(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) Goodbye Paris (Pono Hawkins #3) by Mike Bond

Goodbye Paris Banner

Goodbye Paris

Publisher and Publication Date: Big City Press. June 11, 2019.
Genre: Fiction.
Pages: 376.
Source: I received a copy of the title from the publisher for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Audience: Readers of thriller/CIA operative novels.
Rating: Okay.

Goodbye Paris is #3 in the series but can be read as a standalone.

ISBN: paperback: 978-1-949751-02-4
ISBN ebook: 978-1-949751-03-1

Amazon link

Goodbye Paris_Mike Bond
About the author:
Author of eight best-selling, critically-acclaimed novels, an award-winning poet, ecologist, and war and human rights journalist. Mike Bond has worked and lived
in many dangerous and war-torn regions of the world. Based on his own experiences,
his novels portray the innate hunger of the human heart for good, the intense joys of love, the terror and fury of battle, the sinister conspiracies of dictators, corporations and politicians, and the beauty of the vanishing natural world.

Mike Bond Books

Mike Bond @ Facebook

France Book Tours
Link for the book tour: Goodbye Paris

Special Forces veteran Pono Hawkins races from a Tahiti surfing competition to France when he learns that a terrorist he’d thought was dead, Mustafa al-Boudienne, has a backpack nuclear weapon and plans to destroy Paris. Pono was once Mustafa’s prisoner, and he is now the only one left alive to identify him. Joining allies from US and French intelligence, including a fearless and brilliant French agent, Anne Ronsard, with whom he soon falls in love, Pono faces impossible odds to stop Mustafa before he can
destroy the most beautiful city on earth. Third in the Pono Hawkins series after best-selling Saving Paradise and Killing Maine, the newest Pono thriller takes the reader into never-before revealed depths of covert action on three continents, insider secrets in the war against terrorism, and intense memories of combat in Afghanistan, Iraq and
elsewhere. Alive with covert action and unknown details of the war against terrorism, Goodbye Paris is a hallmark Mike Bond thriller: tense, exciting, and full of real places, and that will keep you up all night.

My Thoughts:
During a book tour, the material is provided to write the review post. For example: summary or synopsis information. But, the section titled, “My Thoughts” is always my honest review.
Several years ago I read a spy/espionage book written by a retired CIA person. He explained, “most people don’t realize how much of the work is spent waiting and observing.” I thought about his comment while reading Goodbye Paris.
Goodbye Paris is an active book. Whether Pono is surfing, riding on a fast motorcycle, having sex, or catching the bad guys the book is busy. The book reminds me of a James Bond type film. It is busy, masculine, and virile. For the reader, there is rarely a moment of respite.
Pono uses language that would make my mother wash his mouth out with soap. Cursing is one thing, crude language about the female anatomy is ridiculous and uncalled for. It doesn’t make the character Pono any tougher. It just makes him seem juvenile. I understand that when men are together they talk and use coarse language (sometimes.) My point is the character Pono tries too hard and it comes off as a caricature of something he should already be. A person (male or female) who has endured combat, or other military type action, or police action does not need to use language to make them seem brave, courageous, and strong. They just are. They are brave and courageous, because they’ve faced the fear. The people I know personally who have been in combat operations during a time of war, this includes those who were taken prisoner, when they do speak about a memory they are matter of fact, and depending on their audience they choose words carefully. Pono made a life changing choice at the tail end of the book. I’m hoping his character will evolve in to a steadfast, immovable, mature force to be reckoned with. Before I move on from this point, Pono is a character I could grow to love and feel an investment in. At this point, he seems to be a wanderer, not knowing the why of what he does. He needs a focal point, something to live and fight for, something or someone to love and die for.
I love the unpredictable conclusion at the end. I’m so glad the story left me unable to guess how the story was going tie-up at the end.