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The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles
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The Paris Library

A Novel

$25.19

Get for $14.99 with membership
Length 11 hours 53 minutes
Language English
Narrators Nicky Diss, Sarah Feathers, Esther Wane & Janet Skeslien Charles

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An instant New York Times, Washington Post, and USA TODAY bestseller—based on the true story of the heroic librarians at the American Library in Paris during World War II—The Paris Library is a moving and unforgettable “ode to the importance of libraries, books, and the human connections we find within both” (Kristin Harmel, New York Times bestselling author).

Paris, 1939: Young and ambitious Odile Souchet seems to have the perfect life with her handsome police officer beau and a dream job at the American Library in Paris. When the Nazis march into the city, Odile stands to lose everything she holds dear, including her beloved library. Together with her fellow librarians, Odile joins the Resistance with the best weapons she has: books. But when the war finally ends, instead of freedom, Odile tastes the bitter sting of unspeakable betrayal.

Montana, 1983: Lily is a lonely teenager looking for adventure in small-town Montana. Her interest is piqued by her solitary, elderly neighbor. As Lily uncovers more about her neighbor’s mysterious past, she finds that they share a love of language, the same longings, and the same intense jealousy, never suspecting that a dark secret from the past connects them.

“A love letter to Paris, the power of books, and the beauty of intergenerational friendship” (Booklist), The Paris Library shows that extraordinary heroism can sometimes be found in the quietest places.

Janet Skeslien Charles is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of The Paris Library. Her work has been translated into thirty-seven languages. She has spent a decade researching Jessie Carson (Miss Morgan’s Book Brigade) at The Morgan Library, the NYPL, and archives across France. Her shorter work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, The Sydney Morning Herald, LitHub, and the anthology Montana Noir. To connect, visit her website JSkeslienCharles.com, @JSkeslienCharles on Instagram, or @SkeslienCharles on Twitter.

Janet Skeslien Charles is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of The Paris Library. Her work has been translated into thirty-seven languages. She has spent a decade researching Jessie Carson (Miss Morgan’s Book Brigade) at The Morgan Library, the NYPL, and archives across France. Her shorter work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, The Sydney Morning Herald, LitHub, and the anthology Montana Noir. To connect, visit her website JSkeslienCharles.com, @JSkeslienCharles on Instagram, or @SkeslienCharles on Twitter.

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Reviews

"Three narrators present a little-known story about the American Library in Paris during the Nazi occupation. The two main characters are a precocious preteen named Lily, who lives in Montana in 1983, and a librarian named Odile, who lives in Paris in 1939. Narrator Nicky Diss presents a sunny, high-spirited Lily, who is passionate about books and in love with the Dewey Decimal System. Narrator Sarah Feathers offers an understated yet substantial portrait of Odile, who reveals how she and library staffers tried to save the ALP by defying the Nazis—and suffered the consequences. When the war bride and the teenager meet in Montana, their mutual love of books unites them. Narrator Esther Wane deftly handles the third-person chapters." “In 1979 Montana, pre-teen Lily is curious about her neighbor, the mysterious Odile Gustofson. All Lily knows is that Odile lived in Paris during WWII and that she still speaks with a captivating French accent. In an attempt to get to know her, Lily decides to interview Odile for a school project that leads to French lessons and a life-saving friendship. In chapters alternating between 1939 Paris and 1970s Montana, Odile’s past is revealed. As a young woman, Odile worked as a librarian at the American Library in Paris. Her love of books and libraries shines through the dialogue read by Sarah Feathers in a charming French accent. Reader Nicky Diss picks up Lily’s narrative, giving her a youthful American sound that contrasts with Feathers’ tones. She handles the older Odile’s French words with ease. Esther Wane fills in assorted characters’ chapters, sounding appropriately English, and the author reads the historical notes at the end of the recording. This is a wonderful story of the occupation, friendships across the years, and the power of books, all beautifully read. Listeners with a fondness for libraries, French language, or fine historical fiction will be enchanted.” Expand reviews
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