A group of former rugby players, all veterans of WWI who knew each other before the war, decide to have a bachelor party for one of their number in post-war Paris. Included in the group are the intended bridegroom, who is a giant Welshman from a prominent family; a German of former wealth and position in Germany; a Frenchman of a famous winery family, and a cold but charming Russian prince. Unlike most pre-wedding bashes, the main love interest in the story, as well as the Welshman’s sister and friends, are also are included in the party. Additionally, an American veteran (a brilliant writer a la Hemingway) who is drunk most of the time and living off the largesse of the prince, a grand duke and other Russian nobility; a former Russian secret police assassin with a new employer; another of the new regime; and assorted other characters also are insinuated into a series of plots and sub-plots.
In this book, David Shone has provided an interesting story that grows on the reader. In the beginning, one is not quite sure where it is headed. However, as the plots and sub-plots unfold, the reader gradually is drawn in and is curious until the very end as to what, exactly, will be the final relationship between several of the characters. Champagne Haze provides a fascinating nostalgic look at members of “the lost generation.”