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  • Historical Fiction WW II France

    In occupied France, Charlotte Foret, is a young widow and she has an eighteen month old daughter called Vivienne. Charlotte and her best friend Simone run a bookshop together, both have young children, they take it in turns watching the children and shop, and waiting in the endless lines for food. Life in Paris during WW II is extremely difficult, food is scarce, and everyone is hungry and scared of the German soldiers. A German doctor Julian Bauer starts visiting the bookstore, Charlotte is a nervous wreck when he's in the shop, the Germans have a list of banned books, it's called the Otto list and with so many books in the shop it's possible for one of the banned books to be still on the shelves or someone wanting revenge could plant one? The book has a dual timeline; it goes between wartime in occupied France and New York in the 1950's. It works really well and I had no trouble with following the story. New York 1950's, Charlotte is now living in the America; she has been sponsored by Horace and Hannah Field. Horace owns a publishing company, he's a returned soldier and Charlotte works for his company reading book manuscripts. Vivi is now fourteen, she's doing well at school, she has friends, and she’s healthy and looks like your typical American teenager. But, Charlotte is struggling; her daughter has started asking questions about her dad Laurent, do they have any relatives living in France, why don't they celebrate traditional Jewish customs and holidays? Charlotte is a nervous wreck, she did things during the war to survive, due to the food shortage she worries about the impact it’s had on her daughter’s health and years later she still doesn't feel safe. All four major characters in the story have secrets, Charlotte, Julian, Horace and Hannah. Paris Never Leaves You is a story about choices a mother made for her and her daughter so they both survived WW II and during such a difficult time she had very few options. I loved the book, the story sets a great pace and it keeps you guessing right until the very end. If you enjoy WW II Historical Fiction, read Paris Never Leaves You and I gave it five stars.

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