The Last Time I Saw Paris

( 38 )

Overview

A stunning debut novel of a young American woman who becomes a spy in Paris during World War II.

May 1940. Fleeing a glamorous Manhattan life built on lies, Claire Harris arrives in Paris with a romantic vision of starting anew. But she didn't anticipate the sight of Nazi soldiers marching under the Arc de Triomphe. Her plans smashed by the German occupation, the once- privileged socialite's only option is to take a job in a flower shop under ...

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The Last Time I Saw Paris

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Overview

A stunning debut novel of a young American woman who becomes a spy in Paris during World War II.

May 1940. Fleeing a glamorous Manhattan life built on lies, Claire Harris arrives in Paris with a romantic vision of starting anew. But she didn't anticipate the sight of Nazi soldiers marching under the Arc de Triomphe. Her plans smashed by the German occupation, the once- privileged socialite's only option is to take a job in a flower shop under the tutelage of a sophisticated Parisian florist.

In exchange for false identity papers, Claire agrees to aid the French Resistance. Despite the ever-present danger, she comes to love the enduring beauty of the City of Light, exploring it in the company of Thomas Grey, a mysterious Englishman working with the Resistance. Claire's bravery and intelligence make her a valuable operative, and slowly her values shift as she witnesses the courageous spirit of the Parisians.

But deception and betrayal force her to flee once again-this time to fight for the man she loves and what she knows is right-praying she has the heart and determination to survive long enough to one day see Paris again.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A farm girl turned Manhattan socialite lands in Paris just ahead of the Wehrmacht in Sheene's perfunctory debut. When Claire Harris's rich husband finds out she lied to him about her humble roots, she flees to Paris, but her timing is poor. Claire, sans papers, winds up working for the Resistance and falling in love with an English spy whose eventual disappearance leads Claire into harm's way as she tries to save him. Sheene's occupied Paris is the star, much more so than the bland characters and unsurprising plot. It's not dreadful, but there's nothing especially exciting going on, either. (May)
The Durango Herald
"Sheene’s research is impeccable, and her homage to the city is reflected in her nostalgic and finely drawn portrait of a place and people badly bent but resolutely unbroken. Sheene’s detailed descriptions bring alive the architecture, the smells of the flora and the sounds of jackbooted Nazis as they stomp imperially through the Arc de Triomphe." --Leslie Doran,
Chicago Tribune
"Claire Harris planned on building a new life for herself in Paris with photographer Laurent Olivier. But she hadn't planned on finding that the Germans would be occupying Paris when she arrived in May 1940, and that Laurent would already have a wife. Trapped in Paris without papers or connections, Claire takes a job at La Vie en Fleurs, where the shop's owner, the enigmatic Madame Palain, will teach Claire valuable lessons in not only how to survive the war but how to live a rewarding life. Sheene gives readers a heroine who could give Scarlett O'Hara lessons in determination and a fascinating taste of life in the City of Light during the difficult days of World War II."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425240847
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/3/2011
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 286,760
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Lynn Sheene is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, and lives with her husband in southern California. The Last Time I Saw Paris is her first novel.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 38 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(21)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 38 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2011

    Epic Fail as Historical Fiction

    The author may have done her research, but it doesn't show. Readers beware: this is not historical fiction. It is a Harlequin romance set during WW2.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2013

    I enjoy reading about the lives of people during WWII, and espec

    I enjoy reading about the lives of people during WWII, and especially Europe. But this book was total fantasy...a romance novel...and a waste of time. If one wants to read a good book about the same era, read "Sarah's Key". You won't put that one down!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 23, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    ABSOLUTELY CAPTIVATING! This was a wonderful story. Although oth

    ABSOLUTELY CAPTIVATING!
    This was a wonderful story. Although others have reviewed this as a love story, it is that, but much more. Very well written-I felt like I was there. I read a lot of WW2 related novels and this one is one of my favorites. New York socialite gives up her priviledged life to get away from her husband and escape to what she thinks will be somewhat of the same in Paris with a lover. What she doesn't know is the Paris/France are being actively invaded by the Germans. From a life of priviledge to becoming a member of the Resistance and finding the love of her life. WONDERFUL STORY,loved it- I coudn't put it down!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 14, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    great WWII story of perseverance

    I enjoyed this book quite a bit. It is an excellent example of a woman's perseverance and drive for a better life for herself and others around her. Set in France during WWII, it is a worthy read.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 15, 2011

    Loved it!

    I could see this story being made into a great drama/spy/action/lovestory movie!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 13, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Nazi occupied Paris owns this interesting WWII drama

    In 1940 as the Nazis are about to occupy Paris, Claire Harris flees Manhattan and her abusive war profiteering spouse Russell for France. She hopes her former lover Laurent can provide her with shelter, but he is unwelcoming. Claire lacks papers because some thief tossed her papers into the water, but she finds a job and a place to stay with Madame Palain the owner of a florist.

    When the Nazis take over the city, Claire, out of necessity to obtain papers, joins the resistance. Her delivering flowers to German galas enable her to obtain information she passes on to her compatriots. Claire loves her adopted nation and begins seeing the city and surrounding area accompanied by English resistance agents and spy Thomas Harding Grey who she met at Laurent's apartment. As she helps two females escape from Paris, someone betrays her leaving her forced to go to extreme measures to try to save herself and her loved ones from the Nazis.

    Nazi occupied Paris owns this interesting WWII drama as the readers sees vividly what happened in the 1940s. The heroine's early actions to desperately escape from her spouse seem inane as she flies from the East River to the French-Spanish border (she should have returned to Oklahoma although in fairness she believed she could never go home). With a nod to Dominique Lapierre's Is Paris Burning? Readers will enjoy the American expatriate symbolizing Lady Liberty as she survives, loves and fights for freedom.

    Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 19, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Great book

    This book is worth your time, if you love to read like I do. I highly recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2013

    Beautifully Captivating

    This book was incredibly captivating. I was transported to Paris every time I began reading, and the detail throughout the book was stunning. It is a romance novel, but not in the traditional sense. It is also a period piece, with mystery throughout the entire storyline, right up to the very end. Whether or not the details of the events described pertaining to WWII are correct or not, the novel provides a haunting look into Paris during occupation and the true struggles citizens faced. Truly a novel worth anyones time.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2012

    Very Good.

    Just finished reading for my book club. It was heart wrenching as most stories about WWII are.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2012

    One of the most enjoyable and moving books I've read in years!!!

    I absolutely loved this book! It is one of the most powerful and moving books I've read in a long time. The descriptions and period details are so well done that Paris itself becomes a beloved character. I was captivated by this book! Wish I could find more like it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2012

    Couldn't Put This Down!

    Loved every page. History, intrique, romance, bravery - I couldn't stop reading it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2012

    A great story

    I really enjoyed this book. I wish Lin Sheen would write more like this. Anyone who has read WWll books will recognize the conditions that people lived through. I did find some errors in the history but it didn't affect the story.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 10, 2011

    Loved it

    Great period love story and mystery.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2011

    Paris and all, wonderful....

    I usually don't read these kinds of books, love stories, etc. But, I thought this was an excellent depiction of those times and the struggle these Parisians endured under the Nazi's. Went to Paris a few years ago, and could only imagine those times in the past. But the city leaves you with a wanting to come again, and again. So, the last time I saw Paris, I too fell in love with the city and its people of course. Wonderful book! Bravo to the author for her first time out.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 10, 2011

    So good!!!

    This book was very engaging and enjoyable. I love a good love story!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2011

    Loved it ! I read all night to finish it. I whent to bed at 7 in tht morning. It was just that good of a book.

    Seriously, best book ever!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 19, 2011

    Stunning Historical Fiction

    The Last Time I Saw Paris is an absolutely breathtaking historical fiction, which takes place in occupied Paris during WWII. This book had it all for me. Beautiful writing, rich characters, romance, excitement, and gritty historical details.

    Lynn Sheene is an exciting author for me because not only does she tell a fantastic story but also her writing is so descriptive that the settings and characters really come to life. She wrote about small details, like gardens or a lunch of cheese and apples in a way made them feel essential to the story without becoming tiresome. Her writing was a perfect illustration of the Parisian Elegance that Madame Palain embodied and she really brought 1940s Paris to life for me.

    I loved the way Sheene developed her characters. We saw so many sides of Claire and I really felt as though I knew her innermost struggles. From her desperation to escape a life of poverty as a dirt farmer's daughter and make a life as a New York socialite, to her need to give up high society in search for true happiness in Paris. What she sacrificed in money and status she gained in friendship, love, grace and true elegance. At the beginning of the novel Claire was nothing more than a silly, gold digging little girl who would do anything to be a part of New York High Society. When her past is revealed and she is exposed for being the daughter of a poor farmer she runs away to Paris to find her lover and hopes to live a life of Parisian luxury.

    When Claire arrives in Paris she has no money, no legal papers and no friends to lean on. She survives only because of a chance encounter with Madame Palain and this woman's willingness to take Claire under her wing. She joined the Resistance as a way to stay in Paris, but finding happiness and staying in Paris came with a very high price. Claire had to sacrifice some of the things she held most dear to her heart in order to stay in the country, find fulfillment and to be able to truly love.

    There were times that I felt Claire's tension, uncertainty and desperation so strongly they could have been my own emotions. Claire's desire for a more fulfilling life for herself transcends the pages and I became so invested in this character. I did not always appreciate her methods but could understand them as the last resort for a woman who had next to nothing and desired the best of everything. Certainly her own naivete and selfishness put her in this position in the first place but I came to have compassion for this lost soul and was happy to see her growth towards the end of the novel.

    In The Last Time I Saw Paris, Sheen vividly portrays the fear, dejection and desperation of occupied Paris. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys WWII era historical fiction, or a good love story.

    I received a free copy of The Last Time I Saw Paris from the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

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  • Posted July 10, 2011

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 10, 2011

    Great story!

    I loved this book! Suspense, mystery, romance intertwined with history. Wonderful descriptions of a real place and interesting characters. I hope there is a sequel.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 10, 2011

    Must Read!

    This is one of those "can't put it down" books!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 38 Customer Reviews

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