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The Paris Library

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4.19  ·  Rating details ·  1,848 ratings  ·  924 reviews
Based on the true World War II story of the heroic librarians at the American Library in Paris, this is an unforgettable story of romance, friendship, family, and the power of literature to bring us together, perfect for fans of The Lilac Girls and The Paris Wife.

Paris, 1939: Young and ambitious Odile Souchet has it all: her handsome police officer beau and a dream job at
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Hardcover, 368 pages
Expected publication: February 9th 2021 by Atria Books (first published June 2nd 2020)
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  • The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles
    The Paris Library
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    Release date: Feb 09, 2021
    **ENTER TO WIN AN ADVANCE COPY OF THE MOST HIGHLY ANTICIPATED WWII NOVEL COMING THIS YEAR!**

    Based on the true World War II story of the heroic librari
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    Giveaway dates: Jan 11 - Jan 25, 2021

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    Average rating 4.19  · 
    Rating details
     ·  1,848 ratings  ·  924 reviews


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    Dorie  - Cats&Books :)
    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 was definitely the most int
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    Angela M
    Sep 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
    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 Kanti
    May 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
    "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
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    Paromjit
    Apr 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
    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
    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
    Christine
    Apr 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    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 (oh-da-lay’), 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 t ...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
    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
    Liz
    Dec 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
    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
    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
    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
    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
    Karren  Sandercock
    Jun 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    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
    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
    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
    Virginie
    Jul 07, 2020 marked it as unfinished  ·  review of another edition
    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
    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
    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
    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
    Judy
    Dec 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    This book was rich in history and emotions and life lessons. It is a beautifully written historical novel about the courageous employees of the American Libary in Paris. The story is set in two time periods - World War II period, and the 19803; and set in two locations - Paris and Montana.

    Odile Souchet has her dream job as a librarian at the American Library in Paris. She is in love with a young police officer, has many friends at the library, and a family who loves her. When the Nazis march on
    ...more
    Amy
    The Paris Library was sent to me as an advanced reader copy, so I might be able to create some buzz and excitement for it. It is due for entry in June! I hope I do the review justice.

    Paris, Books, WWII resistance, this book has all the elements I love! Hits all the notes for me. Dual timeline, where of course the historical story is the center of the tale.

    This is a book for readers who understand books and libraries and the appeal of the people who frequent these places for refuge, learning, an
    ...more
    Susan
    May 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Although I like historical novels, I have tended to shy away from them lately. This looked interesting – based upon the story of the American Library in Paris and their role during WWII. However, I will admit that my heart did sink when I realised that, once again, this book relied upon a dual time frame, which must be the most over-used plot device of recent times.

    If I were not reviewing this, I would have thrown it at the wall. However, as it was on my kindle (which I obviously did not want t
    ...more
    Cheryl
    Author Janet Skeslien Charles worked at the American Library in Paris as a project manager. While working there, she learned about the Library’s operations during World War II from her colleagues. Their stories about the dedication of the library staff and its valuable service inspired her novel.

    This beautifully written story alternates between the lives of two main characters. Odile Souchet worked as a librarian at the American Library in Paris during World War II. After the war, Odile moved to
    ...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, friendshi ...more
    Denise
    Feb 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

    The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles is a captivating read about friendship, family, loss and extreme courage. You will laugh, you will cry, you will feel outrage but mostly you will feel one with the characters.

    Charles has crafted this novel in parallel stories: one story in Paris during WWII and the second in Montana in the eighties. From the beautiful cover to the well developed characters and vivid descriptions, the reader will travel back and experience and appreciate all the heartbr
    ...more
    Lori
    Dec 19, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    “Books the fresh air breathed in to keep the heart beating, to keep the brain imagining, to keep hope alive”.

    This ended up being a bit of a disappointment for me. My favorite parts of this were overshadowed by the things I didn’t like.

    I loved the story centering around books and the role librarians of the American Library in Paris played in fighting to make sure all people had access to them during the Natzi occupation. Books and libraries are a lifeline that should always be accessible especia
    ...more
    Kylie H
    May 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    The Paris Library is based on fact and an actual library that ran during the WWII occupation of Paris. Odile Souchet only ever wanted to work at this library and had trained as a librarian specifically for this. The story is told in parallel time lines, one during the war and the other in the 80's which finds Odile living as a mysterious widow in Montana. Lily as a young neighbour of Odile befriends her and her story starts to unravel.
    Together these two unlikely friends help each other as both d
    ...more
    Erin Clemence
    Apr 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: kindle, first-reads
    Special thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free, electronic ARC of this novel received in exchange for an honest review.

    Expected pub date: Feb. 2. 2021

    It’s 1939 and Paris is on the brink of way. Odile Souchet lands her dream job at the American Library, and spends the days among its patrons and her true loves; books. However, things change quickly when her twin brother, Remy, joins the war effort and soon, the library itself is under attack as the Nazis frequently raid the library,
    ...more
    Kerrin Parris
    Oct 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles is about the American Library Paris (ALP), which is celebrating its 100th birthday this year. The author, who worked at the ALP, has created a beautiful work of fiction that incorporates many of the actual employees of the library during World War II. In the beginning of the war, the library sent over 20,000 books to French, British, and Czechoslovakian troops and the Foreign Legion. After the German occupation of France, the library was able to remain ...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
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