The Paris Daughter

Step into the world of Paris during the tumultuous years of World War II, as seen through the eyes of a mother searching for her daughter in place in a world torn apart. The Paris Daughter is heartbreaking historical fiction that will transport you back in time and immerse you in the gripping story of love, loss, and resilience. With heart-wrenching detail and vivid descriptions, this novel will capture your imagination and leave a lasting impact. Delve into this powerful tale and explore the themes of hope, sacrifice, and the unbreakable bonds of family. Get ready to be moved, enthralled, and inspired on this unforgettable journey.

 

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The Paris Daughter

Quick Look

  • WWII historical fiction
  • dual POV, dual timeline⁣
  • grief/loss themes
  • mother/child bonds
  • betrayal and lies
  • sympathetic main character

Pub date: June ⁣6, 2023

Thank you to @BookClubFavorites@gallerybooks and @simonandschuster for the gifted copy!⁣

Publisher's Synopsis

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—and Juliette nowhere to be found. What happened to her daughter in those last, terrible moments? Juliette has seemingly vanished without a trace, taking all the answers with her. Elise’s desperate search leads her to New York—and to Juliette—one final, fateful time.

My Review

After reading a few of Harmel's previous novels and feeling a bit disappointed, I honestly wasn't sure what to expect from The Paris Daughter. I know she's a fan-favorite historical fiction author, which makes me feel like the odd woman out—because I feel like the odd reader out. But The Paris Daughter was such a great read that I must rave about it!

Let's get real for a second. This book is emotional AF for mothers, but I’m not one, so some of the emotional depth was lost on me. But I think the character development made up for that, as I was drawn to Elise and her grief experience at having to leave her daughter. Juliette’s character development was a roller coaster from the reader’s perspective, swinging from relatable to vile to sympathetic.

While it lacks the action typically found in most WWII novels, The Paris Daughter offers another eye-opening perspective on the impact of WWII on families living in occupied Paris. Hearing about the daily lives of the French during the occupation was profoundly moving. The big twist at the end added dimension to the story and made it even more powerful.

My Rating

Overall, The Paris Daughter is a wonderful historical fiction read for lovers of WWII fiction and those who want heart-wrenching scenarios. The mother/daughter relationship and the female friendship story are touching and will definitely move even the hardest of hearts. And if you want more WWII fiction, don't miss my list of the best WWII books!

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About Carlie

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