Mata Hari’s Last Dance by the brilliant Michelle Moran tells the story of exotic dancer Mata Hari.
We begin in 1917. Mata Hari has been shot and detained by French police accused of spying and causing the death of thousands of French Soldiers. She is confused and scared. Her charge is treason, accused of spying and causing the death of many French Soldiers.
Mata Hari begins to tell her story. She once was a young, beautiful girl. Her father soon abandons her family. This is a blow to the young Mata Hari whose real name is Margaretha (she goes by the moniker M’Greet). She is eventually married off to a man who is 20 years her senior. She soon moves to Java with her new husband and it is in Java she discovers her husband is both a philanderer and an alcoholic. She learns quickly to not anger him or question him as that makes her a target for his drunken rages.
To escape this Mata Hari learns how to dance. This paves the way for her to become one of the world’s most famous dancers. Told from Mata Hari’s point of view during an interview relayed to a news reporter allowed into her cell, Mata Hari takes us on a journey thorough her life.
Michelle Moran expertly weaves fact and fiction into a story that I was very quickly sucked into. It is a short read perfect for a rain Sunday or a beach day…and by the end, I was feeling sorry for Mata Hari. You can find the book at our store, here.