Janet Skeslien Charles
Published February 9, 2021 by Atria Books
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.
I almost passed this up. I was tired of WWII books and was reluctant, but it sounded so good and it involved a library! I am so glad I requested it. I adored this book and have been glued to it all day. Trying to read while drying my hair? Check. While eating breakfast? Check. While brushing my teeth? Yup. In the carpool lane waiting to pick up my kids? Yes to that too. I ended up being late to work because I couldn’t put the book down. My heart was alternately racing while I read as fast as I could or breaking a bit for what I was reading. I never knew about the American Library in Paris or crow letters during the war.
I couldn’t decide whose story I loved more or who I was more emotionally attached to: Lily’s or Odile’s. I only wish there was more resolution when it came to Odile’s story. I want to know more!
To learn more, here is the link to The American Library in Paris. See pictures of the individuals you meet while reading The Paris Library.
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Thank you to #NetGalley and #JanetSkeslienCharles for allowing me to read this book. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am sharing this review voluntarily.