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The Race for Paris

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  1,914 Ratings  ·  337 Reviews
The New York Times bestselling author of The Wednesday Sisters returns with a moving and powerfully dynamic World War II novel about two American journalists and an Englishman, who together race the Allies to Occupied Paris for the scoop of their lives

Normandy, 1944. To cover the fighting in France, Jane, a reporter for the Nashville Banner, and Liv, an Associated Press ph
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published August 11th 2015 by Harper
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Meg It is historical fiction, and while I did a tremendous amount of research for it and have tried to make it as historically accurate as possible, it is…moreIt is historical fiction, and while I did a tremendous amount of research for it and have tried to make it as historically accurate as possible, it is first and foremost a novel, not a history lesson.

You certainly will learn about the experiences of real women journalists covering WWII, and there are cameo appearances by real journalists (both male and female), but the main characters are figments of my imagination. If you learn something while reading their story, that's great. I hope you will (and I certainly did when writing it). But if it reads like a history book, then I have failed.

I hope that helps!(less)

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Sep 07, 2015 rated it it was ok
I feel like the author couldn't decide if she wanted to write a fiction or a nonfiction book, and it shows. The story is exactly what the title implies: a "race" to be the first byline out of liberated Paris by two women journalists who are technically not permitted and thus AWOL. But as a story, it was lacking. The jeep breaks down, they sleep in a barn or a trench, the stay in the jeep while their male escort goes to gets supplies, they are warned about the MP looking for them by some real-lif ...more
Manchester Military History Society (MMHS)
A powerful story of women defying the conventions of the day to report from the battlefield.

Two women reporters go AWOL to report from the front lines of France in 1944. Fletcher, a British military photographer agrees to escort and conceal them as they race for Paris across the still dangerous French countryside.

Meg Waite Clayton has obviously done extensive research on this book. She has taken the stories of the likes of Margaret Bourke-White and Martha Gellhorn and created a compelling story
Carly Ellen Kramer
Jul 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Race for Paris is historical fiction at its finest! Meg Waite Clayton's account of WWII through the eyes of a female writer and a female photographer is engaging and unique. The plot lines wrapped up a bit quickly for my taste, but that is a minor detail in the context of this well written book.
Susan Peterson
Jul 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was a truly spectacular book! It is the story of Liv, a photographer, and Jane, a journalist, who are in Paris covering WWII following D-Day. They, like so many other journalists at the time, want more than anything to be in Paris for its liberation, and for their photos and stories to be the first published on that momentous day. With that in mind, they become AWOL from their assigned camp, hitching a ride with Fletcher, a British photographer who is in France to take pictures for British ...more
Oct 02, 2015 rated it it was ok
I thought this would be my kind of book due to the setting and subject, but just couldn't get to know any of the characters enough to care about what happened to them. Another block for me was the excessive name-dropping without the prerequisite explanations as to who these folks actually were. The missing history might have helped me to stay engaged with the characters and the plot. And last, just a current pet peeve, but I'm really bored with authors beginning their story with a older characte ...more
Aug 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars? The Race for Paris follows two women journalists, a photographer and a correspondent, during 1944, as folks are risking their lives to be able to cover the liberation of Paris from the war. And at a time when women are not allowed, and these women journalists are not authorized to be there. In fact, Liz has an MP trailing her, trying to arrest her and bring her home to her editor husband, who was formerly at the front. Jane, Liv, and Fletcher, each have their motivations and reasons, ...more
An exceptional, engaging and informative read about WW!!!

I love books about WWII, and "The Race for Paris" is an incredible story of one of the lesser talked about aspects of the war - the role that journalists and photojournalists played in getting the images and stories of what was happening to the newspapers in the U.S.

Exceptionally well-written and researched, I could not put the "The Race for Paris" down once I started reading it! As Clayton described the adventures of what Jane, Liv and F
Jan 28, 2015 marked it as to-read

The Race for Paris

Read an Excerpt | For Bookgroups and Readers

My new book, The Race for Paris, tells the story of a British military photographer and two AWOL American women - a journalist and a photojournalist - who join the "Race for Paris." They hope to be among the first to cover the liberation of the city from Nazi occupation, an accomplishment that could make their careers.

The story of this new novel was inspired by real women journalists like the ones pictured above. It explores the obsta
Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~*
Setting: World War II France
Steam Factor: Mild

When Liv Jame's officer refuses her request to be among the first photojournalists to reach Paris with the Allies, she leaves her no choice and she goes AWOL.
Along with Jane Tayler, and British military photographer Fletcher Roebuck, they not only face their enemy, but also their fears, loves, and dreams.
Determined to be in Paris for the momentous event, they trek through war zones travelling by bike, Jeep and on foot to be able to get there and capt
Story Circle Book Reviews
Oct 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Because author Meg Waite Clayton used quotes from actual World War II correspondents at the beginning of each chapter of The Race for Paris, her fictional characters took on the aura of their actual colleagues. Clayton's characters, Jane and Olivia, two women covering the war, are in this novel, contemporaries of Margaret Bourke-White, Martha Gelhorn, Ernie Pyle and other real journalists. Jane and Olivia have met them or know of them, and desperately want to beat them to Paris, where the Allies ...more
Aug 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
4/5 stars
You can find all my reviews here.
*Disclaimer: I won this book from Goodreads First Reads, all my opinions are my own.*

J'ai plus de souvenirs que si j'avais mille ans.

This book is one of the hardest I've ever tried to place a rating on. The book was based around a time of war and while historical fiction, the history was definitely there. Books filled with history I generally have a harder time reading. I was never good at history, in fact, it was one of my worst subjects in high school
Jul 31, 2015 rated it liked it
Three stars for the story. Two stars for the writing.

Very interesting subject. The story follows a female photographer and a female journalist as they travel together to the front lines in Nazi occupied France. Meg Waite Clayton based her characters on real-life photojournalists who bravely broke the gender barrier in the 40's. I am intrigued by those innovators, and will read more about Lee Miller, Margaret Bourke-White, and Martha Gellhorn.

Clayton's writing is quite amateurish. Full of clich
Pam Jenoff
Dec 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An inspiring tale of two female American correspondents, willing to break all the rules to get to Paris in time for the Allied liberation. Exciting and inspired by the real women journalists of World War II.
Miriam Downey
Jul 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Read my full review here: http://mimi-cyberlibrarian.blogspot.c...

Books about World War II seem to be ubiquitous in 2015. My book club read All the Light We Cannot See earlier this year, but I have pretty much resisted reading any of the many other books until Clayton's agent sent me The Race for Paris.

Jane is a journalist for a Nashville TN newspaper. She meets Olivia (Liv), a photographer for her husband's New York newspaper, at a hospital in France shortly after the Normandy invasion. They
Jul 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
I never knew there were so many women journalists and photographers at the front during WWII. That's probably because their work was often completely ignored. Males got most of the ink in those days.

This book brings their bravery and talent to the forefront where it belongs. The author did meticulous research and it shows throughout the storyline. Though the story is fictional, it is laced with events, battles, life and death, just as reported by the brave women photographers and journalists who
Sharon Huether
I won this free book through Goodreads First-Reads. Thanks Goodreads for picking my name for this extraordinary book. It was the race for Paris in 1944 and it's liberation from the Nazis. Liv and Jane left their assigned posts and traveled with Fletcher, a Brit to get closer to Paris and take the best photos. I loved all the quotes from well known photojournalists and correspondents. Kudos to the author for capturing the reality of war and her excellent writing.
Aug 12, 2015 rated it liked it
This was a quick read about the women photographers/journalists who reported on WW2. Very interesting and based on true women. The fictional part of the story fell short for me, but it was fascinating to read about the struggles women had to endure in order to document the realities of DDay and the Paris Liberation. Recommend!
May 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really, realy enjoyed this novel. Wonderful POV from women WWII war time photo journalists.
Melodie Winawer
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A powerful story of women journalists and photojournalists determined to cover the end of WWII in the face of both physical dangers at the front and discrimination that tried to stop them from doing the work they fiercely wished to do. The book combines the intensity of first hand experience of war with a subtlety of emotion that makes for an unforgettable story, and the main characters won my heart from the first moment of the book to its last page. Beautifully written, captivating, and a remar ...more
Colleen ~ The Clever Girl from Gallifrey
I was so torn on the rating for this book. I did enjoy it but between the first half and the second half it seemed as if I were reading two different books; the first I wanted to give three stars and the second four stars (If only we could give half star ratings!). I was incredibly excited to read the book for several reasons. When I was younger it was my dream to become a war correspondent and to this day I regret not following that dream. I thought it would be so hard to be respected in that f ...more
Katie/Doing Dewey
Jul 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: buddy-read-books
Summary: I loved learning about female journalists in WWII, but I didn't connect with the characters, especially their romantic entanglements.

Reporting from a hospital camp during WWII, journalist Jane is content to work within the limitations imposed on female reporters until photographer Liz shows up. Liz is determined to get to the front and to be the first member of the press to report the liberation of Paris. Her commanding officer doesn't have a jeep to spare for a female reporter though,
Jun 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Original review can be found at

** I received an advanced readers copy from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!**

I have to start out by saying that I am a huge fan of historical fiction and books surrounding both World Wars both fiction and non fiction. It would not be an exaggeration for me to say that I have read hundreds of them. Just when I thought I had read a story from every angle along came The Race for Paris. I
Raven Haired Girl
Jan 30, 2015 added it
Shelves: 2015
A clamant story as Clayton guides you through the harsh and challenging environment of chaos in minute details of WWII. The peruser feels part of the determined threesome.

Clayton excels with her characters three dimensionality. Their history's revealed, fears admitted, dreams shared, disappointments along with struggles, creating a true intimacy with the audience. The cast has incredible depth, you know their hearts and minds. Impeccable particulars as you taste the food, witness the bombs drop,
Aug 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I went to an author event for this book the day after I first heard of it (from Dorothy Hearst), and was very impressed with the author talk. Happily, the book lived up to my high expectations! The author talk focused on the nonfiction story that inspired the novel, apparently because the author is a historian as well as novelist, and so is at least as invested in the facts behind her story as in her reshaping of it into fiction. The story concerns two women, a journalist and a photographer, try ...more
Aug 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The historical background of this book is very interesting. Based upon the real exploits of women journalists during WWII, Clayton weaves the story of an American journalist and an American photographer traveling with a male British military photographer in a race with journalists from around the globe to be there first to tell the story of the liberation of Paris. Because of the restrictions placed upon female journalists, the photographer Liv has had to go AWOL, pulling Jane and Fletcher along ...more
Aug 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Well written historical fiction almost always captures my interest. This was no exception. Great WWII story told from the perspective of a female journalist as well as her friend, a female photo-journalist who were trying to get to the front to record what was happening. Based on real life people who I realize I know next to nothing about. Thankfully she provides a pretty inclusive list of non-fiction writings for me to explore.
Meg Waite Clayton knows how to flesh out a place and characters and make you feel like you are there with them, talking to them, living amongst them, and it's sad to let them go and close the book.
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
6 out of 5 stars! Extraordinary.
Gabriella Rusk
Though fictional, the untold stories of female journalists and photographers fighting the way to the front lines to report and depict World War II are captivating. However, I think my expectations were too high for this novel and it didn't play out the way I hoped. Parts of The Race for Paris were hard to follow; other parts were too caught up in the romance between the characters. While I can appreciate the research and detail that went into the plot, I think I wanted more excitement and acti ...more
Feb 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Well done story about women photographers and journalists in World War II. This one focuses on the imminent end of the war but it is not over yet so there is still a great deal of danger. At what cost do these civilians proceed to get the story, to get the image? Many real reporters from the day are quoted and some of their experiences are relived through new characters.
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Play Book Tag: The Race for Paris by Meg Waite Clayton, 3.5 stars 5 15 Aug 17, 2017 07:05AM  
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Book club favorite Meg Waite Clayton is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Langum-Prize honored national bestseller THE RACE FOR PARIS -- recommended reading by Glamour Magazine and the BBC, and an Indie Next Booksellers' pick -- and THE WEDNESDAY SISTERS, one of Entertainment Weekly's "25 Essential Best Friend Novels" of all time. Her THE LANGUAGE OF LIGHT was a finalist for ...more
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