Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for selecting me to join the blog tour for the compelling new novel Paris Never Leaves You by Ellen Feldman. This novel is on sale today!
Publisher’s Book Summary:
Living through World War II working in a Paris bookstore with her young daughter, Vivi, and fighting for her life, Charlotte is no victim, she is a survivor. But can she survive the next chapter of her life?
Alternating between wartime Paris and 1950s New York publishing, Ellen Feldman’s Paris Never Leaves You is an extraordinary story of resilience, love, and impossible choices, exploring how survival never comes without a cost. The war is over, but the past is never past.
The central theme of Paris Never Leaves You is survivor’s guilt. The book looks at three characters and how they dealt with what happened to them during and the aftermath of World War II. These are ordinary people who are thrust into the horrors of war. The main character is Charlotte Foret, who was a widowed mother during the German occupation of Paris. She manages her father’s bookstore after he fled the country. In the prologue of the novel, it is 1944. Charlotte and her four-year-old daughter Vivi are in a Jewish POW camp about to be freed.
Ten years later, Charlotte and Vivi are living in New York City in an apartment upstairs in the home of Charlotte’s employer Horace Field. Horace and his wife sponsored Charlotte to come to America after the war. Horace, who owns a book publishing company, is in a wheelchair from his war injuries. He is denied the Congressional Medal of Honor simply because he is Jewish. He has his own way of dealing with the atrocities he experienced. Horace’s wife, Hannah, encourages 14-year-old Vivi to learn more about her Jewish past against Charlotte’s wishes. This creates a tension between mother and daughter, which forces Charlotte to reveal her secrets.
The third character is Julian Bauer. He is a German officer in occupied Paris who befriends Charlotte at the bookstore. Because he is an enemy, they have a complex relationship. Julian has to keep a secret in order to survive the war. Once the war is over, his life becomes extremely difficult.
About The Author
Ellen Feldman, a 2009 Guggenheim fellow, is the author of Terrible Virtue, The Unwitting, Next to Love, Scottsboro (shortlisted for the Orange Prize), The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank (translated into nine languages), and Lucy. Her last novel, Terrible Virtue, was optioned by Black Bicycle for a feature film.
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St. Martin’s Press is giving away one paperback copy of Paris Never Leaves You to a subscriber of www.booksandrecipes.com You must be a resident of the United States or Canada to win. Sign up on Rafflecopter for this Giveaway. The contest runs through midnight on August 9th. The Winner will be announced on August 10, 2020.
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And now for the St. Martin Press Recipe For Readers Recommendation:
Praise for Paris Never Leaves You
“A memorable, thought-provoking moral conflict, and dialogue [that] crackles like a duel… Paris Never Leaves You succeeds as a meaty moral tale.” —Historical Novel Society
“Nothing is quite what it seems… Wartime Paris is described in vivid, sometimes harrowing, detail… [An] engrossing page-turner.” —Kirkus Reviews
“A nuanced WWII story of love and survival in Occupied Paris… With its appealing heroine and historically detailed settings… a dangerous secret gives Feldman’s story a gasp-worthy spin.” —Publisher’s Weekly
“Things are seldom as they seem in this engrossing tale of identity, survival, loyalty, and love…Recommend with enthusiasm.” —Library Journal
“Ellen Feldman’s writing is riveting in this beautiful novel that tells the bittersweet story of a young mother’s strength and survival during WWII. From a tiny bookstore in Nazi-occupied Paris to a post-war New York publishing house, Feldman effortlessly captures the terror, immediacy, and inextinguishable human spirit.” —Noelle Salazar, author of The Flight Girls
“Feldman’s powerful exploration of some of the most profound questions about love and loyalty resonates strongly today: What would you do to save your child? What is morality in wartime? How do we make peace with the past?” —Christina Lynch, author of The Italian Party
“This is an exquisite novel – one that gives us what we’re hungry for: an intelligent, complex female character who challenges our ideas of right and wrong, morality and immorality. We’re reminded, too, of the dangers of drawing easy, swift conclusions. Feldman achieves all of this with wholly admirable precision and wit; she takes aim and does not miss.” —Elizabeth J. Church, author of The Atomic Weight of Love and All the Beautiful Girls