Title: Paris Never Leaves You
Author: Ellen Feldman
Genre: Historical Fiction
Published On: August 4, 2020
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
“Masterful. Magnificent. A passionate story of survival and a real page turner. This story will stay with me for a long time.” —Heather Morris, author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz and Cilka’s Journey
Living through WWII working in a Paris bookstore with her young daughter, Vivi, and fighting for her life, Charlotte is no victim, she is a survivor. But can she survive the next chapter of her life?
Alternating between wartime Paris and 1950s New York publishing, Paris Never Leaves You is an extraordinary story of resilience, love, and impossible choices, exploring how survival never comes without a cost.
The war is over, but the past is never past.
Paris Never Leaves You was a lovely surprise. I’ve had this ARC for months because the publishing date was pushed out thanks to Covid-19, but it was finally next on my list! I thought it was a very well-written book about a mother’s love for her child.
“It was everyday proof of the old adage that a parent-child relationship is the only love affair that has to end in a breakup to turn out well.”Ellen Feldman, Paris Never Leaves You
I’ve read a lot of historical fiction set during and around WWII. I keep thinking eventually the genre might grow repetitive to me, but I’m amazed how each book holds something new to learn. Feldman has done a marvelous job creating realistic characters, characters the reader can sympathize with but still be surprised by. I read this one quickly, devouring it within twenty-four hours.
While the story alternates between Charlotte’s time in Paris at the end of the war and the early 1950s in New York, I never became confused. I enjoyed that the timelines weren’t too far apart. That was a newer experience for me.
And the settings of a bookstore in Paris during the war and the New York publishing world of the 1950s were maybe the best part of the story. As a reader, I always appreciate any glimpses into other bookish worlds.
I’ve noticed other readers have read this story as more of a romance than historical fiction, but it didn’t seem that way to me. There are romantic relationships in the book, but for me they were not the main point of the story. The theme is endurance, and Charlotte’s determination to assure her and her daughter’s survival, no matter what. I thoroughly enjoyed this inspiring story.
Thank you to the publisher, St. Martin’s Griffin, and Netgalley for providing me with an advance copy.
Rating: (4 / 5)
About the Author
A Song For A Book
On Bookstagram I created a hashtag for when I include a song that reminds me of the book I’m sharing, #ASongForABook, I thought I’d make it a regular feature on my reviews, too.
I wanted to find a song by a woman, but Sleeping at Last’s “I’ll Keep You Safe” fit so perfectly. (Enjoy the stunning setting of Yellowstone in the video below!)
I’ll keep you safe
Try hard to concentrate
Hold out your hand
Can you feel the weight of it
The whole world at your fingertips
Don’t be, don’t be afraid
Our mistakes they were bound to be made
But I promise you I’ll keep you safe
Have you read Paris Never Leaves You? Did you add it to your tbr? Let me know in the comments!