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Publisher's Summary

Instant New York Times best seller
USA Today and Washington Post best seller

LibraryReads Pick and named a Most Anticipated Book of the Year by Library Journal and Goodreads

​​​​​Based on the true World War II story of the heroic librarians at the American Library in Paris, this is an unforgettable story of romance, friendship, family, and the power of literature to bring us together, perfect for fans of The Lilac Girls and The Paris Wife.

Paris, 1939: Young and ambitious Odile Souchet has it all: her handsome police officer beau and a dream job at the American Library in Paris. When the Nazis march into Paris, 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 powerful novel that explores the consequences of our choices and the relationships that make us who we are - family, friends, and favorite authors - The Paris Library shows that extraordinary heroism can sometimes be found in the quietest of places.

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

What listeners say about The Paris Library

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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.

9 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!

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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.

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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.

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Wonderful book!!!

As a lifelong librarian I enjoyed this book so much!! Learning about the Paris American Library during the war years was very inspiring. Recommend to all readers, library users, and librarians.

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Wonderful book and story.

So sorry to have it come to an end! I could hardly stop listening once I started!

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A reminder of the beauty of books

I loved every minute of this book. As a child, books and libraries were my refuge. Much in the same way that Reading Lolita in Tehran brought the great works back to my heart, this book did the same and expanded that repertoire. The history, the books, the story will forever have a place in my heart.