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The Paris Library

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4.16  ·  Rating details ·  4,943 ratings  ·  1,625 reviews
Paris, 1939. Odile Souchet is obsessed with books and the Dewey Decimal System, which makes order out of chaos. She soon has it all – a handsome police officer beau, an English best friend, a beloved twin, and a job at the American Library in Paris, a thriving community of students, writers, diplomats, and book lovers. Yet when war is declared, there's also a war on words. ...more
Kindle Edition, 409 pages
Published February 2nd 2021
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Trish Advance reading copies are available for reviewers at sites like Netgalley.
Carrie there's sex, nothing too explicit, one lady is attacked, but it's the aftermath that was detailed. Not sure about 13, maybe 15, depending on their mat…morethere's sex, nothing too explicit, one lady is attacked, but it's the aftermath that was detailed. Not sure about 13, maybe 15, depending on their maturity level...(less)

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Average rating 4.16  · 
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 ·  4,943 ratings  ·  1,625 reviews


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MarilynW
Jan 30, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles

This was such an enjoyable story and led me to research more about the American Library in Paris. The story starts in 1939 Paris, as we follow twenty year old librarian Odile Souchet. Odile's father is a police chief and when the Nazis arrive in Paris, he is tasked with following through on all the letters identifying the persecuted people of the time. Odile's brother has joined the war, despite being so very unsuited for physical activity, while Odile'
...more
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)
***HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY***


Historical fiction is my favorite genre. I search out novels that are set about, in or around books, libraries, book stores etc.

The novel is set during dual timelines, one in the past in 1939 through 1944 and the other in the more current time of 1983-1989.

The first timeline is set in Paris around 1939,as we follow Odelie through the years. She first starting work at the American Library in Paris and then continued through the years of Nazi occupation in Paris. This
...more
Angela M
I thought this would be a relevant one to read during Banned Book Week, and it was, but it’s about more than banned books. It’s about people affected by the Nazi occupation of France, how the Librarians and other staff at the American Library of Paris tried to save some of their patrons as well as preserve their right to read by delivering books to their Jewish subscribers who were no longer allowed by the Nazis to use the library. I was compelled to read some about the history of ALP and discov ...more
Swaroop
May 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"based on a true Second World War story of the heroic librarians..."

Set in two different time periods, The Paris Library is a well-written and engaging read. The book follows the experiences of Odile, a librarian and Lily, a high school student.

To start with much of the book is about the importance of books, the power of literature, the value of libraries and, above-all, the wonderful profession of being a Librarian. This itself is a good enough reason for all book lovers to read this book.


Th
...more
Paromjit
Apr 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Janet Skeslien Charles writes an intriguing blend of well researched fact and fiction focusing on the experience of the established American Library in Paris amidst the background of the Nazi occupation during WW2. It follows the experiences of the young, ambitious librarian, Odile Souchet, with the library supporting its subscribers, including Jews, and soldiers. The Library is not left untouched by the occupation, a target for the Nazis. The story covers Odile's wartime experiences, such as th ...more
Christine
Apr 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Christine by: Atria widget via Net Galley
Though I am starting to back off on historical novels set during WWII, I picked this book as it appeared to offer something different. The story has dual timelines with our protagonist, Odile, heavily featured in both. During WWII, Odile works at the American Library in Paris (a real institution). The later timeline takes place in the mid to late 1980s in Montana. I enjoyed both timelines equally. The best feature of the WWII period is the library setting. I love the references to the Dewey deci ...more
Thomas
Dec 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 shining stars rounded down for a story of love, betrayal, sadness, courage and coming of age, all wrapped up in one book. This book is based on actual events in Paris during WWII. The American Library in Paris remained open during the German occupation. Heroic librarians did deliver books to Jewish subscribers as depicted in the book.
The book opens with Odile Souchet applying for a job at the American Library in Paris. It is February, 1939. She is hired for the job of her dreams. She loves b
...more
Miranda Reads
3.5 stars
description

New month, New Booktube Reading Vlog - tier-listing all the books read in July!
The Written Review
description

I loved Paris, a city with secrets. Like book covers, some leather, some cloth, each Parisian door led to an unexpected world.
We follow Odile Souchet as she applies to be a librarian in an English-speaking library in Paris, 1939.

She quickly falls in love with a police officer beau, finds a new friend among the library's patrons and thrives on the challenge, and is finding
...more
Marialyce
Oct 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have been disappointed in the historical fiction genre for a time, But this book has ended that disappointment. It was superb in every sense and one in which the author was able to blend fact and fiction flawlessly.

Taking us once again to Paris during the war, we meet a cast of characters who knew and espoused the idea that books are the answer to the ills of people who suffer. The American Library of Paris, like so many things was gravely affected during the wars. From books being banned, to
...more
Elyse  Walters
Audiobook...library overdrive..
alternated with the
physical book... (I own it)

I’ve been sitting here debating whether or not to write a review at all.
I suppose I’ll start with a personal share.

I’m getting pretty close to retiring from writing reviews.
I’ll write a review when I accept a book from Netgalley ...(it’s kinda our deal arrangement)....
but a decade of writing reviews is about enough for me.

My brain is tired.
I don’t want to write reviews as often as I did last year. The pattern will
...more
Liz
Dec 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
This book starts on a light note, a young Parisienne woman gets a job at the American Library in Paris. She quickly befriends a young English woman and finds love with a policeman. But it’s 1939 and war clouds are looming to the east.
Charles makes you feel a part of the library, taking me back to the days of the Dewey decimal system, citing lots of classic books. All of us who love books will recognize the comfort a library brings. I loved how Charles uses quotes from classic stories to bring h
...more
Annette
This story brings “a little-known chapter of WWII history: the story of the American librarian, Miss Reeder, who created the Soldiers’ Service to deliver books to servicemen, and who later faced the Nazi ‘Book Protector’ in order to keep her library open. She and her colleagues defied the Bibliotheksschutz by delivering books to Jewish readers after they were forbidden from entering the library.”

Montana, 1983. Lily, a lonely teenager, is working on a school project, a report on France. She goes
...more
Carole
Jun 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley-books
The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles is a memorable account of life during World War II in Paris after the German invasion. In 1939 Odile is thrilled to be hired at the American Library in Paris (ALP). Her love of the written word soon makes her an important and respected member of staff. As the German soldiers take control, the library is in danger of being closed permanently, like so many others. This is the story of how library staff coped with years of foreign dominance while serving ...more
Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
3.5 stars.

All book lovers will have a soft spot for this story.

This novel revolves around an entertaining and quirky cast of library loving characters. During WWII, several dedicated employees of the American Library in Paris worked diligently, and often secretly, to deliver books to those who could not make it in to the library. Soldiers stationed at various camps, elderly patrons, forbidden Jewish patrons. The employees made sure these passionate readers didn’t go without their beloved books t
...more
Karren  Sandercock
Jun 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Thanks to Hachette Australia, NetGalley and Janet Skeslien Charles for my copy of The Paris Library.

Paris, 1939: Odile Souchet is a girl obsessed with both the Dewey Decimal System and her boyfriend Paul and has just been employed as a librarian at the American Library in Paris. With the shadow of another war looming, she and her parents are worried about her twin brother Remy and of course he joins the French army. The German army easily overcome the Maginot Line, they march into Paris and the
...more
DeAnn
Jan 30, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021, netgalley-2021
4.25 Ordeal Stars (an inside joke with the book, certainly not an ordeal to read!)

I really enjoyed this one with dual storylines and timeframes. It was great to learn about the American Library in Paris and what happened there before and during WWII.

The WWII storyline focuses on Odile, her family, and how she sets out to get a job at the American Library. It was fascinating to discover that many of the other librarians were based on real people, that always makes the read more interesting to me
...more
Tea Jovanović
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The reading completed, 4 blissful days of pure enjoyment... Good story, from start to finish, serious story lined with fine humour... My favourite city in the world, Paris, American Library, WWII, Jews, friendships, hardships, strong emotions, and many life situations that can't be watched as black or white... there is also a bit of grey... Only the true book lovers can understand passion for books and risks to save them... Two parallel stories, the one in Paris during WWII and another 40 years ...more
Virginie
Jul 07, 2020 marked it as unfinished
I feel so bad... Despite the great premise, I just can't get into the story! DNF at 25%.

I really don't want to discourage anyone to read it. Odile, the main character, is a book lover and it was very interesting to read about the Dewey system. The storyline in the present seems to have broken the magic of the wonderful first chapter...

Thanks so much to the author, Netgalley and Atria books for the ARC.

Publication date : 09 Feb 2021
...more
Britany
3.5 Stars

Alternating storylines between WWII Paris and 1980s Montana. Odile desires to get a job at the American Library in Paris just as the war is beginning. The cast of characters (mostly real people) and the activities and bookish references was just what I needed this winter. Lily Jacobsen is growing up in Montana as she comes of age through middle/high school, she becomes deeply interested in her aloof, outcasted French neighbor.

I fell hard and fast for this one, the writing and the story
...more
Cheri

A story told in two separate timeframes – 1939 and 1983, and in two very different places – Paris, France and Froid, Montana, from the perspectives of two different women – Odile Souchet whose story spans the two timeframes, and her young neighbor Lily, who is at the age where bodies are beginning to change and the interest in boys and girls are front and center of many of her classmates. While her friends are busy with boys, Lily feels excluded and befriends her neighbor, eventually taking Fren
...more
Marilyn
Feb 27, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to the audiobook of The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles on Overdrive. It was read by Nicky Diss, Sarah Feathers and Esther Wane. The Paris Library was a compelling read that told the history of the library during the Nazi occupation of Paris. Janet Skeslien Charles based her novel on real events that actually occurred during this time period. Many of the characters in her novel actually existed while others were fictional. I had not been aware of all the brave men and women th ...more
Tina
This is a historical fiction that takes place during WWII in Paris, France. I have to say my feelings about this book is different from most peoples, but this is how I feel about the book. I really had high hopes for this book, and it let me down. The beginning (or first 40% of the book) was very slow moving and some parts I do not think needed to be in the book. I hated the first part of this book. I think after getting through the first 40% of the book made me just feel the last part of the bo ...more
Dana
May 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review-copies
What a beautifully written story! I devoured The Paris Library in just two sittings. I loved the story of Odile and everything that came with it. I had a soft spot for Paul as that's also my husband's name. I also really enjoyed the relationship between Odile and her twin brother, Remy. A truly strong set of characters inside these pages.... my only complaint, I still wanted more! I felt such a connection to the characters and was sad when the story ended.

We're all readers here ... who doesn't
...more
Bkwmlee
Jan 25, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This felt like such a perfect read! As a book lover, I’m of course drawn to stories about libraries and book stores, but the added bonus with this story is that it also covers one of my favorite genres: historical fiction. Based on real life people and events, this dual timeline narrative tells the story of the American Library in Paris and the efforts of its staff to keep the library open during the German occupation of France in World War II. The main narrative in the past is told from the per ...more
MicheleReader
Mar 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In my quest to read WWII-era books with perspectives that I have not read before, I was happy to read The Paris Library.

In 1939 Paris, the future looks bright for Odile Souchet. She has just been hired by the American Library in Paris and is now part of an exciting world of book lovers including librarians, writers, diplomats and intellectuals. But as the Nazis invade Paris, the world around her drastically changes. Not only are people being persecuted but there is a threat to her beloved libra
...more
Bam cooks the books ;-)
How exciting to find a work of historical fiction set in Paris and dealing with WWII that brings something new to light. The focus of this story is the American Library in Paris and a young woman librarian named Odile who is hired to begin working in Periodicals in February of 1939.

The Director of the library is a brilliant American woman named Miss Reeder who says she believes in the power of books and in the library to make knowledge available to all. As war closes in on their city and the Ge
...more
Krystal
The Paris Library might just be my most favorite read of 2020! I devoured this story, I couldn't get enough and it's one of those books that grab you deep inside your soul so hard that you wish the book would never end. These are the books I wish were in a series, I want more!

Based on real actual events and people, the author did an amazing job with her research. I fell so far into the story I'm not sure I can pick up another book for a few days. I literally feel like I was taken back in time t
...more
Tami
Set during World War II, this novel takes place at the American Library in Paris and focuses on how the Nazi occupation affected the library and it’s employees and patrons.

The story centers around the life of Odile Souchet, who is hired at the library right before the war breaks out in France. Her life is immediately complicated when her twin brother joins the military. As the war progresses, the library makes the necessary changes to stay in compliance with the new regime, sometimes at peril to
...more
Karren  Sandercock
Thanks to Hachette Australia, NetGalley and Janet Skeslien Charles for my copy of The Paris Library.

Paris, 1939: Odile Souchet is a girl obsessed with both the Dewey Decimal System and her boyfriend Paul and has just been employed as a librarian at the American Library in Paris. With the shadow of another war looming, she and her parents are worried about her twin brother Remy and of course he joins the French army. The Nazis easily overcome the Maginot Line, they march into Paris and the Parisi
...more
Mandy White (mandylovestoread)
A book about a library in one of the world’s most beautiful cities... what’s not to love. The main character Odile is a young book obsessed young girl and I loved her. In 1939 she gets the chance to work in the American Library in Paris, her dream job. She is happy and making like minded friends. And the the war breaks out and the Nazis invade Paris.. and everything changes.

Then we have Lily in 1983 Montana. She makes a friendship with the old lady next door who her hides away on her own and ha
...more
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Janet Skeslien Charles divides her time between Paris and Montana. She enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with family.

The backdrop of her debut novel MOONLIGHT IN ODESSA is the booming business of email-order brides, an industry where love and marriage meet sex and commerce.

Her second novel THE PARIS LIBRARY is based on the true story of the courageous librarians at the American Librar
...more

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Care to travel to past times for some serious drama? Check out this season's biggest historical fiction novels and be transported to tales of...
87 likes · 23 comments
“Libraries are lungs, [...] books the fresh air breathed in to keep the heart beating, to keep the brain imagining, to keep hope alive.” 7 likes
“Books and ideas are like blood; they need to circulate, and they keep us alive.” 3 likes
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