Fantastic read. Very happy to have stumbled upon this book about life in Paris during the German occupation. Great writing about such a horrible circumstance in history.
A quick read. Not a lot of depth to the writing, but an interesting premise.
World War II, German soldiers in Paris and efforts to protect Jews from Nazis propel this plot-driven novel in which an architect is reluctantly lured into silent political action. Characters don't have the usual black or white, good vs. evil sheen of most WWII novels, so the reader feels like a fly on the wall during events as they unfold. A few characters are stock figures but a couple of them provide happy surprises. Don't worry about being depressed at the end of this book: It has a Hollywood ending.
World War II Paris - a thrilling tale of an architect's ingenious designs for saving lives!
Although this book is uplifting and also a bit of a thriller, I got bogged down in the architectural details. All the anti-Semitism and brutality of the Nazis, although certainly historically accurate was also very depressing. Couldn't finish it.
Lucien is an architect in Paris during the German occupation. He is just trying to survive. Then a remarkable opportunity arises. He can earn a lot of money and maybe even advance his career, but there is a catch. The project involves building secret hiding places for Jews. Lucien is indifferent to the plight of the Jews, so it is not for any benevolent reason that he considers the job offer. His desire to provide some little luxuries for himself to and finally be working at a project that challenges him proves to be the motivation that causes him to say yes. So he starts working with Auguste Manet, his wealthy benefactor, hoping that he can just do this one job for him and then be done with it. But as he gets more involved with Manet and with a host of other characters - including Manet's clients and a new love interest-Lucien finds himself becoming personally involved with the project. After all, there is a certain thrill to using his skill to hide people and fool the Germans. But will he pay the ultimate price for playing this cat and mouse game with them?
I enjoyed this story on several levels. I enjoyed the historical details about what life was like in Vichy France. I enjoyed the novelty of an architect using his skill to design such clever hiding places--something for which there is a great historical precedent. And I also found that Lucien and Manet and the other characters, particularly Lucien's love interest, were real enough to me that I genuinely cared what happened to them. The ending may have been a bit contrived, but it was emotionally satisfying for those wanting the "good guys" to win. I highly recommend this book to those who enjoy well crafted historical fiction, especially if they enjoy those about World War II
The concept of an architect hiding Jews is interesting, the execution of the story however falls flat. The writing lacks emotional complexity which makes most of the characters unconvincing. The story would have been better had Belfoure not attempted to include a romance. This was a story that just could not draw me in. Thankfully the writing was light and the chapters were very short so it was a quick read.
Interesting story which includes many facets of life in Paris under Nazi occupation. I found the story a compelling read which offered a look into the minds of complex characters who under incredible stress would risk their life to save strangers.
This book takes place in Nazi occupied France during WWII and tells a story about the fear, guilt, threats and incredibly difficult choices that Parisians had to live with during that time. Overall - quite good.
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