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The Paris Library

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4.27  ·  Rating details ·  173 ratings  ·  98 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
Expected publication: June 2nd 2020 by Laguna
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Average rating 4.27  · 
Rating details
 ·  173 ratings  ·  98 reviews


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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
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
Genevieve Graham
Absolutely delightful story - stories - from the first page to the last. Odile was a wonderful lead, with her contagious energy and insatiable curiosity, then her wisdom and generosity later in life. I adored the menagerie of colourful ‘subscribers’, those who, like Odile, put their lives on the line to preserve the sanctity of the library and every word contained therein from the unthinkable actions of the enemy. I 100% recommend this book to anyone who understands the magic of books, ...more
Grumpybookworm
Jan 16, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020

3.5
Thoroughly enjoyed this new take on the tired WWII fiction genre, even if it was yet another with the exact same cover. If this wasn't about a library I wouldn't have picked it up.

I was 100% engaged in the story and gobbled up every spare hour I could to keep reading. I absolutely loved Odile and how imperfect she was. She was very relatable and felt like someone I would have sought out a friendship with, either in her younger age or her older age.

My criticism is that it felt a bit rushed at
...more
Mindy Stone
Jan 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 rounded up to 4
Deidre Butkus
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was fantastic! I absolutely loved the book of Odile and her journey. The writing was beautiful and the side story of Lily was also beautifully written. I would highly recommend this story to anyone.
Márcia
Jan 22, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook, netgalley
3.5 stars
The Paris Library was an enjoyable read, full of feelings, interesting characters and one of my favourite settings for a book: a library! I was happy to know that the inspiration for this novel came from reality and that most characters existed.
However, I felt something was missing and the 80's timeline with Lily didn't add much to the story in my opinion. I would have prefered if Odile's character and timeline were more developed as well as the overall struggles of surviving during
...more
Viktorija Rutkauskaitė
Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Interesting story. Would highly recommend :)
Shari Suarez
Jan 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Some may groan "Not another WWII historical fiction book!" This one however is different from the others you may have read. It focuses on the American Library in Paris and how the staff stayed open and served their subscribers throughout most of the war. They also risked their lives to take books to their Jewish subscribers when they were no longer allowed to come to the library.
Odile, the main character is a new librarian working in the American Library. She is trying to balance her work with
...more
Meghan
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
This book was received as an ARC from Atria Books in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

I so loved this book from beginning to end. The library was part of a resistance and books were used as weapons but books could also uncover some secrets that could make or break your well-being. That is the case for Odile as she joins the resistance fighting in World War II. Then 50 years later Lily finds the old scriptures Odile has kept
...more
RoseMary Achey
Feb 05, 2020 rated it liked it
A dual time fictional account of an American Library in Paris during the Nazi Occupation The Paris Library will be a strong book club contender when it goes on sale in early June 2020.

The overall theme of this novel was forgivenesses. In both the historical and a bit in the 1980’s portion the primary characters are faced with forgiving loved ones for major transgressions or abandonment.

As with other reviewers, I enjoyed the historical portion of the novel more than the more modern segment set
...more
Stephanie Crowe
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles
Charles has penned an intriguing historical fiction which includes her own work at the American Library in Paris. She actually came to know the descendants of the characters she vividly portrays in her new novel. A riveting story and I loved Odile and all her pals at the library who cared about their readers and also of Lily who met Odile later in life. A memorable adventure during WWII which reveals heroism and the importance of family, friends and
...more
Jennifer
Jan 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
This will be one of my favorite books for a long time. There is so much to love and admire about the main character, despite her flaws, and I appreciate just how fully realized she and many of the other characters are. They have quirks, flaws, admirable qualities -- and are vividly brought to life in this novel. I want to work in their library, visit their apartments, and most of all discuss books with them all! For those who groan at the thought of yet another World War II novel, I urge you to ...more
Allison Krulik
*Thank for to Atria Books & Goodreads for this giveaway*
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I thought the story was great and a lot different from other historical fiction I have read. The characters were very compelling and the story was well written. A perfect story for all my fellow book lovers
Laura
3 1/2 stars – It was a slow start for me, but I couldn’t put it down after a few chapters.

Shifting between 1939 Paris and 1984 Montana, the story tells the tale of Odile Souchet. Odile works in the American Library in Paris during the World War II German invasion of France. The novel follows her relationships with family, friends, and colleagues as she struggles to keep the library and the lives of those she loves.

Pros: Well-developed characters, descriptive writing
Cons: Too many references to
...more
Beskeslien
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I finished this book in a day and a half I loved the characters, the setting,I loved how this book made you want to know what would happen what had happened. If you want a wonderful read this is your book
Billie
Nov 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed it and think it will make a great book club recommendation, but it wasn't 100% my thing.

Four stars for the WWII-set portions, three stars for the 80s-set parts.
A Book Lover's Emporium Book Blog
What a captivating story this was. I became enthralled in the story of the American Library in Paris really quickly. It is really well written and evokes the life and times of Paris during World War Two, so much so that I felt I was there and could see through their eyes. I loved the additional story running through the book too, of Odile and Lily, it gave another perspective of seeing things from the more recent time, looking at the past in the present. Brilliant.

I felt I knew the characters in
...more
Michelle
Jan 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to Atria Books for the ARC. This was a very entertaining book and a fresh take on a WWII novel. I enjoyed the timeline set in Paris the most, learning about all the habitués of the library, more than I enjoyed the 1980s sections. The heartbreak was anticipated enough that it didn’t actually pack the emotional punch I was expecting to feel. But overall, I would recommend for an easy fresh read.
Bojan
Feb 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The American Library in Paris is the BEST!
Pamela Aronson
Jan 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Pamela by: ppaperback@aol.com
I absolutely loved "The Paris Library". It was an amazing story and well written. I was totally absorbed from the first page to the last, not wanting to put the book down. I found the novel to be a very powerful historical fiction story based on an incredible true story. I highly recommend this novel.
Chris Markley
A story of finding your path in life even as the world collapses around you. Of learning when to speak and when to keep quiet and the consequences of action. Plus a celebration of libraries and the devoted librarians that will risk their lives for them.

THanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing an ARC for my honest review.
Jennifer
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful read, especially for librarians. Based on a true story about the American Library in Paris during World War II. Reminded me a bit of Orphan Train because it wove the past with the present. There is a also a bit of mystery added, who is writing the mysterious letters about the people in the library to the police?

I highly recommend, I received a free copy from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
Erin
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! From the very beginning to the end, it was interesting and engaging. The characters are well imagined, and the pacing is spot on.
Rosemary
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Fresh out of library school, Odile Souchet finds employment at the American Library in Paris (https://americanlibraryinparis.org) in 1939. She and her colleagues weather the hardships caused by the German occupation of France during World War II. They keep the Library open, defying the Nazis in order to help subscribers, including “enemy aliens” and Jews forbidden to visit. The author worked at the Library in 2010 and based the novel on actual people and events there, which makes it all the more ...more
Kelso McNaught
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
A fantastic WWII story in the same vein as Resistance Women et. al.
Lynn
Dec 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
An immensely satisfying novel about the American Library in Paris in 1939, sprinkled with Dewey Decimal notations for the life events that Odile Souchet encounters.

Fast forward to 1983 Montana where Odile is living out her solitary years, when her next-door neighbor, Lily, seeks her out and, slowly, they become friends.

Absolutely enchanting.

I read this EARC courtesy of Edelweiss and Atria Books. pub date 06/02/20
Alyssa
Nov 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars. I can't think of a more perfect novel to recommend to booklovers than The Paris Library! Not only does it bring to life the true story of the heroic librarians of the American Library in Nazi-occupied Paris, its interwoven narrative of a bereft teenager in 1980's Montana who finds a kindred spirit in her mysterious, reclusive, and book-loving French neighbor is a feat of extraordinary storytelling. THE PARIS LIBRARY is a testament to the everlasting power of literature and literary ...more
Ethel
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Paris, 1939 we find Odile interviewing for a position at the American Library. Odile, having learned the Dewey decimal system thinks in terms of numbers, referring to the books in the library. This is a place where she feels comfortable, where she reveres books. Further this is where students, writers, diplomats and book lovers congregate. Odile is at home, where friendships were made among the many book shelves. Yet as important as the job the library is in her life, she has more...an English ...more
Ethel
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Paris, 1939 we find Odile interviewing for a position at the American Library. Odile, having learned the Dewey decimal system thinks in terms of numbers, referring to the books in the library. This is a place where she feels comfortable, where she reveres books. Further this is where students, writers, diplomats and book lovers congregate. Odile is at home, where friendships were made among the many book shelves. Yet as important as the job the library is in her life, she has more...an English ...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
...more