A coming-of-age story filled with adventure and international intrigue. Brigitte's Polish father died when she was very young, and her French mother raised Brigitte in Poland. When Brigitte's mother dies after a long illness, the girl is sent to live with her aunt and uncle in Paris, where she helps with the many chores involved in running Caf Dominique. As Brigitte adjusts to her new life, she becomes friendly with a family of acrobats in the local Cirque Medrano and is drawn into an international intrigue that targets bohemian artists and writers, such as Picasso and Apollinaire, as well as such political insurgents as Henri, the Russian kitchen worker at the caf who has revolutionary leanings. In this coming-of-age story, Brigitte's desire for adventure is more than sated, and she learns to find gratification in her new life with her new family.
Elaine Scott vividly recreates the drama and excitement that charged the intellectual world of avant-garde artists and writers in Paris at the turn of the twentieth century.