The Paris Library: A Book Review

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – Add The Paris Library to your summer reading list. Any fan of historical fiction, or any book lover in general, will love this book! 

Coming out in June of 2020, The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles is an engaging tale that is narrated on dual timelines and is sure to become a best seller. A book lover’s delight, I could not help but think about Susan Orlean’s The Library Book as I was reading.  I was provided an ARC via NetGalley and Atria Books in exchange for a fair and honest review, and I am strongly recommending this book.

Navigating dual timelines, the author weaves an engaging plot between two characters, Odile and Lily. Set in both WWII Paris and 1980s Froid, Montana, we are drawn into both their stories knowing they will soon combine, and they do in a beautiful way.

As the book opens, a young Odile begins a new job as a librarian at The American Library in Paris at the onset of WWII, and her narrative is peppered with Dewey Decimal references which could have been very odd and distracting but is in fact absolutely charming. As the employees of the library work to protect their books, and themselves, during the Nazi occupation of Paris, it is interesting to note that many of the characters in this novel are real people and many of the events also all too real.

The author has drawn from the papers of Dorothy Reeder who served as the director of The American Library in Paris during World War II. At the end of the novel, Ms. Charles brings us up to date with what happened to the characters in real life after the war.

Perhaps because of the fact that many of the characters were real people, their story line in the novel is the more engaging and developed one, but the contemporary story line of Odile is still deftly drawn and merges beautifully with Lily’s in 1980s Froid, Montana, where Odile is considered “the war bride,” and an eccentric, odd sort of person. I won’t give any spoilers here, but the ending of the book is absolutely perfect and a very satisfying ending.

This is the kind of book you can get lost in for a few hours, or wade leisurely through over a couple of days. Either way I highly recommend The Paris Library. Mark your calendar for June 2020.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport and is the author of Cane River Bohemia: Cammie Henry and her Circle at Melrose Plantation. Follow her on Instagram @patbecker25 and Twitter @paustin110.

The latest Hit on the MSM Charts: Joey & the Democrats My Corona

The Democrat party has been doing it’s best to use the Corona virus as a political weapon against the US economy in general and Donald Trump in particular. We can write about it, but why write when we can sing: With Biden on Vocals, Bernie on Drums here is their song My Corona

Hoo, it's Trump that's killing us, killing us
When you gonna go end his time, Corona?
When's that virus gonna come, gonna come?
Come on, come on spread, spread and thrive, Corona

Never gonna stop, give it up, oh it's panic time
Now that Trump Stock Market that' stock market it's gonna go
dive, dive dive dive dive woo!

M-m-m-my Cornoa

Come a little closer, huh, a-will ya, huh?
Close enough to cost a few lives Corona
Election day is comin' down, comin' down
Runnin' down there ain't much more time, Corona

Never gonna stop, give it up, oh it's panic time
Then we can blame Trump, blamen' Trump for the people who
die div die die die , woo!

M-m-m-my Corona
M-m-m-my Corona

When you gonna win us D's, win us D's
Is it just a matter of time, Corona?
It's our party's destiny, destiny
Or is it just a game in our minds, Corona?

Never gonna stop, give it up, oh it's panic time
Now that Trump economy, Trump economy can
die, die die die die,O woo!
[Obama cuts in:] Actually That economy was mine mine mine mine mine woo!

M-m-m-my Corona
M-m-m-my Corona
M-m-m-my Corona
M-m-m-my Corona

Hoooooo-ohhh, my Corona
Hoooooo-ohhh, my Corona
Hoooooo-ohhh, my Corona

Sung to the tune of My Sharona 1979 by the Knack