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Publisher's Summary

One woman must make the hardest decision of her life in this unforgettably moving story of resistance and faith during one of the darkest times in history.

Santa Cruz, 1953. Jean-Luc is a man on the run from his past. The scar on his face is a small price to pay for surviving the horrors of Nazi occupation in France. Now, he has a new life in California, a family. He never expected the past to come knocking on his door.

Paris, 1944. A young Jewish woman's past is torn apart in a heartbeat. Herded onto a train bound for Auschwitz, in an act of desperation she entrusts her most precious possession to a stranger. All she has left now is hope.

On a darkened platform, two destinies become intertwined, and the choices each person makes will change the future in ways neither could have imagined.

Told from alternating perspectives, While Paris Slept reflects on the power of love, resilience, and courage when all seems lost. Exploring the strength of family ties, and what it really means to love someone unconditionally, this debut novel will capture your heart.

©2021 Ruth Druart (P)2021 Grand Central Publishing

Critic Reviews

"As writers, some stories keep us up at night with the need to get them down on paper. Ruth Druart has one such tale. We met in 2006, and I read pages of her story then. She never let go and never gave up. Thanks to this tenacity, her heartbreaking debut will be published in several languages. It will appeal to fans of The Light Between Oceans as well as to readers fascinated by novels set in World War II. While Paris Slept delves into eternal questions: How far will we go to protect our child? Is love holding tightly or letting go? The characters - and readers - must choose between what is right and what is best in this mediation on love and sacrifice." (Janet Skeslien Charles, author of The Paris Library and Moonlight in Odessa)

"Good people coping with an impossible situation are at the heart of Druart’s [debut].... The author succeeds in keeping things moving, particularly in the action-packed first half of the novel.... Ethical questions raised by the narrative suggest this may do well with book clubs." (Publishers Weekly)

"While Paris Slept made me think and cry and rage and smile at mankind's capacity for both beautiful, selfless love and terrible, heartbreaking cruelty. It is at once a story of wartime courage and desperation, and of the many ways in which war reverberates through people's lives for years after the fact. Prepare to question yourself and the characters in the novel, to wonder what you might have done in their place; in short, prepare to be thoroughly engrossed in this compelling book in which four adults and one child grapple with the true meaning of love and family." (Natasha Lester, author of The Paris Secret)

What listeners say about While Paris Slept

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Wow! Loved it!

This book is gorgeous! I have read/listened to 150+ WWII historical fiction novels and this is among the best. Heart wrenching, brought me to tears numerous times. I also appreciate the narrators, and having more than one narrator. A bad narration can really kill and otherwise good book. This book was exceptional— I would put it in my top 10/150+. Brava Ruth!!!

11 people found this helpful

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Be prepared to feel torn, angry, heartbroken - but in the best way!

I almost stopped listening to this book about halfway through because I was so enraged by how some of the main characters were handling a situation with a child. I have a son the same age as the child in the story, and a good portion of the book was extremely upsetting and made me incredibly angry.
But by the time I was about 3/4 of the way through, I gained more empathy for some of the characters and I was very happy with how the author tied everything together and wrapped it up. It’s definitely one of those books that forces you to recognize all the shades of gray, and reinforces the idea that everyone is generally trying to do their best with what they have. That life is messy, our kids are not our possessions, and pain is often inseparable from love. Brilliantly narrated with the exception of the American accents - I really with they British narrators wouldn’t make every American sound like they are from a cheesy movie based in NYC or Boston when the characters are actually Californian or from the mid-west. I still gave the performance 5 stars because those were pretty small parts and the rest of it was so well done. I’ll definitely be looking to listen to more books by these narrators, and I look forward to what this author creates next!

10 people found this helpful

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Great

This was one of the best books that I have listened to. The four narrators were awesome and I throughly enjoyed them accents and all. This being a debut book, I can’t wait to see what else is coming from Ruth Druart. I love World War II books and this story was different from any I have read. I listen to my books when walking and in the car. This had me walking more just to see what was happening. Great audio book❤️❤️❤️

7 people found this helpful

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Excellent

If you enjoy WWII fiction you will really want to read this book! One of the best I have read. I can’t wait for another book by this author.

6 people found this helpful

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Touching

This is a touching story. It is very well written and performed. I Highly recommend it.

5 people found this helpful

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Wow!!

What a wonderful story! I loved every minute of it. The ending was fantastic. So glad I found this book!

4 people found this helpful

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Good story

The performance was because when I was listening, I had to continue to turn it up for low voices and seconds later I would have to turn it down for loud voices. The story was good. I can't imagine the horrors the people went through during that time. I felt sad for the characters. The story is read by all of the characters views from what is taking place. I recommend this book.

2 people found this helpful

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Predictable

I enjoyed the first few chapters of this audiobook, but it soon became tedious. I was ready for it to be over long before it was. I enjoy WWII historical fiction, and have listened/read a good number of them, however, this story was more soap opera drama about what real parentage is. Are parents the ones who biologically created one, or are parents the people who raised and cherished one? A good lesson in real parental love, but not much in the way of WWII fiction. Therefore, I cannot recommend While Paris Slept as a WWII read. Narrators were just okay.

1 person found this helpful

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so many different moods

I went through so many different moods while listening to the book, highly recommended

1 person found this helpful

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What A Tear-Jerker!!!

I purchased this title on sale as the daily deal, and frankly, did not expect much from it, but boy, was I pleasantly surprised! The story is emotionally gripping, and brought tears to my eyes many times while listening. The story really highlighted the difficult choices people might go through, and how those choices can effect everybody’s lives because of them. I would certainly recommend checking this one out!.