Monday, June 15, 2020

Review: The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles

The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles

Publisher: Atria books
Pages: 368
Format: eARC 
Buy the Book: Amazon 

Goodreads:  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.

Kritters Thoughts:  Another book that takes place during World War II.  I feel as though this season I have been reading World War II books or romance!  With two storylines occurring in the same book and the reader knows very early on how they are connected, this felt a little different from the other World War II books I have read recently.  

In 1939, Odile Souchet is a young woman who wants a career, specifically a career in a library and the American library because they use the Dewey decimal system which she is in awe of this way of organizing books.  In the current storyline, it is 1983 and Lily is living on Montana and after some things happen in her own home she finds solace in her elderly neighbor and learning about French and her past.  

I really loved Odile's story and the pursuit of keeping a library and the written word alive even with the outside world literally crumbling.  These librarians and what they did for their communities was so great to read, truly uplifting.  I wanted to cheer them on while reading what they were doing to keep reading alive!  

I liked Lily.  She was an interesting young woman to follow as she was going through a very big growth spurt.  This growth was spawned by a traumatic event, but to see her journey was refreshing to see her hit speed bumps and learn from them.  

I enjoyed this book, but clearly liked one storyline over the other and was glad that the 1939 storyline took up more of the book real estate and was more of the focus.  

Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row
  Ebook 2020 Challenge: 53 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Atria Books.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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