Paris modern art movement.
That Robertson has done her homework is evidenced in the author's note and suggested readings included in the book.
Francophiles who are also art buffs will find this book fascinating.