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The Woman From Saint Germain

3.45  ·  Rating details ·  121 ratings  ·  34 reviews

She is a celebrated writer stranded in Paris after her French lover is killed fighting the German invasion. He is an enigmatic foreigner with a dangerous secret, fleeing Nazi-controlled Austria. Only the war could bring them together.

Armed with a precious first edition of Finnega
Paperback, 416 pages
Published March 1st 2019 by Simon & Schuster AU
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3.45  · 
Rating details
 ·  121 ratings  ·  34 reviews

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Kylie D
I was really enjoying this book, I mean really, really enjoying it. Then I got to the so called 'heartbreaking discovery' and went WHAT? NO! It wasn't the subject matter itself that was the problem. The lead up to it just made it not ring true, and it changed the whole tone of the book. Yes, I got annoyed! But then again maybe that's what the author wanted?

Anyway, to the book. We have Eleanor, an American author living in Paris at the time WW2 breaks out. When the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor she
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
3.5 stars
J.R. Lonie is a well regarded Australian script editor, screenwriter and playwright. He also happens to be one of the writers on A Place to Call Home, a favourite television series of my mine. I was excited to receive a copy of The Woman from Saint Germain, based on my interest in the era (1941) and locale (occupied WWII France). The narration is primarily focussed on Eleanor Gorton Clarke, an American woman and writer, who has resided in Paris for
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Woman from Saint Germain is a novel by Australian author J.R. Lonie (aka John Lonie, screenwriter, playwright and script editor). It’s 1941 and published American author, Eleanor Gorton Clarke has been living in Paris for over twenty years. But now Paris is occupied by the Germans, and the climate has become rather less friendly for Americans and decidedly dangerous for Eleanor’s Jewish acquaintances. Both she and her favourite English-language bookshop, Shakespeare and Company, have at
Apr 03, 2019 rated it liked it
I was so excited to read this book and then I started reading it... I was expecting it to be action-packed, with taut and tense writing but I just didn't get that feeling. My response was "Okay, when is something going to happen?" I kept reading because even though it was moving slowly, I did feel like the story was going somewhere... and then the ending killed it for me. The writer's agenda became so clear and overtook the story in a sense that did not agree with me, particularly the climax and ...more
Pam Tickner
Feb 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Thank you Better Reading for my ARC. This books is interesting in that the story is told from several view points, Eleanor, an American stranded in Paris when Germany invades, a young German soldier on the run, and the German policeman trying to track the pair down as they try to escape France. I'm not sure if the author wanted to show what Eleanor, as an ordinary person, would do in an extraordinary situation, or whether I just didn't warm to her, but I found her vain and unconvincing as she fa ...more
Feb 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Woman from Saint Germain is a tautly paced cat-and-mouse chase, with the main protagonists, Eleanor Gorton Clarke and her enigmatic rescuer, fleeing across France to Spain in a bid to escape the Nazi occupation. Eleanor and her mysterious companion are hunted down by a dogged detective from the Wehrmacht - the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany. Touching on themes of relationships, family, religion, politics, society, bigotry and love the book takes you on a journey.

I found The Woman From
I liked this cat and mouse historical fiction story set in France during WWII. It was engaging and the pace picked up about a quarter of the way through so that I really wanted to know if Bauer was going to catch Eleanor and Henk. The idea and the story were really good, but I did find the writing a bit clunky at times, particularly in the first 100 pages or so. I didn't find (view spoiler) ...more
Apr 23, 2019 rated it liked it
My first reaction to this book was - I really want to read Eleanor’s books, they sound like a riot! This book itself is perhaps less of a wild ride than I anticipated, but it certainly had enough to keep me hooked. The ending I have mixed feelings about, but otherwise a well researched, well plotted historical novel.
Hannah Thom
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
Thank you #BRPreview for this advanced copy to review.
It has taken me some time to be able to find the right words to honestly review The Woman from Saint Germain. I was so excited to grip my teeth in to this book
and unfortunately, I started to lack enthusiasm quite early.

The Woman from Saint Germain follows Eleanor and Henk trying to escape Paris whilst on the run from police after the death of two Germain Soldiers.

In my opinion Lonie has cleverly written on this time from a new angle, focusing
I'm not going to rate this, I dnf at page 311, this was not the right book for me. I did skip to the end just to see what happened, but I couldn't bring myself to continue reading.
Dominique Wilson
Feb 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Thank you Better Reading for this ARC.

Refugees trying to escape from occupied France into Spain during WWII is an interesting topic, and it's obvious Lonie has done his research in regards to this aspect of the story. Unfortunately, the potential for an outstanding story is somewhat lost because of book's protagonist. I understand that Lonie wanted to make Eleanor an over-confident American with a temper, used to getting her own way, but I found no depth of character there, no nuance, so that E
Apr 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is quite a tense book, an 'on the run' and 'on the road' book, as an American woman tries to flee Nazi occupied France to get back to America after the bombing of Pearl Harbour. At first she thinks she will find it relatively easy, given Germany isn't at war with America, but shortly after that Germany does declare war on America. The race is now on for Eleanor Clarke to find passage out of France by whatever means she can. She inadvertently partners up with a younger man, Henk. They become ...more
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
First off I would like to say thank you to better reading Australia and Simon & Schuster for the opportunity to read this book.

For the past 24 hours I have sat and pondered what exactly I would write for this review. I was really excited to receive this book – it sounded like a fantastic book when I signed up to read it and was more excited to find that it came with a hand written note from the publisher. However this book was quite hard for me to get into and read. I’m a pretty quick reader
Jun 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Two of my favourite things…… historical fiction about WW2 and written by an Aussie author.
I did find the beginning of the book a bit hard to get into and restarted reading but once Major Krolow (a German) wanted to buy the first edition of James Joyce’s ‘Finnegan’s Wake’, and it was not for sale….. I got hooked. I was yelling in my head “Give him the book…. your going to die….what are you thinking woman”.
And so the adventure begins of the arrogant American woman, Eleanor trying to escape France
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
Thank you Better Reading for my ARC.

World War 2 novels are my favourite genre so I was quite excited to read this book but was somewhat disappointed. Starting in Paris with an American novelist, Eleanor as the central character who is surviving German occupied Paris quite well until Pearl Harbour happens. Eleanor decides to flee to Spain and then travel home to the US. Along the way she meets Henk, a half Jewish German also wanting to flee France to Spain. Eleanor and Henk help each other throug
Amanda Tovell
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: giveaways
I feel I need to preface this review by stating I read my advanced copy of The Woman from Saint Germain from #BRPreview immediately after finishing The Book Thief, which I loved. Unfortunately, I was immediately challenged by my immense dislike of J.R. Lonie’s main character Eleanor and feeling a strong lack of engagement with the story. Eleanor’s brash, vain and egotistical Americanisms was intensely irritating and Lonie gave her very few redeeming characters until almost the end of the book. H ...more
Kim Gordon
Feb 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
When we meet Eleanor, she is an American novelist who has chosen to stay in German-occupied Paris, trying to write her next novel. However before long it is made clear to her that she would be wise to leave France and return home, something which she soon finds is easier said than done, in spite of having an American passport, American dollars and boxes of Chesterfield cigarettes to barter with. On a train packed with other refugees she crosses swords with a young man also seeking to escape the ...more
Feb 18, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Set in December 1941, The Woman from Saint Germain, is a novel blending an American woman in Paris, a mysterious younger man with a deadly secret and a cast of interesting and unexpected characters. I didn’t think I’d enjoy this book as much as I did. Eleanor isn’t someone I typically enjoy reading about. She’s a little snobby, slightly naïve and her history as being ‘the other woman’ didn’t sit well with me. At first. It wasn’t long before I was captivated by Eleanor, Henk and the other people ...more
Apr 10, 2019 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 17, 2019 rated it did not like it
I cannot give this book a higher rating than one star. There is just too much in it that is unlikely, illogical or just downright stupid.
The "heroine" is waiting to cross the Pyrenees and regain her freedom. Her stash of US dollars is dwindling rapidly but what does she do? She buys a large bottle of luxury perfume then goes to get her hair done. Really? When the French and German police are already on your tail?
She has a large supply of American cigarettes but often smokes only half a cigarett
Mar 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Thanks to Better Reading I had the chance to experience an amazing book I probably otherwise would never have looked at twice (The Woman From Saint Germain): Eleanor, a glamorous romance novelist still living in France after the death of her French lover, finally decides to leave when life under German occupation becomes dangerously difficult. Due to circumstances she finds herself on the run from the Nazis (and a dogged German detective) with an unlikely (and at first unlikeable) foreigner, try ...more
Mar 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received this book from Simon & Schuster as a Good Reads giveaway. Pleased I read it as I like reading books that take place during WWII.

Eleanor Gordon Clarke is a writer stranded in Paris who is thrown together with Henk. They are forced on the run among many other refugees. I particularly liked the importance of books and bookshops through out the story, as well as the items that became valuable (to barter in life or death situations).

The story becomes very cat and mouse as they are chas
Jeanie Blyth
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
2 stars only because I felt really let down about half way through, & after such a good start. I found the lead character to be unbelievably shallow and unexamined, it was a rushed and cobbled together ending, and overall I feel it could have done with a few more edits.
I may be petty saying this, but I was offended that the central female character was portrayed in such a facile manner. The male characters were fleshed out well, while the female was presented through what I read as a dimini
Apr 05, 2019 rated it liked it
I don’t know what to think of this book. On one hand I like the writing, the history, the ending being not as predictable as I thought it would be and at the start I was invested in the characters but for me it was too long and by the end I would have shot them myself. And I wish there had been a map so we could follow their escape route.

Some of the situations defy logic - for example they had arguments in the most foolish places & left a trail of clues blind Freddie could follow, mainly in
Jul 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
really enjoyed this story of an American author living in Paris during World War 11 and her life there
around the Shakespeare & Company friends. I liked the blending of fact in the story -escape stories form Paris to Spain, mischlings in the German army, life in Vichy France. Well researched.
John Lonie is Australian an don one of the screen writers of A Place Called Home.
Apr 09, 2019 rated it liked it
The premise of the book was fine, the historical background interesting and the plot was believable. However, the main character Eleanor seemed so shallow and self absorbed, and some of the dialogue grated. She seemed to have an inordinate amount of luck for someone who seemed so careless. It also seemed to lack authenticity at times, but I persevered.
Apr 23, 2019 rated it liked it
I was so hoping to enjoy this book but I’m afraid it disappointed me. I couldn’t get into the main characters at all and found their storyline frustrating.
Mar 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Interesting read about WW2 era and the effects it had to everyday people and the strategies they needed to implement to survive. Convincing detail to what the characters encountered
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