The Paris Library

by

Janet Skeslien Charles has written a novel based on a true story of the American Library in Paris during WWII. Odile is a librarian who joins the resistance movement by delivering books to her Jewish patrons who are no longer allowed to visit the library. She also steals “crow” letters from the desk of her father, who was chief of a police precinct. These were letters of betrayal, written by those who were hoping to gain favors from turning in their neighbors.

The novel jumps ahead to introduce Lily, a young girl in a small Montana town who is Odile’s neighbor, and is taking French lessons from her. Eventually, Odile tells Lily the story of her life during the war, which she has never shared with anyone else. There is an author’s note that reveals more about the history of the library, and how the characters were based on real people. A fascinating read!

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