“Without toi, there’s no moi.”
― Janet Skeslien Charles, The Paris Library
By 1939 Odile couldn’t ask anything better from her life. A new job at American Library in Paris brought her not only joy but many great new friends. Her relationship with the family couldn’t be better, loving parents and supportive twin brother. And of course, nouvel amour, that took her breath away. Odile’s happiness was short-lived as her beloved country and city were occupied by Nazi’s and her idyllic life came to an end. As the War progressed and brought sorrow into her life, Odile began to make decisions that affected the lives of the ones she dearly loved.
By 1983 Odile found herself in a new country, living a new lonely life when a knock on the door gave her an opportunity to make an impact on a young girl’s life. Meeting Lily and getting to know her family, and later supporting the young girl thru grief and grand change in her young life made Odile take a look back at her life, and for the first time open up and tell her story, and share her shame.
Odile and Lily’s friendship warmed my heart. Despite the significant age difference, they learned a lot from each other’s character. I wanted to love this novel, the build-up to Odile’s final twist in the novel was grander than the actual ending to her Parisian affair. It was a good but slow read. I read the book in my free time but I didn’t free my time to read the book. Thank you NetGalley and Atria Books publisher for a free and advanced copy of the novel.
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