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Book Review of
The Paris Daughter

Author: Kristen Harmel
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Lynn's Review

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The Paris Daughter by Kristin Harmel is a WWII historical fiction book published in 2023.

In the author’s notes of The Paris Daughter, Kristen Harmel says, “ We all know anguish, just as we all know joy. But I hope that in reading books like mine, you’re reminded that managing to pick ourselves up and put one foot in front of the other is always a victory and that there is always light in the darkness, even if that spark is sometimes hard to see.”

That sums up this book so well. Hope in the midst of pain. Light in the midst of darkness. Good in the midst of evil. 

This book is about three mothers. All who have to make difficult decisions during war. 

Elise is an American artist living in Paris. Juliette is an American who with her husband owns a bookstore in Paris. Ruth is a widow who is a German Jew living in Paris. 

War changes all their lives forever. 

Ruth sends her children away to hopefully keep them safe. Elise has to run from the Germans and leaves her daughter Mathilde in the care of Juliette and her family, but no one is safe in Paris during WWII. 

Both Juliette and Elise’s lives are changed forever when a bomb misses its target. 

In 1960, long after the war is over, Elise, Juliette, and Ruth are brought back together again. But life is not what it seems. Decisions that were made decades earlier have come back to haunt Juliette and Elise. 

This book is historical fiction at its best. I loved this book. Kristen Harmel has become a must-read author for me. I have loved her other books, but this one might be my favorite. It is a powerful read. 

This is a book about strength, courage, endurance, friendship, family, and difficult decisions during war. 

The Paris Daughter left me wondering what I would have done if I was in the same situations that Elise and Juliette were. This book would be a great book club book because there is a lot to discuss.

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