Author: Janet Skeslien Charles
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: February 9, 2020
Book Description: Based on the true World War II story of the heroic librarians at the American Library in Paris, this is an unforgettable story of romance, friendship, family, and the power of literature to bring us together, perfect for fans of The Lilac Girls and The Paris Wife.
Paris, 1939: Young and ambitious Odile Souchet has it all: her handsome police officer beau and a dream job at the American Library in Paris. When the Nazis march into Paris, Odile stands to lose everything she holds dear, including her beloved library. Together with her fellow librarians, Odile joins the Resistance with the best weapons she has: books. But when the war finally ends, instead of freedom, Odile tastes the bitter sting of unspeakable betrayal.
Montana, 1983: Lily is a lonely teenager looking for adventure in small-town Montana. Her interest is piqued by her solitary, elderly neighbor. As Lily uncovers more about her neighbor’s mysterious past, she finds that they share a love of language, the same longings, and the same intense jealousy, never suspecting that a dark secret from the past connects them.
A powerful novel that explores the consequences of our choices and the relationships that make us who we are—family, friends, and favorite authors—The Paris Library shows that extraordinary heroism can sometimes be found in the quietest of places.
Rating: 4 1/2 Stars
Review: I thought I had heard every WWII that had been written, and then along comes one with a unique point of view, that I just loved.
This story taking place in two timelines, Paris during WWII and Montana in the 1980’s. Our protagonist Odile gets her dream job at the American Library in Paris. During her time there, Paris becomes occupied by the German army, and the American Library becomes part of the resistance.
This was a very well researched book with a lot of meticulous details. Additionally, Charles gave us a heart wrenching story about Odile and her family and friends. I was completely immersed in this world and felt everything the author was trying to convey.
If you are thinking not another WWII story, I say give this one a chance. You will be lucky enough to immerse yourself in this part of the French resistance that you might not know happened.
Thank you NetGalley and Atria Books for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.