The Paris Daughter by Kristin Harmel
Genre: Historical Fiction, WWII
Publication: June 6th 2023 by Gallery Books
Taken from Goodreads: From the bestselling author of the “heart-stopping tale of survival and heroism” (People) The Book of Lost Names comes a gripping historical novel about two mothers who must make unthinkable choices in the face of the Nazi occupation.
Paris, 1939: Young mothers Elise and Juliette become fast friends the day they meet in the beautiful Bois de Boulogne. Though there is a shadow of war creeping across Europe, neither woman suspects that their lives are about to irrevocably change.
When Elise becomes a target of the German occupation, she entrusts Juliette with the most precious thing in her life—her young daughter, playmate to Juliette’s own little girl. But nowhere is safe in war, not even a quiet little bookshop like Juliette’s Librairie des Rêves, and, when a bomb falls on their neighborhood, Juliette’s world is destroyed along with it.
More than a year later, with the war finally ending, Elise returns to reunite with her daughter, only to find her friend’s bookstore reduced to rubble. Surviving neighbors tell her that Juliette and a little girl survived. But which little girl—and what happened in the bookstore’s final moments? Juliette has seemingly vanished without a trace, taking all the answers with her. Elise’s desperate quest to find out what happened to her daughter ultimately leads her to New York—and to Juliette—one final, fateful time.
An “exquisite and gut-wrenching novel” (Lisa Barr, New York Times bestselling author) you won’t soon forget, The Paris Daughter is also a sweeping celebration of resilience, motherhood, and love.
My Thoughts: Phenomenal! This book tore my heart up and then put it piece by piece together. Being a mother during WWII meant not only keeping yourself alive but also keeping your children alive. This means leaving your children behind to be kept safe or sending them away to keep them safe. The Paris Daughter is the story of a woman who made the choice to leave her daughter with her best friend while she feels the Nazi’s. While gone the unthinkable happens, the place where she left her daughter to be kept safe is bombed.
A mother’s love is an amazing thing, and this was proven many times in this book. I was in awe of all the mothers in this book. The choices they had to make just to keep their families safe made my heart ache for them. Whether they choose to leave the children, send them away, or keep them with them there was no guarantee that they would all be together at the end of the war. I believe there was no right answer and each mother had to make their own decision.
The Paris Daughter is a story of the strength of a mother’s love, families, and mother/daughter relationships. This book had me turning pages and devouring the words just to see what was going to happen next.
Thank you Gallery Books and NetGalley for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
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Meet Kristin Harmel (taken from her website): Kristin Harmel is the New York Times bestselling, USA Todaybestselling, and #1 international bestselling author of The Forest of Vanishing Stars, The Book of Lost Names, The Winemaker’s Wife, and a dozen other novels that have been translated into more than 30 languages and are sold all over the world.
Kristin has been writing professionally since the age of 16, when she began her career as a sportswriter, covering Major League Baseball and NHL hockey for a local magazine in Tampa Bay, Florida in the late 1990s. In addition to a long magazine writing career, primarily writing and reporting for PEOPLE magazine (as well as articles published in American Baby, Men’s Health, Woman’s Day, Travel + Leisure, Ladies’ Home Journal, and more), Kristin was also a frequent contributor to the national television morning show The Daily Buzz.
Kristin was born just outside Boston, Massachusetts and spent her childhood there, as well as in Worthington, Ohio, and St. Petersburg, Florida. After graduating with a degree in journalism (with a minor in Spanish) from the University of Florida, she spent time living in Paris and Los Angeles and now lives in Orlando, with her husband and young son. She is also the co-founder and co-host of the popular weekly web show and podcast Friends & Fiction.