Inspired by the true story of the librarians who risked their lives during the Nazis' war on words: a story of courage and betrayal inspired by real-life defiance in Occupied Paris, perfect for fans of All the Light We Cannot See, The Book Thief and The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society.
IN THE DARKNESS OF WAR, THE LIGHT OF BOOKS
'A wonderful novel celebrating the power of books and libraries to change people's lives' Jill Mansell
'Heart-breaking and heart-lifting and always enchanting' Ruth Hogan
'I devoured The Paris Library in one hungry gulp . . . charming and moving' Tatiana de Rosnay
'An irresistible, compelling read' Fiona Davis
'Paris and libraries. What's not to love?!' Natasha Lester
'Compelling' Woman & Home
'Delightful, richly detailed' Publishers' Weekly PARIS, 1939
Odile Souchet is obsessed with books, and her new job at the American Library in Paris - with its thriving community of students, writers and book lovers - is a dream come true. When war is declared, the Library is determined to remain open. But then the Nazis invade Paris, and everything changes.
In Occupied Paris, choices as black and white as the words on a page become a murky shade of grey - choices that will put many on the wrong side of history, and the consequences of which will echo for decades to come.
Lily is a lonely teenage desperate to escape small-town Montana. She grows close to her neighbour Odile, discovering they share the same love of language, the same longings. But as Lily uncovers more about Odile's mysterious past, she discovers a dark secret, closely guarded and long hidden.
Based on the true Second World War story of the heroic librarians at the American Library in Paris, this is an unforgettable novel of romance, friendship, family, and of heroism found in the quietest of places.
An irresistible combination of two of my favourite things: Paris and libraries. What's not to love?! I truly enjoyed this novel about the wartime activities of the staff of the American Library in Paris, who are an eclectic and delightful group of characters. Utterly charming. - Natasha Lester
A wonderful novel celebrating the power of books and libraries to change people's lives. Enthralling, moving and based on little-known real events. - Jill Mansell, author of MAYBE THIS TIME
A book about books, lovers and book lovers - what's not to love? A wonderful tale about a library that provides a beacon of hope in the darkness and despair of war. Heart-breaking and heart-lifting in turn and always enchanting. - Ruth Hogan, author of THE KEEPER OF LOST THINGS
As a Parisian, an ardent bookworm , and a longtime fan of the American Library in Paris, I devoured The Paris Library in one hungry gulp. It is charming and moving, with a perfect balance between history and fiction. - Tatiana de Rosnay, author of SARAH'S KEY
An irresistible combination of two of my favourite things: Paris and libraries. What's not to love?! Utterly charming - Natasha Lester, author of THE PARIS ORPHAN
A fresh take on WWII France that will appeal to bibliophiles everywhere. I fell in love with Odile and Lily, with their struggles and triumphs, from the very first page. Meticulously researched, The Paris Library is an irresistible, compelling read. - Fiona Davis, author of THE CHELSEA GIRLS
A delightful chronicle of a woman's life in WWII-era Paris and rural 1980s Montana . . .Charles's richly detailed plot incorporates historical figures from the American Library and highlights the perils of occupied Paris. Historical fiction fans will be drawn to the realistic narrative and the bond of friendship forged between a widow and a lonely young girl - Publishers' Weekly
Compelling - Woman & Home
Janet Skeslien Charles is an award-winning author with over a decade's worth of roaming the streets of Paris and researching in its libraries. Her debut novel, Moonlight in Odessa, was published in ten languages and was awarded the Melissa Nathan prize and the Completement Livre prize in Strasbourg.
Originally from Montana, as a child she lived on the same street as a French war bride and was fascinated by the war stories of her French professor. Janet began to research The Paris Library when she worked as Programs Manager at the American Library in Paris. Until recently she taught in Paris, where she still lives.