Friday, June 9, 2023

The Paris Daughter by Kristin Harmel

From the bestselling author of 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 RĂªves, 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.

Kindle Edition, 380 pages
Published June 6, 2023 
by Gallery Books
4/5 stars

Released just a few days ago The Paris Daughter is Kristin Harmel‘s latest. It is a dual time period story that begins in Paris at the onset of World War II. Then it jumps to 1960 both in Paris and New York. 

It was an accidental meeting for young mothers, Elise and Juliette in 1939 that has them becoming good friends. Years later, Elise through circumstances not her own fault she is separated from her young daughter.  Juliette takes young Mathilde in, while Elise goes into hiding.

The Paris Daughter is a story of friendship, relationships between mother and daughter and loss. It is a well written story that highlights a mothers love, the repercussions of the war that just don’t want to let go even many, many years later, and the grief that goes with it. I enjoyed this book, the author was spot on in her portrayal of what these two women went through, of the trust and betrayals, and how the author stayed true to real historical events which took place not just in Paris but in the US as well. While the ending might have been somewhat predictable.I liked the journey getting there.

I haven't read many Harmel books, but will be checking out her backlist.

My thanks to Simon & Schuster CA, along with NetGalley for a digital arc and exchange for a Honest review.

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