Thanks to Atria books, I got to read The Paris Library well ahead of release day, (in fact, they moved release day 6 months further than planned.) This wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, but I found it a rewarding read. Based on a true story, The Paris Library is set in 1983 Montana but goes back in time to tell of The American Library in Paris in 1939. A time when the desire was to keep the library open and to make sure both civilians and soldiers could have access to books. While told in dual timelines, Odile’s timeline in 1939 gets more of the story than Lily because her story ties into the present.
The book is well-researched, and it spoke of the naivety of those that lived a rather sheltered life. Odile didn’t fully understand what was going on in her backyard. While she considered herself close to her brother, she was more consumed with her first job than his concerns with Hitler. It was when she finally found the truth that she realized the repercussions of some of her actions. This tied into Lily, who made an unwise decision that hurts Odile, as it brings back the wrongs Odile committed during her youth.
This had a bit of a slow start for me, but I think that’s just because of the overall pacing of the book. Everyone that worked at the library had unique personalities and a role to play in Odile’s life. I liked the dual timelines and thought this was well-written. Overall, an enjoyable read.
The Paris Library is available for preorder on Amazon for $14.99, it’s new release day is February 2nd, 2021.