If you are a fan of historical fiction, you can definitely add this book to your TBR. Author Siobhan Curham (An American in Paris), also known for her YA fiction, seems to have unearthed a new-found passion for telling WWII stories that grip and fascinate.
To give you a brief and spoiler-free idea of the book, this is a story that covers different time zones, POVs and countries. We meet Laurence in France – 1940, and Jeanne – in the 1990s in America – the various POVs are divided per chapter, so it was easy to follow. After the death of her mother, Jeanne discovers a mysterious box in her father’s garage. She is surprised to learn that she inherited a bookstore in a small village just outside Paris. As she and her father travels to France, the story of a WWII heroine, Laurence, slowly unfolds. We learn what happens if you discover that your mother was in fact a vital part of the French resistance, the heartbreak and horror of Nazi-occupied France (war violence trigger), and the inspirational woman who provide ‘book prescriptions’ to keep her village’s hope up.
Seeing that this is an audiobook review, we need to talk about the narration of course. The book is narrated by Laurence Bouvard, and she is doing a brilliant job! Apart from the perfect synchronicity of having the same name as the lead character in “The Paris Network”, her warm, well-paced and engaging narration was a pleasure to listen to. In a book filled with intriguing and different characters – spanning across continents – she was able to, using tone and accent, distinguish them enough from each other. The narration, flow of the story and the engaging writing complemented each other well. I would definitely recommend the audio format of this book!
I will give this book 4/5 – it was gripping right from the start and a truly heartwarming – and heartbreaking story. I do have a few unanswered questions that I won’t share here, at the risk of spoilers, but it was indeed an excellent story!
This book is due for (world-wide?) publication on 15 February 2022 and I’d like to thank #NetGalley for the advance review copy. #TheParisNetwork