Paris Never Leaves You

Griffin: St. Martin’s. Jun. 2020. 368p. ISBN 9781250759894. $28.99; pap. ISBN 9781250622778. $16.99.
Paris, under German occupation near the end of World War II, and Jews are still being rounded up for shipment to the death camps. Charlotte Foret, whose husband has perished in the war, manages a bookstore visited with increasing frequency by Julian Bauer, an officer in the German Wehrmacht. Over time, the officer brings food and other hard-to-get provisions for Charlotte and her young daughter, Vivi. Despite Charlotte’s efforts to resist him, an intimate bond develops between her and the officer. As this gripping tale is unfolding amid vivid depictions of Paris in wartime, Feldman (The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank) flashes forward to Charlotte and Vivi in New York City, where a distant acquaintance and his wife help her and Vivi relocate after the war and begin a new life marked by conflicts arising from long-held secrets.
VERDICT Things are seldom as they seem in this engrossing tale of identity, survival, loyalty, and love. With frequent time shifts and dubious identities, the author adds considerable depth to her well-crafted tale. Recommended with enthusiasm to anyone with an interest in Paris at war and the much broader themes noted above.
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