The Paris Secret: An epic and heartbreaking love story set in World War Two

The Paris Secret: An epic and heartbreaking love story set in World War Two

by Lily Graham

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781786816283
Publisher: StoryFire LTD
Publication date: 10/04/2018
Pages: 200
Sales rank: 47,620
Product dimensions: 5.06(w) x 7.81(h) x 0.42(d)

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The Paris Secret: An epic and heartbreaking love story set in World War Two 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
gaele More than 1 year ago
Annie is heading from Moscow to home via train when she encounters Valerie, an old woman now, carrying a battered blue suitcase as she is returning to Paris after her travels. While Valerie is convinced the young never notice the old, there’s something about Annie that brings her to share her story. Born in Paris during the Occupation, Valerie was raised in England with her ‘Aunt’ Amélie and her husband, distant cousins and the only family Valerie believes she has. But one day she learns that she has a Grandfather in Paris, one who ‘gave’ her away, and with the help of her best friend Freddy, concocts a scheme to meet Vincent Dupont, her grandfather. Offered a position at his bookshop Griboullier (Scribbles) and a room, she at the ripe age of 20 is now the assistant on trial, and facing a place and a man she doesn’t remember. Taciturn at the best of times, explosively derisive as a norm, Vincent isn’t actually welcoming, but Valerie knows that she wants to find answers and her story, before revealing the truth of who she is. Thus we see the story of Valerie’s mother Mirelle and the struggles during the war, and of the man who is her father: with his keeping them safe, helping her best friend Clothilde to escape to relative safety in Spain, and the subsequent arrest and jailing of her father, Vincent’s plea to Mattaus that he keep Mirelle safe, and the progression of their relationship. A diary in Mirelle and Mattaus’ hand detailing her pregnancy and infancy, giving her more of the story of her parents and those fraught moments, and the only piece of the story she knew – that she was given away – all fall to the wayside as Clothilde, who returned to Paris after the war’s end and is a neighbor and friend of Vincent can fill in pieces of the rest. Of course, there are stories behind the Occupation, and horrors that were visited on those who stayed, and that one who was grieving so constantly for what he had lost, or mistakes he believes he made would make Vincent the toughest nut to crack. His cataloguing of the shop and rather unique approach to customers and their reading choices – all were manifestations of that grief. But, as a character, he is who stood out for me in a long list of people that were hard to turn from. His story now finally told, and his relief in reconnecting with Valerie, his joy in the ability to share with her stories of her mother and her bravery, and ultimately her death as well as the reasons she was sent from Paris, not ‘given away’ bring closure and a sort of peace to Valerie. Learning of her past, and understanding the full story of the family she didn’t know filled a hole that, despite being loved and treated as a treasured child, was still there. Emotional and complex, the story doesn’t pull any punches about the Occupation or its aftermath, or the effects that live in regrets and grief until the story is shared, told and understood. A different perspective from the Occupation stories I’ve encountered, Graham brings a palpable sense of the people and their choices as they struggled with what was right, best or even possible in a time when possible could be deadly. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Elaine Marchant 4 months ago
Loved the book. It really kept my interest as the story unfolded, and I have read a lot of novels on WWII. I enjoyed the grandfather Vincent and his quirky critiques on the books in his store and the bookstore cats--very charming. However, the thrust of the novel regarding the main character Valerie's search for her family history in the 40's and the tragedy revolving around that was well done and counter- balanced by the relationships and conflicts in her present of the 1960's.
SammyReadsBooks 6 months ago
“The Paris Secret” by Lily Graham tells the story of Valerie who was born in Paris during World War II. She grows up in London with her aunt, but travels back to Paris when she is twenty to find out the truth about her family and why they gave her away. She goes undercover to work at her Grandfather’s bookstore, and with the help of some snooping and a close neighbor she learns the truth of her past and her parents lives in the war. I really like how this book was written going back and forth from the war to Valerie’s life working at the bookstore. The chapters are a good length making this book very easy to read. The story itself is what is expected of a novel set in World War II, but the way it is written makes it a great read. I cared about the main characters and wanted to know what happened to Valerie’s parents just as much as she did. I would definitely recommend this book to a friend. I want to thank NetGalley and Bookouture for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I+could+not+put+this+book+down+until+I+read+the+last+page%21%21%21
LlamaJen More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book!!! My only complaint is that it's too short and I wanted to keep reading about Valerie and her family. The book was beautifully written. I felt like I was there with Valerie working in the bookshop and with Mireille while trying to survive during the Occupation. I loved the cover of the book and I am so glad it caught my eye. Valerie was sent to live in England with relatives when she was three years old. Valerie knew her mother was dead and believed she had no other relatives alive. When Valerie is twenty she learns her grandfather is alive in Paris. Valerie ends up getting a job working in his bookshop, but uses an assumed name. She doesn't know how he would react to Valerie being his granddaughter. Valerie tries to find out as much as she can about her mother. The book starts out in the present as Valerie tells her story to a woman she meets on a train. It alternates between Valerie in 1962 and Mireille in Occupied Paris during the 1940's . I loved the story, characters and writing style. I loved getting to know Valerie and Mireille. Mireille's story was heartbreaking. I hope Valerie sees that her father truly loved her mother and his baby. I wonder how everything would have turned out after the war? Dupont was quite the character. His book ordering system was crazy. I'm not sure how anyone found anything. He had books in order according to whether or not the author had last his/her mind. Add in Clotilde and Freddy and you have a great mix of characters. I can't imagine how the children born with Nazi fathers were treated after the war. Innocent children being punished for simply being born. The book was very heartfelt. It was full of loss and sadness but also love. happiness and forgiveness. I definitely recommend this book and look forward to reading more by the author. Thanks to NetGalley, Bookouture and the author, Lily Graham, for a free electronic ARC of this novel.
DdayKM More than 1 year ago
I just can’t get enough of historical fiction. This book pulls you in from the start. I love the character of Valerie and the growth of the relationships throughout the story. I would call this a quick, sweet read. There isn’t any aha moments or wow moments, but overall a great story.
brf1948 More than 1 year ago
The Paris Secret goes back and forth in a timeline that covers the invasion of Paris in 1940, Valerie's return to Paris in 1962, and her life there. Valerie spent her first three years in occupied Paris, was given to her mother's cousin who eventually moved with Valarie to London. It is not until she in in her 20's, a library assistant, that she is told that her grandfather is still alive, a bookseller in Paris. Because she has no information on what happened to her parents or why she was given away, she applies for and gets a job at the bookstore in Paris under an assumed name. Valerie wants desperately to get to know her grandfather, and to find out what happened to her parents when she was three. She knows that the true is here, with her grumpy grandfather Vincent and her mothers' best friend Clotilde. Neither mission is easily accomplished, but Valerie is not a quitter. What is the secret of her birth, and how did her parents die? I received a free electronic copy of this historical novel from Netgalley, Lily Graham, and Bookouture in exchange for an honest review. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me.
annemariebookaholic More than 1 year ago
How to put my feelings into words about this book....absolutely one of the best books I have read in 2018 Valerie was taken from her family at what she thought was the point when the Nazis invaded France and was taken to England. Why was she taken and what happened to her family? The story jumps from modern time, to the 1960's, to World War II Paris France occupation... We read about how one family was devastated by the Nazis taking over Paris...while trying to run their family bookstore...heart wrenching at times (I used a few tissues) and expertly written. Lily Graham has written one of the best books of the year in my honest opinion! If I could have given this a higher rating that 5 stars I would have done so....truly an unforgettable story!
3900980 More than 1 year ago
The Paris Secret by Lily Graham is a heartbreakingly beautiful love story which begins in the present and moves backwards to the 1960's and to World War II France. A young girl named Valerie at the age of 21 finds out her grandfather, Vincent Dupont, the owner of a bookstore in France gave her up at the age of 3 to live with her aunt in England. Although warned by her Aunt to not pursue the reasons why, Valerie goes to France under an assumed name to find out who her parents are and what happened to them during the Nazi Occupation of France. But more importantly why did her grandfather not want her. The main character, if you will, is the bookstore which Vincent's family has owned for generations and which was witness to many encounters, both good and bad. It is where Valerie will find not only all of her answers, but will also find love. It is the heart of the story. This is an epic love story which will make you sad but also make you feel full of love and hope. I recommend all romantics and people who enjoy historical fiction to pick up a copy.