In German-occupied Paris, a group of unlikely people join in collaboration to smuggle Allied airmen south to Spain. One of those intrepid heroes happens to be American. The Siren of Paris, the debut work of historical fiction by David LeRoy, tells a searing story of love, betrayal, forgiveness, and war that brings to vivid life the shimmering City of Lights during its darkest hours during World War II.
The story starts in 1939, when Marc Tolbert, the French-born son of a prominent American family, takes off for Paris to follow his dream of becoming an artist. Marc's life soon sparkles in the ex-pat scene in Paris. His new friend Dora introduces him to a circle that includes the famous Sylvia Beach, owner of the bookstore Shakespeare & Company; and he accepts a job with William Bullitt, US ambassador to France. At art school, he finds himself further enchanted by the alluring model Marie.
Marc's Parisian reverie, however, is soon clouded over by the increasing threat from Germany. As Americans scramble to escape Paris, he finds himself trapped by the war, and nearly meets his fate on the disastrous day of June 17, 1940, aboard the RMS Lancastria. Upon returning to Paris, his fate grows more troubled still, as he smuggles Allied airmen through the American Hospital to the Paris Resistance underground, until a profound betrayal leads him into the hands of the Gestapo and onto Buchenwald.
Rigorously researched and vibrant in historical detail, The Siren of Paris reimagines one of history's most turbulent times through the prism of an American abroad in Europe's most harrowing days. Poignant, gripping, and thought-provoking, The Siren of Paris mines the human dilemma of revenge versus forgiveness, and vividly captures the conflicted state of survival.
Author: In writing his first novel, The Siren of Paris, David LeRoy drew upon his longtime interest in philosophy, the visual arts, myth, storytelling, psychology, and ocean liner travel. During a visit to France to study art in the fall of 2012, LeRoy was increasingly intrigued by the French Resistance, particularly when his research revealed the role of Americans in the Resistance, as well as the limited means of escape from Europe as the war escalated. LeRoy holds a bachelor of arts in philosophy and religion.
This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?
No one. The writing was stilted. The author doesn't know how to use contractions. The reader was terrible. You could actually hear him taking breaths. I rarely write reviews unless something is exceptionally good or exceptionally bad. I would not recommend this to anyone
Would you be willing to try another book from David LeRoy? Why or why not?
No. His writing style is undeveloped and annoying.
How did the narrator detract from the book?
He had a very annoying voice, annoying tempo and distracted you from the story. I couldn't even follow the story.
What character would you cut from The Siren of Paris?
I would cut the entire book
Any additional comments?
I was looking forward to reading this as I love novels set during WWII. You get what you pay for.
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