Friday, March 16, 2018

The Room on Rue Amelie by Kristin Harmel

*Disclosure of material connection- I received a copy of the book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest thoughts. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are 100% my own

About the book-

For fans of Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale and Martha Hall Kelly’s Lilac Girls, this powerful novel of fate, resistance, and family—by the international bestselling author of The Sweetness of Forgetting and When We Meet Again—tells the tale of an American woman, a British RAF pilot, and a young Jewish teenager whose lives intersect in occupied Paris during the tumultuous days of World War II.

When newlywed Ruby Henderson Benoit arrives in Paris in 1939 with her French husband Marcel, she imagines strolling arm in arm along the grand boulevards, awash in the golden afternoon light. But war is looming on the horizon, and as France falls to the Nazis, her marriage begins to splinter, too.

Charlotte Dacher is eleven when the Germans roll into the French capital, their sinister swastika flags snapping in the breeze. After the Jewish restrictions take effect and Jews are ordered to wear the yellow star, Charlotte can’t imagine things getting much worse. But then the mass deportations begin, and her life is ripped forever apart.

Thomas Clarke joins the British Royal Air Force to protect his country, but when his beloved mother dies in a German bombing during the waning days of the Blitz, he wonders if he’s really making a difference. Then he finds himself in Paris, in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, and he discovers a new reason to keep fighting—and an unexpected road home.

When fate brings them together, Ruby, Charlotte, and Thomas must summon the courage to defy the Nazis—and to open their own broken hearts—as they fight to survive. Rich with historical drama and emotional depth, this is an unforgettable story that will stay with you long after the final page is turned.

My thoughts-

I have been waiting for a while for a new book from Kristin Harmel, and I must say The Room on Rue Amelie was worth the wait. The first book I read by Harmel was The Sweetness of Forgetting which I absolutely loved so I was excited to see this new book was also set during WWII.  I found myself absorbed in the story from the first sentence. I love when authors utilize different time periods to make the story more whole, and while the present day story line was pretty small in this story, it definitely served it's purpose. The Room on Rue Amelie mostly focuses on Ruby, an American who marries a Parisian and finds herself in war torn Europe. Ruby's story takes some fascinating and heart wrenching turns. It was also about the French resistance during WWII which I always find myself wanting to learn more about. Harmel added some excellent notes at the end of the book about the resistance that beg to bed read. I will definitely do some further reading based on those notes. I recommend this book to lovers of historical fiction and book clubs.

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