“… a library without members is a cemetery of books… Books are like people; without contact, they cease to exist.”
The Paris Library is really about the American Library in Paris and its unique cast of characters. Odile is passionate about reading and working despite her parent’s wishes as the war reaches France. The story follows her and her colleagues as they try to continue normal operations and making sure that books still get to their beloved library members. As the Nazi’s overwhelm France they risk their own lives and safety to get books to folks who can no longer physically come to the library. We see all of the horrors of war, internment camps, rationing, racial injustice and violence. I really enjoyed following Odile through these years and adapting to new circumstances and growing into an adult. There were some surprising and harsh twists that I did not expect.
But dual timelines strikes again for me… sometimes I love it and sometimes I don’t get the need for it. In this story, I did not see any need for the Montana storyline. Maybe I missed something, but I just didn’t feel like Odile teaching Lily the lesson she learned added much to the story. I really considered giving this three stars because I found myself distracted in those chapters. Buck ended up having a quick blurb of who he was and how she ended up in Montana, I really wanted more of Odile’s story and less of Lily’s. But the ending of the French story bumped it back up to a four for me. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Thanks to Netgalley for access to an ARC of this novel. All opinions above are my own.
Have you ever been to Paris? What’s your favorite spot there? If you haven’t been is it on your bucket list?