Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Release Day! The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles ~ My Thoughts #TheParisLibrary

Release Day!

Congrats Janet
on the release today of 
The Paris Library!

The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles
Historical Fiction, 409 pages
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. 

My thoughts about The Paris Library ~~

(I love to note the first lines of the books I'm reading. First lines can really grab a reader's attention and I love seeing where the author takes the reader after their first line.)

First line—"Numbers floated round my head like stars. 823. The numbers were the key to a new life. 822. Constellations of hope. 841."

I learned so much from this novel—and so much of this story was familiar to me. I didn't know anything about the American Library in Paris before reading this book. I am amazed at the strength and determination of the librarians who went to great lengths to continue to provide service and books during the war. But I guess that shouldn't really have surprised me, because from working in libraries, I understand how passionate library people can be. 

I loved the fact that I was learning so much about a library of the past but I also loved how the author really 'got' the people and nuances of the library world. It was amusing to see characters that I have known in real life, personalities that I recognize from my own library experiences. And what a great, interesting cast of characters they were. 

The Paris Library was an amazing read and one that I can highly recommend. It's the perfect World War II historical fiction story that will especially appeal to anyone familiar with libraries. This book about a great library and its people will always have a special place in my heart

I received an ARC of The Paris Library via NetGalley and this is my honest opinion of the book.

About the author

Janet Skeslien Charles divides her time between Paris and Montana. She enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with family.

The backdrop of her debut novel Moonlight in Odessa is the booming business of email-order brides, an industry where love and marriage meet sex and commerce.

Her second novel The Paris Library is based on the true story of the courageous librarians at the American Library in Paris during World War II. Janet learned about the story when she worked at the Library. ~ Goodreads

Connect with Janet


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