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The Storyteller of Casablanca  By  cover art

The Storyteller of Casablanca

By: Fiona Valpy
Narrated by: Elizabeth Knowelden
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Publisher's Summary

In this evocative tale from the bestselling author of The Dressmaker’s Gift, a strange new city offers a young girl hope. Can it also offer a lost soul a second chance?

Morocco, 1941. With France having fallen to Nazi occupation, twelve-year-old Josie has fled with her family to Casablanca, where they await safe passage to America. Life here is as intense as the sun, every sight, smell and sound overwhelming to the senses in a city filled with extraordinary characters. It’s a world away from the trouble back home - and Josie loves it. 

Seventy years later, another new arrival in the intoxicating port city, Zoe, is struggling - with her marriage, her baby daughter and her new life as an expat in an unfamiliar place. But when she discovers a small wooden box and a diary from the 1940s beneath the floorboards of her daughter’s bedroom, Zoe enters the inner world of young Josie, who once looked out on the same view of the Atlantic Ocean, but who knew a very different Casablanca. 

It’s not long before Zoe begins to see her adopted city through Josie’s eyes. But can a new perspective help her turn tragedy into hope, and find the comfort she needs to heal her broken heart?

©2021 by Fiona Valpy. (P)2021 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved

Critic Reviews

“A novel that will whisk you to another time and place, The Storyteller of Casablanca is a tender tale of hope, resilience, and new beginnings.”—Imogen Clark, bestselling author of Postcards From a Stranger

“Fiona Valpy has an exquisite talent for creating characters so rounded and delightful that they almost feel like family, and this makes what happens to them feel very personal.”—Louise Douglas, bestselling author of The House by the Sea 

What listeners say about The Storyteller of Casablanca

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Sweet and profound

Fiona Volpi is one of those authors that make you want to go back to a literature class so you can discuss her novel endlessly. Her books are so well written, and so well thought out. Her extensive research, her memorable characters, her plot, all come together with beautiful prose. This particular novel has a twist which haunts you throughout, but it's not revealed until the end. Nonetheless, as the reader, you know it's there.
The narration is pleasant, enjoy many hours of listening.

11 people found this helpful

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Storyteller Indeed!

Worth the read! When an author can bring the characters to such life that you laugh, hold your breath and even cry with them….it’s worth the read!

8 people found this helpful

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unforgettable

this is one of the most extraordinary books. The writing, story, reading and message made me stay awake for hours not wanting to stop listening. a real literary gift.

4 people found this helpful

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Beautifully written book of tragedy and hope

This was a story that I couldn't stop listening to, until the end. The narrator told the story in a way that made me think she was the one who experienced the stories, of a young girl and a young woman, who both faced incredible tragedy and yet overcame the aftermath.

Both stories are set in Casablanca- one during WWII- an area that I've never read anything about, during that horrible time and the other in the same house in 2010.

4 people found this helpful

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this book has everything

I love the history and the characters. The story was engaging and had beautiful closure.

3 people found this helpful

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Beautiful and moving story

I loved this story and could not stop listening till reached the end. Beautifully read an written.

3 people found this helpful

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Not at all what I expected

I was so pleasantly surprised by this book. It is a wonderful work that deals with grief and courage in an inspiring and hopeful manner. Definitely among my favourites.

2 people found this helpful

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Unexpected and Twisted Ending

'The Storyteller of Casablanca' overall was a very good story. It fliwed well and had a bit if of intrigue in the story. I did however, find the ending somewhat twisted.
Elizabeth Knowelden did a great job narrating the story. I do recommend this book.

2 people found this helpful

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Amazingly well written AND amazingly well recited

The plot twist was wrenching. It was as unexpected as it was , mostly because I was so involved mentally and emotionally with the storytelling leading up to it. Beautiful writing and a beautiful job by the reader... stunning beyond words story experience.

2 people found this helpful

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Nice story

This was an enjoyable listen because the narrator's voice and performance was really top notch. The story itself definitely kept me engaged and interested in the characters and their well being. Well done, and very enjoyable.

2 people found this helpful

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  • shirlivalentine
  • 09-25-21

Brilliant !!!!

A totally different story to what I usually listen to but I’m so glad I came across it. It was one that was recommended in an email from Audible and I was intrigued by its title and so listened to the sample. I can honestly say the sample had me hooked so I purchased the title. Once I started to listen I couldn’t stop and finished it it one day !! that’s how good it is. A brilliant story expertly narrated by Elizabeth Knowelden with her clear voice and pitch spot on.
The story itself, from beginning to end was very well written and the characters and life stories of those characters played out like a movie in my mind. I could see the pictures of the places, people and events bringing everything to life as I listened. I don’t want to give to much away and spoil it for potential readers/listeners but the story itself is set during 1941 when Jews became refugees when Germany invaded parts of Europe and they were fleeing their homeland trying to get to America. The story centres around a young Jewish girl who kept a very detailed journal of the events of her family’s trials and tribulations during this process. Then the story flips to 2010 when the journal was discovered by Zoe who had moved to Casablanca with her husband. There are lots of twists and turns along the way. So the story switches between 1941/42 and 2010.
I would absolutely recommend anyone to give this book a go. Truly Brilliant !!! An excellent novel by Fiona Valpy. If this book is anything to go by I really must look out for other titles by her.

6 people found this helpful

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  • jen
  • 11-30-22

A thoroughly enjoyable read

I enjoyed this book so much I didn't want it to end. I loved the harmonious cross-cultural links.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Teresa Ewence
  • 11-29-22

Interesting book

Really enjoyed especially as I had just visited Casablanca. Great use of time spans

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  • jackie lewis
  • 11-12-22

What a wonderful read

Started to listen to this audible book and couldn’t stop listen
You were drawn in by Zoe and Jose’s life’s
To final chapter’s we’re a huge surprise but made it even more enjoyable and brought the story to a final conclusion
I would highly recommend this book either to listen too or read

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  • Stella
  • 11-07-22

Wow

Omg! What a story. Highly recommended to read or listen. With the ending I absolutely did not see coming.

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  • Reader
  • 10-31-22

Totally engrossing

I loved this story and couldn’t wait to listen. Superbly written, beautifully told, Sad, yet with an overall sense of hope, Thanks to the author and the narrator,

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  • Mrs. R. M. A. Tinney
  • 10-24-22

One of the most beautiful books I’ve read!

I found this book by accident and having read the reviews I decided to purchase from Audible. I am so pleased that I did. Something that I bought because of my love affair with Morocco turned into so much more. The storytelling is truly beautiful- a study in the love and strength of women from all decades and cultures. I can’t recommend this book highly enough.

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  • Angel83
  • 10-20-22

Finally, an enthralling lituraturary read!

I absolutely LOVED this story and performance. the author captured exquisit essences of each character, never repeated themselves like modern writers, and literally had me captured from the start through to the end. thoroughly refreshing and I await in anticipation for more books from this author. THANK YOU!!

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  • SD
  • 10-19-22

thank you

really enjoy this
I would like get more, it's such book, such characters that you want more

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  • Sigrin
  • 10-13-22

Enchanting story


What a great story considering the title was a bit naff.

Great value of With twostories interwoven and gradually pulling together at the end.

Loved the Casablanca setting for a WW2 tale, certainly very different. Then the modern tale of Zoe who finds the young girls journal def keepsake box but it is slowly revealed that she is s broken woman coming to terms with her own demons.

Then the pulling together of the threads at the end of the book, to understand both of these remarkable women.

Great read./ listen.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Georgia
  • 10-24-22

Good Twist if you can make it through the rest.

So many unlikely scenarios make this hard to enjoy. Unbelievable storyline, and unlikely and annoying main characters. I kept going for the setting and the fact I was only half listening while working. Knew there was going to be a twist at the end, but was still caught out by it, which actually made the book worthwhile.

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  • caroline dwyer
  • 08-01-22

Great book

You certainly get involved with Josie and Zoe and the lives they lived in Casablanca, albeit many years apart. Well written and well read.