“A wonderful novel celebrating the power of books and libraries to change people’s lives.”


Just finished The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles. Based on historical events the story of The American Library in Paris is also the story of Odile who loves books and is thrilled to get a job there. The story starts just as WW2 is beginning.
There is a second part of the book about a young girl named Lily who lives in Montana in the early 1980s. She wonders who the lady who has moved in across the street is, that French woman is named Odile.

The story goes back and forth and we slowly learn about Odile’s life in Paris, her friends, her family and her loves, and the people who worked in the library and some of their subscribers as the war came to Paris.
In the second part of the book Lily will eventually befriend Odile and by being so inquisitive about Odile’s life we will learn through Lily the secrets Odile must carry with her because of that time in Paris.

The novel is a tribute to the fine people who fought to keep the library open, even during the Nazi occupation of Paris. The story provides an excellent view of what so many had to go through during the occupation. The loss of loved ones, the betrayal of people in order to survive or give in to ones hatred of people they don’t care about, the lack of the necessities of life, doing what one had to do in order to survive.
Highly recommended.


Reviewed by:

Richard Franco

Added 26th August 2021

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Richard Franco