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IN THE DARKNESS OF WAR, THE LIGHT OF BOOKS – HOW LIBRARIANS DEFIED THE NAZIS
THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

‘A wonderful novel celebrating the power of books and libraries to change people’s lives’ JILL MANSELL

Heart-breaking and heart-lifting and always enchanting’ RUTH HOGAN
‘An irresistible and utterly compelling novel that will appeal to bibliophiles and historical fiction fans alike’ SUNDAY EXPRESS
‘I devoured The Paris Library in one hungry gulp . . . charming and moving’ TATIANA DE ROSNAY
‘An irresistible, compelling read’ FIONA DAVIS
‘Paris and libraries. What’s not to love?!’ NATASHA LESTER
‘Compelling’ WOMAN & HOME
‘Delightful, richly detailed’ PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY

PARIS, 1939
Odile Souchet is obsessed with books, and her new job at the American Library in Paris – with its thriving community of students, writers and book lovers – is a dream come true. When war is declared, the Library is determined to remain open. But then the Nazis invade Paris, and everything changes.
In Occupied Paris, choices as black and white as the words on a page become a murky shade of grey – choices that will put many on the wrong side of history, and the consequences of which will echo for decades to come.

‘Book obsessives will adore this immersive love letter to the power of the written word.’ RED MAGAZINE

MONTANA, 1983
Lily is a lonely teenager desperate to escape small-town Montana. She grows close to her neighbour Odile, discovering they share the same love of language, the same longings. But as Lily uncovers more about Odile’s mysterious past, she discovers a dark secret, closely guarded and long hidden.

Based on the true Second World War story of the heroic librarians at the American Library in Paris, this is an unforgettable novel of romance, friendship, family, and of heroism found in the quietest of places.

Reviews

A book about books, lovers and book lovers - what's not to love? A wonderful tale about a library that provides a beacon of hope in the darkness and despair of war. Heart-breaking and heart-lifting in turn and always enchanting.
Ruth Hogan, author of THE KEEPER OF LOST THINGS
A love letter to Paris, the power of books, and the beauty of intergenerational friendship.
Booklist
A wonderful novel celebrating the power of books and libraries to change people's lives. Enthralling, moving and based on little-known real events.
Jill Mansell, author of MAYBE THIS TIME
An irresistible combination of two of my favourite things: Paris and libraries. What's not to love?! Utterly charming
Natasha Lester, author of THE PARIS ORPHAN
Compelling
Woman & Home
Intelligent and sensuously rich... A novel tailor-made for those who cherish books and libraries.
Kirkus Reviews
The Paris Library is a refreshing novel that celebrates libraries as cradles of community, especially when we need them the most. It shows how literature can be a means of escape, a catalyst for human connection, and a moral center in grim times. A thoroughly enjoyable read, kind-hearted and brimming with delightful bookish allusions.
Matthew Sullivan, author of Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore
A delightful chronicle of a woman's life in WWII-era Paris and rural 1980s Montana . . .Charles's richly detailed plot incorporates historical figures from the American Library and highlights the perils of occupied Paris. Historical fiction fans will be drawn to the realistic narrative and the bond of friendship forged between a widow and a lonely young girl
Publishers' Weekly
A fresh take on WWII France that will appeal to bibliophiles everywhere. I fell in love with Odile and Lily, with their struggles and triumphs, from the very first page. Meticulously researched, The Paris Library is an irresistible, compelling read.
Fiona Davis, author of THE CHELSEA GIRLS
As a Parisian, an ardent bookworm , and a longtime fan of the American Library in Paris, I devoured The Paris Library in one hungry gulp. It is charming and moving, with a perfect balance between history and fiction.
Tatiana de Rosnay, author of SARAH'S KEY
Having lived in an apartment just above the current location of the American Library in Paris, I've always felt connected to the institution and wondered about its story, so I'm grateful to Janet Skeslien Charles for penning such a vivid, enjoyable, based-on-a-true-story tale. In The Paris Library, the beloved library, its staff, and its subscribers come to life and remind us of both the horrors of World War II and the vital role books play in keeping us afloat in difficult times. Well-researched, stirring, and rich with detail, The Paris Library is an ode to the importance of libraries, books, and the human connections we find within both.
Kristin Harmel, New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Lost Names
Lily and Odile are fictitious , but key players at the library are drawn from life. Chapeau!
Saga
The author's experiences of working at the American Library in Paris shine through in this delightful, richly detailed novel. From the atrocities carried out by the Nazis to the fearless acts of bravery and courage shown by ordinary people working together in the face of evil, this is An irresistible and utterly compelling novel that will appeal to bibliophiles and historical fiction fans alike.
Anne Cater, Sunday Express Mag
Book obsessives will adore this immersive love letter to the power of the written word.
Sarra Manning, Red Magazine
This is a remarkable story of family, romance, friendship and the power of literature to bring us together, perfect for fans of The Lilac Girls and The Paris Wife.