(Review) The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles

The Paris Library

Publisher and Publication Date: Simon and Schuster. February 2, 2021.
Genre: Historical fiction.
Pages: 409.
Source: NetGalley, eBook, Kindle edition. I received a complimentary eBook copy from NetGalley, I was not required to write a positive review.
Audience: Readers of historical fiction, World War II, and enjoy women’s stories.
Rating: Excellent.

This book will be published in 10 months. I had the chance to read it through NetGalley.

Amazon link for the Kindle copy

Author’s site at Goodreads

The American Library in Paris

Story number one, World War II.
Odile Souchet (pronounced Oh-deal) is a young woman who lives and breathes the Dewey Decimal Classification (the library system of organizing books.) When the story begins she interviews for a job as the Directress of the American Library in Paris, France. Her father works in the police department in Paris. Odile has a twin brother who is a student. Their mother is a delicate woman who is compliant and submissive to the husband.
Story number two, 1980s.
Lily is a teenage girl living in Froid, Montana. She is an only child. Her mother is in poor health. Her father works in a bank. Lily has an eccentric neighbor, Mrs. Gustafson. The two become friends at just the right time.

My Thoughts:
The first point I love about this story is usually when there is two different characters with two time periods, I have to guess how this story is going to intersect with the two characters, and why the two characters need one another. I was shown right away in
The Paris Library the purpose of the two characters. This is a breath of fresh air in a stagnant pool of dual time periods of characters who go back and forth. I love that right from the beginning the two characters have purpose for the relationship. It’s actually a lovely relationship of encouragement, comfort, companionship, and devotion.
A second reason I love this story is Odile’s personality. Odile is a young woman. Often young women are shown either extremely naïve or extremely independent. Odile is in the middle. She is a young woman with education and a career that gives her a bit of freedom and independence. She still lives at home and under her parent’s rules. She also has little experience with romantic relationships. However, she is a careful person. She is observant and waits to make a decision. She does not immediately act on feelings.
I love the conflict between the two women: Odile and Lily. Even the best of friends have misunderstandings and situations that require good communication. Their story is a teaching element for the book.
I love how Skeslien weaved in several sub stories. For example: a romantic relationship with a German enemy. And, an older French woman’s perspective on marriage.
I enjoyed reading the story of Odile more than Lily. Lily is a solid character, but I was drawn to Odile.
I could go on and on about this story because it’s wonderful!


(Review) Book Girl: A Journey through the Treasures & Transforming Power of a Reading Life by Sarah Clarkson


Publisher and Publication Date: Tyndale Momentum. September 4, 2018.
Genre: Nonfiction. Books. Reading.
Pages: 288.
Source: Library.
Rating: Very good.
Audience: People who read books about reading!


Blog for Sarah Clarkson

I love books about books and reading. A book loving person will be drawn to a book like this!

Book Girl is a personable, entertaining, revealing look about a life long love of books.
Book Girl has chapters with themes. For example: classics to read, poetry, praying, brave women, spiritual classics, and biographies. Clarkson explains why the books are on each list.
Book Girl shares why reading books creates a different view of life, as opposed to those who do not read. The world a book reader understands is vast and varied.
I love it that Clarkson helps me understand why books have brought her growth, meaning, and joy.
A strong point Clarkson brought up is how social media is distracting. It is distracting in how it keeps the eyes busy with enticing visual activity. Reading is a solitude activity requiring the disciplined reading of words.

A short list of books recommended:
God Smuggler by Brother Andrew
A Chance to Die by Elisabeth Elliot
Christy by Catherine Marshall
The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Knowledge of God by J. I. Packer
Bleak House by Charles Dickens
The Best Poems of the English Language: From Chaucer through Robert Frost by Harold Bloom