Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Parisians” as Want to Read:
The Parisians
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Parisians

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  3,302 ratings  ·  191 reviews
Paris, 1940. The Nazis have occupied the city¬—and the Ritz. The opulent old hotel, so loved by Parisians, is now full of swaggering officers, their minions and their mistresses.

For American Olivia Olsen, working as a chambermaid at the hotel means denying her nationality and living a lie, every day bringing the danger of discovery closer. When Hitler’s right-hand man move
Paperback, 368 pages
Published January 17th 2019 by Lake Union Publishing
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Parisians, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Rachael The Beekeeper's Promise by Fiona Valpy and All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr and great WWII books set in occupied France.
I was looking for…more
The Beekeeper's Promise by Fiona Valpy and All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr and great WWII books set in occupied France.
I was looking for something similar to them when I found The Parisians. (less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.36  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,302 ratings  ·  191 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Kylie D
An interesting look at Paris during World War 2, concentrating on the guests and staff at the plush Ritz hotel. It has a mixture of real and fictional characters, including icons such as fashion designer Coco Chanel and French actress Arletty. We also follow the life of fictional character Olivia Olsen, an American chambermaid at the Ritz, hiding her identity behind a Swedish passport. We explore their stories during the Nazi occupation, and the ways each individual handles the oppressive regime ...more
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: . . . the eve of war had come as a shock. It was here suddenly, the thing they had all dreaded but not wished to look at, like the monster that lurked under the beds of children. Now, with terrifying purpose, it had clambered out and proved itself real after all.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Paris, 1940. The Nazis have occupied the city¬—and the Ritz. The opulent old hotel, so loved by Parisians, is now full of swaggering officers, their minions and their mistresses.

For American Olivia Olsen, worki
Jan 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, netgalley
3. 5 stars

Thanks to Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review

Readers choose books for all sorts of reasons and I am no exception. I chose this book specifically for its title because Paris is one of my favorite cities in the world. I may have mentioned this in other reviews, but I cried the very first time I saw that city and if the Eiffel Tower had been a person, well it most likely asked me to stop taking pictures of it. The fact that it was also sur
It is 1940 and Paris + the Ritz have been occupied by the Nazis. Most of the story revolves in the Ritz where we find 3 women, both fictional and real, who use this invasion for either their benefit or to extract revenge.
Olivia Olsen, is an aspiring artist turned chambermaid at the Ritz who becomes a favourite of Adolf Hitler's right hand man and uses this as an opportunity to help the Resistance and in the process avenge the death of her fiancee.
Coco Chanel is a world famous designer who sees
Lady Em
Dec 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: WWII fans who Loathe Romance
Recommended to Lady Em by: I took a chance
Got this from NetGalley, which is sometimes as much a crapshoot as First Reads. But I was surprised this time and delighted: a good, gritty, urbane, accurate, practical, frightening, realistic, and generally pitch-perfect novel of a little slice of Paris during the war. And no smarmy, over-the-top, twee, treacly Romance anywhere.

Review to follow.

Oh, if anyone read that horrible gossipy, inaccurate, and poorly written National Enquirer version of the Ritz Hotel during the war by an alleged histor
The Parisians was a solid account of how WW2 impacted Paris and the role of The Ritz hotel. The story focuses on the lives of 3 women whose paths intersect throughout the war at The Ritz. The author includes historical characters including a famous French actress named Arletty and the infamous Coco Channel. At the heart of the story is a young American artist named Olivia Olsen who clings to her Swiss roots and pretends to be from Switzerland.

Olivia gets a job as a chambermaid at The Ritz and i
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
I will say this about this book, thank God for Coco Chanel and Arletty! Those two women made the book worthwhile reading. I found the beginning of the book very hard to get into thanks to Olivia Olsen, this young artist who has come to Paris to paint. She's just the kind of character I have a problem with, a young naive thing that on the very first pages of the book meets a young anarchist that will take her by storm. I was not amused, I found Olivia to be boring to be very frank. However, I kep ...more
- ̗̀ whoreofbookboyfriends ̖́-
I'm surprised at how much I loved this!
Read my review
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I very much enjoyed this trip to WW2 where real and fictional characters do a cross over in a plush hotel in Paris. From Coco Chanel to famed French actress Arletty, not to mention a bunch of other well-drawn fictional characters, all are faced with the invasion of the Nazis and all yearn to survive the best possible way. This of course is far from being simple, especially for the central heroine who longs to save her boyfriend who is at the hands of the Gestapo. One thing’s for sure, though, si ...more
Sherry Chiger
Dec 14, 2018 rated it liked it
If you're looking for an effortless read that juxtaposes the lifestyles of rich Nazi sympathizers and struggling Resistance workers in Paris during World War II, you'll enjoy this. It really made my commute zip along. If, however, you like your books with some depth and writing that rises above the workmanlike, this will disappoint. The characters never blossomed into three-dimensional. Their motivations seemed pat and superficial. For instance, did Arletty, one of the biggest French film stars ...more
Feb 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I have read a lot of WWII novels and one of the things I liked about this one is the mix of fictional characters and historical persons. The Parisians has three POV characters. Olivia Olsen is a young painter from the Midwest who moves to Paris in around 1939 to paint. Olivia is the main character and we follow her through the war as she begins to work at the Ritz and then becomes a spy for the Resistance against Goering.
The other two characters are Coco Chanel and Arletty. Now I had heard of C
Karren  Sandercock
I just finished The Parisians by Marius Gabriel and I really enjoyed it. I didn't finish his two other books The Designer and The Ocean Liner as I found them boring. But, his latest book about a struggling American artist of Swedish heritage who to pay her rent and eat ends up working as a chambermaid at the Ritz in Paris is rather good. Olivia Olsen decides to take a huge risk to help the French resistance, she learns to use a tiny camera to take pictures of documents German officers leave lyin ...more
Jan 31, 2019 rated it liked it
The Parisians is a story of WWII. The Nazi occupation of Paris includes the Ritz hotel. The story is three different perspectives of women within the Ritz. It's interesting to see how each one unfolds because of social class and station and nationality. This is a fascinating time period. Readers of historical fiction will enjoy this book. Thanks to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.
Elisabeth Elo
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Lately there have been a lot of "women in WWII"novels being published. I've read a number of them, and this one is by far the best. First, the research is impeccable. You learn a lot about Paris during the war from reading this book, but the best thing is that the research doesn't get in the way of the storytelling. It's seamless--not too much, not too little--and all of it is interesting. Second, the characters are real, complex people--a far cry from the relatively naive ingenues you see in ot ...more
Surbhi Das
Mar 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-reads
Poignant, Deeply-moving and Heart-breaking!

Then, which World War 2 story, isn't?


Review copy received from NetGalley, in exchange of my honest opinion.

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Amy Layton
Dec 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
In the end, this book left me breathless and aching.  This is a powerful story about love, World War II, and just what it means to do your duty.  With a mixture of fictional characters and real, Gabriel depicts women's struggles during this war.  The story revolves around Olivia Olsen, an asset to the Resistance, Arletty, a Nazi sympathizer, and Coco Chanel, a Nazi.  

One thing that I really appreciated about this book is that it took women's struggles seriously, regardless of their political aff
Mrs. Moira McGeough
This novel gives a slice of life in Paris after the Germans invaded during WW II. Because it is set in the luxurious surroundings of the Ritz hotel, used by the higher ranking Germans, wealthy civilians and hotel staff it has an intensity not possible in a wider setting. The three female characters, Olivia, (fictional), Co Co Chanel and Arletty, both actual, historical people are central to the plot. I thought Co Co and Arletty were well portrayed but Olivia was rather weak and one dimensional. ...more
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I do enjoy reading historical fiction and especially enjoy reading books where WW2 is concerned. This is the first time that i have read any books by Marius Gabriel and have a few more which shall be reading soon. I am not going to write what this story is about, as i prefer one to read the story for themselves. Recommended.

My thanks to Netgalley and the Publishers. This is my honest review.
Haley Renee The Caffeinated Reader
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: earcs
I really felt Marius Gabriel captured the spirit of Paris and The Ritz in this and even more, he was more historically accurate than most others out there. I was so impressed with this book and I read it as if I were needing air haha I couldn't put it down. I will say that at some parts Oliva's chapters were too flowery for me, but, on the whole, I went from being a bit annoyed with her character to admiring her. I wasn't sure what type of ending it would be as the novel did go quite dark, which ...more
Feb 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really liked the story it centers around Olivia Olsen a chambermaid, then housekeeper at the Ritz hotel in Paris. She'd originally gone to Paris to become an artist, but couldn't sell any of her paintings, so she had to find a job elsewhere. There are two additional main characters, one an actress and one a fashion designer of notable fame. The characters were well written, the story kept me reading, I couldn't put it down. The author's research seemed to be right on, but I'm not sure about th ...more
Sherri Lewis
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
*** I received an advanced e-copy from Net Galley in exchange for my honest review

In Paris, the Ritz was the place everyone wanted to be during WWII, including the Nazi's. They took over half of the hotel at a 90% discount, and expected the same lavish treatment as everyone else. The book concentrates the story around 3 women at the Ritz, and how they all dealt with the invasion. Coco Chanel decides to put it to her advantage and gets a lover high up in the regime. Arletty is a French actress wh
Sally Coles
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When Paris was overrun in WW2 the Nazi's took over the Ritz Hotel and this is the story of three women who became involved with them. Olivia is an American artist who took a job as a chambermaid at the Ritz to help pay her way and a at the outbreak of the war decided to stay, claiming her Swiss origins, and collected information for the Resistance, Arletty an actress who fell for a German SS officer and Coco Chanel whose German collaboration is well documented.
How will the lives of these three
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michelle (Champ)

I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway and I was thrilled because I had wanted to read this one!!

There is a lot going on in The Ritz hotel during WWII. For most of the book, the Nazis have taken over the hotel, leaving the regular residents either out of a home or in different quarters. It was odd to see a side of a famous designer, Coco Chanel that I had never seen. We also see a middle-aged actress, Arletty and her lovers. We see a chambermaid, Olivia, find love and risk everything for someth
Sarah MacIntyre
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
A fascinating insight into how different women handled life in occupied Paris during WW2. It is fiction but based on real characters during this period. Those unwilling to give up their privileged lives that they have worked hard to achieve so enjoy the best of the Nazi's occupation. Others who see the horrors of the Nazi's and SS and join the resistance and a German living in Paris who is gleeful in joining the Gestapo. Set with the background of the Ritz Hotel the book is full of bravery, deca ...more
Cheryl Schlesinger
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
What a great book! My usual favorite...historical fiction, WWII at the Ritz. These characters that inhabited the Ritz during the war (Coco Chanel, Goehring, Arletty, the manager and so many) were quite a bunch and the outcome of their lives is in the author’s notes at the end. The fictional main characters (Olivia & Jack) center the story as it begins with Olivia, a talented artist goes to Paris to pursue her passion. As the war begins, and the Resistance emerges, Olivia, now a chambermaid a ...more
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyable. I have always enjoyed a war novel and even more so from a different point of view (not british) the fact that this is loosely based on real people makes it all the more interesting.

A good read which made me research people such as Coco Chanel who I otherwise have had no interest in.

Cant wait to read another of Marius' books.
Lilly  Minasyan
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read a lot about WW2, I have an obsession with that era, this one will be remembered very well.
First of all, I didn't know Coco Chanel was a Nazi collaborator, and used the War to advance her business.. Kind of disgusted...
Every single character was so vivid in my head and I loved every storyline.
I won't write much, because then I'd spoil, but I highly recommend it!
Jun 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: wwii-fiction
This author is such a great writer, weaving together historical people and his characters.
Debbie Allan
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
It’s been quite a while since I read a historical fiction. What a fabulous book to get me back into the genre.
I thoroughly enjoyed the mix of real historic characters alongside fictional ones. I literally slowed down my reading as I neared the end of the book as I didn’t want it to end! I’d love this book to become a movie.
My favorite read of the year so far. Strongly recommended.
Thanks Goodreads for the giveaway.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Beantown Girls
  • White Rose
  • The Spitfire Girls
  • One Last Summer
  • The Second-Last Woman in England
  • I, Jacqueline
  • A Time of Secrets
  • The Victory Garden
  • Theorie of the Storm
  • Wild Lands
  • Loving Liberty Levine
  • The Maiden (The Morland Dynasty, #8)
  • The End of Law: A Novel of Hitler's Germany
  • Dry Hard
  • Freedom Road
  • Mistress of the Ritz
  • Finding Katarina M.
  • Fields of Gold
See similar books…
Marius Gabriel is an international thriller and mystery writer.

Under the pseudonym Madeleine Ker, he wrote over 30 romance novels in the 1980s.

As Marius Gabriel he has written several mystery best-sellers, some of them historical novels.

He has three grown-up children and currently lives in Cairo and London. He is 59.
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »