Paris Never Leaves You by Ellen Feldman

Here I am with another historical fiction book.  I’m not exactly sure how this happens.  I requested an advance reader copy of this book after reading the description.  I should keep the descriptions so I can tell what caught my eye.  I was given a copy of this book for my unbiased opinion.

For those of you who might be like me and a bit burned out on historical fiction books from the World War I or II eras, I hear you.  I would say this book has a bit of a twist on the other books. 

Paris Never Leaves You is written from Charlotte’s perspective. Charlotte is caught in Paris during World War II.  As the book opens, Charlotte is watching a group of people denigrating women who had relationships with German soldiers who had invaded Paris.  The townsfolk verbally assault the women and physically abuse them.  While it is not completely clear, you get the feeling that Charlotte is afraid that she will be next.

Next we move to 1950’s New York. Charlotte is working in the publishing industry.  The book moves between the war years and the 1950’s.  We see Charlotte’s current life with her daughter. We learn what happened to them during the war. And we come to understand Charlotte’s regrets and fears.  

While one does feel sorry for Charlotte and all she went through during the war, there is also a feeling that Charlotte takes the route through life that will get her through.  I wouldn’t say that she takes the high road most of the time. She is a survivor and I feel a bit bad casting aspersions on her methods, but overall when you finish the book and think back on Charlotte, I think she comes up a bit lacking in moral fiber. She knows that she has done wrong but rather than admitting what she has done, she has tried to keep hiding it. 

It is an interesting story, but if you are looking for a heroine  that you can think “wow, she made it through that”, I am not sure you will be satisfied with this story. The thing is that she doesn’t change. Even at the end of the book, her decisions are questionable. 

I will say that the time switches through the book are done well.  It was easy to tell where you were in the story.  It was and easy read and the story is presented well. 

Thanks for reading!

About Carol Early Cooney

I love to read. I love to share my thoughts on books and hope to hear what you think also. Looking to see what books I read beyond those I write about? Check out my Goodreads!
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