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Publisher's Summary

An instant New York Times, Washington Post, and USA Today best seller - based on the true story of the heroic librarians at the American Library in Paris during World War II - The Paris Library is a moving and unforgettable “ode to the importance of libraries, books, and the human connections we find within both”. (Kristin Harmel, New York Times best-selling author)

Paris, 1939: Young and ambitious Odile Souchet seems to have the perfect life with her handsome police officer beau and a dream job at the American Library in Paris. When the Nazis march into the city, Odile stands to lose everything she holds dear, including her beloved library. Together with her fellow librarians, Odile joins the Resistance with the best weapons she has: books. But when the war finally ends, instead of freedom, Odile tastes the bitter sting of unspeakable betrayal.

Montana, 1983: Lily is a lonely teenager looking for adventure in small-town Montana. Her interest is piqued by her solitary, elderly neighbor. As Lily uncovers more about her neighbor’s mysterious past, she finds that they share a love of language, the same longings, and the same intense jealousy, never suspecting that a dark secret from the past connects them.

“A love letter to Paris, the power of books, and the beauty of intergenerational friendship” (Booklist), The Paris Library shows that extraordinary heroism can sometimes be found in the quietest places. 

©2021 Janet Skeslien Charles. All rights reserved. (P)2021 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

What listeners say about The Paris Library

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Calling all lovers of libraries around the world

I expected a light historical romance, and this novel did deliver on that expectation. But it also offered a full throated declaration of love for books, reading, and libraries. As the daughter of a librarian, I found it very comforting to remember that the people who stand up for the right to access all kinds of information are heroes.

26 people found this helpful

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Don’t spend your valuable time....

First let me preference this by I read primarily historical fiction, so it was very disappointing that a book about a library, one of my favorite places, was such a let down. The story was disjointed and the characters shallow. I didn’t feel attached to any of them except perhaps Ms. Rita. The narrators also did not bring the characters to life.

17 people found this helpful

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Hard to understand reader

I was disappointed as I thought I would enjoy this novel. The reader was so hard to understand. The beginning dragged on & on.

17 people found this helpful

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And, I even got a small history lesson...

This book combines two of my favorite reading subjects: WWII and bookstores or libraries! This is a fictionalized story of the true American Library in Paris and its remarkable work during WWII. I've been to Paris - more than once! - and did not know about this institution. You'll learn about the true heroes of the library (that's the history lesson) and get a little romance as a bonus. It also takes you back to the mid-1980's with a reminder of Reagan-era politics. You can be sure, my next trip to Paris will include a visit to the American Library - vivre la France, vivre le livre!

14 people found this helpful

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Great story, distracting American accents

I really enjoyed this story. The characters were interesting and it showed a chapter of history I knew very little about.

Overall, the performance was good but the American accents of the actor who voiced Odile were off. Everyone sounded like they were from Noo Yawk, and people from rural Montana just don’t sound like that.

7 people found this helpful

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Lest we forget....

Very interesting. I normally avoid Holocaust books, because I don’t need/ want to feel sad right now. This book had so many layers of personalities, relationships and motivations to absorb that, though the setting/backdrop was tragic, the story kept me engaged. I found the characters to be believable. The narrators were great!!!

7 people found this helpful

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Excellent!

As a lover of history and books, The Paris Library was everything I’d hoped it would be. Honestly, one of the best books I’ve read in ages. The author obviously did her historical research. It’s a wonderful account of a part of WWII history that I now feel privy to. I didn’t want the story to end, but I guess it really doesn’t.

6 people found this helpful

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Fabulous!

Everything about this book is wonderful! The story is intriguing, and the performance of the readers enthralling. Give yourself a gift and grab a copy today!

5 people found this helpful

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enjoyed

I love historical fiction set during WWII , especially when I learn about something new. I knew nothing about the American Library of Paris. The story of Odel was good. The Wyoming part was okay.

I did not enjoy the French accented narration. It was very hard to understand. I kept changing the speed trying to make it easier to understand. The narrator also smacked her lips some and breathed heavily in some places which was a bit distracting.

I would still recommend this audio book. I really liked the author's notes at the end.

3 people found this helpful

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Can't take listening to this narator !

the story is thin, and slow, done after less than half the book- can't take the phony French acent . Not for me.

2 people found this helpful