It certainly does not: Paris Never Leaves You A Novel by Ellen Feldman

I have read so much historical fiction that take place during WWII and its aftermath. This makes it easy to think that I could skip reading a new book set in that time period and you may think that as well but DON’T.  Paris Never Leaves You is an extraordinary novel.

From its visceral opening scene in which collaborators are shamed and attacked on a Paris street, and right on through the novel, this is an immersive, engaging and intriguing book. Within its pages readers will spend time with Charlotte and Vivi, a mother-daughter who survived the war and came to New York. The book is told in seamlessly interwoven timelines; there is one in which Charlotte works in a New York publishing house and Vivi is a fourteen year old school girl and a second that takes place during the war in Europe.

The characters in the novel are each brought to life from Horace, in a wheelchair, to Julian to so many more. The settings are also evocative. Readers will feel what it was like to scrounge for food and to reconsider moral stands in the Paris of the war. Book lovers will also enjoy the inside view of the world of publishing in the U.S.  that Ms. Feldman provides.

Early in the book, Charlotte is at a makeup counter where she is told that a certain product “will erase your past.” But, of course, the past cannot be erased. Should it be? Another provocative quote is when Charlotte says that she was not Jewish until Hitler made her so. What does it mean to be Jewish? How do we form identities? These are just some of the issues to ponder.

I give this book a solid five stars and highly recommend it. Readers will be drawn in and the novel will resonate with them even after they have read the last lines.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title in exchange for an honest review.



Now out: The Secret Explorers and the Lost Whales by SJ King

This title finds the sweet spot between a fiction adventure and a science book for kids. It is an illustrated chapter book for elementary school aged children that features a diverse group of explorers.
Meet Connor and his friends who are excited to have a new mission. Watch as Connor magically arrives at the exploration station to find out what his next task will be. Readers will discover that they are to help some whales.
This book appeals to its readers who are at the age when clubs and secrets are intriguing. I think that kids will learn a lot while following the protagonists’ adventures. Hopefully, a love of science will be introduced or reinforced.
At the end of the book are a quiz and a glossary. These both help to reinforce the learning that the text provided.
Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title in exchange for an honest review.

#TheSecretExplorersandtheLostWhales #NetGalley

Explore from home: 50 Maps of the World Explore the globe with 50 fact-filled maps! by Ben Handicott, Kalya Ryan

The author starts by explaining what a country is and how the countries that we know change over the course of history as new ones are formed and old ones dissolve.  Having established this baseline, next comes the sense of what will be found in each colorful map spread.  There will be history, people of note, key facts, bodies of water, historical sites, capital cities and more.  Truly an adventure is being offered to young and inquisitive explorers in these fifty maps which include countries throughout the world, starting with France and other European countries and then traveling the continents.

I would have adored this book as a child.  I also enjoy it now that I am an adult.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title in exchange for an honest review.

Pub date:  September 1, 2020

#50MapsoftheWorld #NetGalley

We can still have fun: Let’s Stay Home! by Sugar Snap Studio

,This short book for young children is very brightly and engagingly illustrated.  It begins by acknowledging that “things seem a bit strange at the moment,” before acknowledging that this time will not last forever.  The author then goes on to suggest the many fun things that can be done at home in the meantime.  There is everything from blowing bubbles, to virtual grandparent chats, to making smoothies and more.  This title will help to normalize daily life for young children and, in the process may help their adults as well!

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title in exchange for an honest review.

#LetsStayHome #NetGalley

Who do you believe? His & Hers A Novel by Alice Feeney Narrated by Richard Armitage; Stephanie Racine


They say that there are always two sides to the story. In this well-narrated audio book, we hear both; one for him and one for her. This is a suspense filled novel about a woman who was murdered in an English village. Follow Anna and Jack, reporter and police officer, along with the many twists in the tale. Sadly, my time with this title was over with NetGalley before I finished it. I will find another way as I want to know what happened. I will connect with my library or bookstore immediately.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title in exchange for an honest review.

#HisHers #NetGalley

Will you find what you need? The Lost and Found Bookshop by Susan Wiggs

The Lost and Found Bookshop: A NovelI subscribe to this author’s newsletter so had been hearing about The Lost and Found Bookshop for months before it was published.  I entered a number of giveaways in my enthusiasm, did not win the book and eventually got it from the library.

The story is about Natalie who suffers some losses from which she must recover.  The reader encounters those with whom Natalie is involved as she moves from a high powered, but unsatisfying career, to become the proprietor of her family’s bookshop.  There is Peach, clearly to be a romantic interest; a popular author who wines and dines Natalie; Dorothy, the precocious daughter of Peach; Grandy, who is slowly sinking into dementia and others.

Ms. Wiggs love of bookstores and what they offer to people and communities come across clearly.  The city of San Francisco is also painted by someone who is fond of both its history and what it offers now to those who live there.

The resolution of the story is satisfying but…somehow I had hoped for a little more from this novel.  Its insights were not unique although they were true.

If you enjoy women’s fiction, I recommend this title.  However, there are books by this author that I have enjoyed more including the Lakeshore Chronicles series, Map of the Heart and Just Breathe, to name a few.

Have you read this book?  What did you think?