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April in Paris: A Novel | [Michael Wallner]

April in Paris: A Novel

Set in 1943, this is the story of an impossible love between a German soldier and a Resistance fighter in occupied Paris. Roth, a young soldier, works in the army's back offices. When his superiors learn of his ability to speak accent-free French, however, he is transferred to Gestapo headquarters to work as an interpreter during the interrogation of Resistance fighters. But when his duty ends, Roth changes into civilian clothes, and wanders aimlessly through Paris disguised as his alter ego "Antoine".
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Publisher's Summary

Set in 1943, April in Paris is the dramatic story of an impossible love between a German soldier and a French Resistance fighter. Roth, a 21-year-old soldier, has spent most of his time in occupied Paris working in the army's back offices. But when his superiors learn of his ability to speak accent-free French, he is abruptly transferred to Gestapo headquarters to work as an interpreter during the interrogation of Resistance fighters. Rather than question his role in the Nazi regime, Roth translates with impeccable accuracy as the torture proceeds.

But when his duty ends, Roth slips away from his fellow officers, changes into civilian clothes, and wanders aimlessly through Paris disguised as his alter ego "Antoine". One day, he is drawn into an antiquarian bookshop and becomes enchanted with the bookseller's beautiful daughter, Chantal. The two begin to meet and fall in love before Roth has the courage to reveal his true identity - or to discover Chantal's.

April in Paris is one of those rare books in which the emotional force of the love story is matched by transfixing suspense. With its elegant and arresting style, it is a thrilling novel by a promising new writer, who has brought the reality of a war-torn past very much to the present.

©2006 Luchterhand Literturverlag, a division of Verlagsgruppe Random House GmbH. English translation ©2007 John Cullen; (P)2007 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Wallner's harrowing debut, a love story of sorts, though there's little romance, rings with authenticity." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.1 (23 )
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  •  
    Francine Katonah, NY, United States 05-05-07
    Francine Katonah, NY, United States 05-05-07 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    1
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    "AWFUL!"

    Ridiculous and trite story of a "love affair" in Paris under the Nazi Occupation. Don't waste your time.

    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cat lover 08-29-12
    cat lover 08-29-12 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A beautiful love story set in occupied paris..."
    What did you love best about April in Paris?

    This is a very moving story about two people who just wanted to be "normal", but tragically it turned out to be impossible in occupied Paris. Sadly, there was no room for love or compassion during those dark days. The harsh reality is well described by M. Wallner.
    This is not a romance, this is an historical fiction.The story is very classy and there are no bodice ripper moments in it.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story was told from Corporal Roth's point of view , his love for Chantal is very touching, he never loses hope that they will be reunited. Even when he was tortured by the Gestapo he never gave up hope and tried to draw strength from his memories of Chantal and the time they've spent together. This is a story about a person with an immense inner strength who loses everything in a second, but manages to stay human and not succumb to the devils that surround him.


    Have you listened to any of Paul Michael’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This is my first listen, but i'd like to listen to his other works.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Roth and Chantal kissing in the street when a German vehicle passes by in order to disguise Roth's face from his commander who is in the car.


    Any additional comments?

    It is a quick read and recommended for Historical fiction lovers, especially those who are interested in historical fiction about WW2 .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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