Cover Image: The Parisians

The Parisians

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Member Reviews

I adored this book! Historical fiction is a firm favourite of mine, and this ticked all the boxes. With famous faces providing notable cameos, Olivia is a total hero. Heartbreakingly sad but full of bravery in the face of adversity, The Parisians is a book I'll come back to time and time again.
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My favorite genre is historical fiction and I especially like WWII fiction. I am constantly amazed at every day people became extraordinary heroes. I have read other books that have been written about the Ritz during WWII. In this book, the author focuses on A fictional character, Olivia, an American who is in Paris who is a chambermaid and has a Swedish passport, The other two characters are real life Coco Chanel and a French actress, Arletty. I found myself caught up in their lives, the decisions they make and the consequences of their decisions. I felt the author did a wonderful job in making me feel like I was in the room with these characters and found myself having conversations with them.
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After reading and loving Marius Gabriel's previous novels The Designer and The Ocean Liner I was really excited to be approved to read The Parisians. 
The story focuses mainly on the Ritz in Paris and its occupants, among them none other than Coco Chanel, french actress Arletty, and the fictional character, Olivia, a chambermaid at the Ritz.

This author always gives the reader a compelling novel, which is why I always come back for more!

I would recommend this work to everyone.

I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book. This is my honest and unbiased opinion of it.
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This book was hard to put down. The plot was complete and the characters were well rounded. This book reminded me of the true story called The Nazi Officers Wife in the sense that people had to do what they had to do in order to survive this horrible period in our history. I highly recommend this book.
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This is an adequate, entertaining novel. The characters are interesting, and the plot is enough to keep me interested, both of which are good things. I don’t know why I didn’t love this book, but it just didn’t vibe particularly well with me. However. I would recommend it if you’re looking for a quick summer read!
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"The Parisians" tells the story of Olivia Olsen, an American girl in Paris who falls in love with a Parisian boy just prior to WWII.  As the war begins, Olivia gets work at the famed Ritz hotel.  She finds that she has access to top-secret German papers and starts passing information to the French resistance.  There's a great mix of real and fictional characters in the book.  Olivia cleans for Coco Chanel, and the French actress Arletty is in the hotel as well.

I enjoyed this book and recommend it.

Thanks to Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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The story opens in Paris, 1939, on the banks of the Seine river where we meet Olivia, an American living in France, and Fabrice. She is a struggling artist and him a Frenchman interested in her paintings and in her.
He buys a portrait of himself for his mother and she glides into Olivia's life, shaping it for the story to come. Under his mother's recommendation she takes a job as a chambermaid  at Paris's Grand Dame - The Ritz.
Within the walls of this esteemed building we meet guests like Antoinette & Arletty and the legendary Coco Chanel and staff like Heike Schwab and Monsier Auzello amongst various other guests and staffers.
And then World War Two breaks out.
We take a journey through the occupation as seen through the eyes of the people in the Ritz, whether they are guests or simply staff in the background.
We get their thoughts and feelings on the occupying Nazi's who move into the Ritz at heavily discounted prices. Some are so certain the Nazi's will improve their lives and some turn to the Resistance to fight the Nazi's in anyway possible.
Olivia, finding herself in a unique position, becoming the favourite of Hermann Goering - who believes she is Swedish not American, and having lost all she loves and cares about in France takes a brave decision that could cost her her life if found out.
This was a gripping story. The last 10 - 15% of the book was brilliant, well-researched writing. It takes you down into the bowels of human despair and depravity. Very powerful images were described.
The realities of the war on the "normal" person in the street and the privileged Ritz guests were laid out  plainly for the reader to see and compare.
I enjoyed seeing how each of the three women chosen to be the main characters progressed from pre-war times to post-war times.
This was a heart-wrenching read, but a beautifully written and very well-researched book. I loved the careful blend of fact and fiction that all contributed to a great story. The inclusion of the "Author's Notes" was rather interesting.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for allowing me the chance to read this book.
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First, thank you to NetGalley for making this title available to me.
What a great novel. At first I was distracted and it seemed it took me forever to get into it, but when I finally focused what a thrilling read this was.

It follows the life of 3 very different women, at the peak of the 2nd World War.
It focuses mainly on the Ritz in Paris and its occupants, among them none other than Coco Chanel, french actress Arletty, and the fictional character, Olivia, a chambermaid at the Ritz (an American living on a Swedish passport in France).

Coco Chanel was known to be a Nazi sympathizer. Arletty, was a complicated woman with mixed emotions. She loved France but could not avoid falling in love with a handsome Nazi officer. And Olivia, a strong willed and minded American spy, working tirelessly to help the "Allies". After all was said and done, these were 3 fierce women who lived with the consequences of their actions.

I would recommend this work to everyone.
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I liked this World War II novel set in Paris that combined the backgrounds of real people with fictional characters. This first half was a little slow but it got more interesting as it went. I didn't love the character of Olivia, which kept me from rating it higher.
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It is 1940 and Paris + the Ritz have been occupied by the Nazis. Most of the story revolves in the Ritz where we find 3 women, both fictional and real, who use this invasion for either their benefit or to extract revenge. 

Olivia Olsen, is an aspiring artist turned chambermaid at the Ritz who becomes a favourite of Adolf Hitler's right hand man and uses this as an opportunity to help the Resistance and in the process avenge the death of her fiancee.

Coco Chanel is a world famous designer who sees at the onset that this regime can work to her benefit and doesn't waste time and effort to use them to get what she wants.

Arletty, France's darling and best loved actresses of the time, shocks herself and the sentiments of all French people when she decides to get into an ill-fated affair with a German Luftwaffe officer Hans-Jurgen Soehring.

What I really liked about this book was how the author managed to bring together both fictional and real characters into the story, at times intersecting their story lines to give a more perspective outlook on this grim period of history and what people were willing to do to survive it.

Also, at the end of the book, the author gives us a short update on all the real people in the book, telling us what happened to them and where their lives led them after the war was over which was interesting (and made me Google to know more about them). The only drawback for me was that I did not emotionally connect with anyone in the book but overall the book was gripping.

My thanks to Netgalley, the author and publishers for giving me an ARC.
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As an artist, Olivia finds Paris to be a much harder place to make a living than she expected.  Forced to find work Olivia joins the staff at the Ritz as a chambermaid.  As the Nazi's take over Paris, they also take over the luxurious rooms and spaces of the Ritz.  Forced to clean the rooms of top Nazi's, Olivia finds an opportunity to work for the allies, photographing documents left strewn about their rooms. 

This was a very interesting story.  The characters were very realistic and dynamic.  I particularly loved how real historical figures were woven into the story.  I look forward to reading more from this artist.  Overall, highly recommended.
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I love WWII books set in Paris. This is the story of Coco Chanel and the ritz during a horrible time in history. I would recommend this to all fans of WWII historical fiction.

I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book. This is my honest and unbiased opinion of it.
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Poignant, Deeply-moving and Heart-breaking! 

Then, which World War 2 story, isn't?

This is a story of three women. Olivia Olsen, an American woman of Swedish descent. Famous french actress, Arletty and none other than Coco Chanel. With famous and grand hotel the Ritz set as a backdrop its the story of these three women as they navigate the murky paths of secrets and betrayals during the German occupation of France. 

One thing that I have learned from reading books from that era is the fact that no matter how many books I may read on World War 2 there is always something new to learn about the most brutal war in the human history. However, all of the stories has one thing in common. they are all stories of courage, resilience, bravery, perseverance and extreme determination. This one is no different. while, honestly, I didn't really cared about Chanel's and Arletty's story line. Olivia story touched me deeply, her struggles, resourcefulness, resilience and courage broke my heart so many times and I was so happy with the ending of this book because Olivia just deserved all the happiness and love in the world.
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I'm not sure how historically accurate the story was but I liked it.  I don't think I've read any other WWII stories set in Paris so that made this story unique.  I loved the glamour of the Ritz and the scandalous celebrities Coco Chanel and Arletty.  I don't think Olivia made a very believable spy but I couldn't help but fall in love with Yokel and Bumpkin.  I'm a sucker for a slow burn, against all odds romance.
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Thanks to NetGalley for an advanced copy in exchange for my honest review. 

I enjoyed the Parisians. Within a few pages I was going to Google to read more about Coco Chanel and her involvement in WWII and after that I was hooked. I loved the fictional character of Olivia and how she wove her into other famous women in France during WWII and the role of the French Resistance and the Ritz. The beginning was a little slow, but really picks up.
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Thank you to Netgalley for an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review. I enjoyed this story, told by three different women in WWII era Paris. Olivia was by far my favorite and I loved reading about Coco Chanel’s sordid past. The character of Arletty didn’t really fit in to this book for me and I found myself skimming her parts. It was only after I finished and was reading the author’s notes that I found out she was real actress of the time. All in all, I enjoyed this book.
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When Paris was overrun in WW2 the Nazi's took over the Ritz Hotel and this is the story of three women who became involved with them.   Olivia is an American artist who took a job as a chambermaid at the Ritz to help pay her way and a at the outbreak of the war decided to stay, claiming her Swiss origins, and collected information for the Resistance,  Arletty an actress who fell for a German SS officer and Coco Chanel whose German collaboration is well documented.   
How will the lives of these three women intertwine and what will happen to them at the end of the war? 

An interesting historical read, the inclusion of Coco Chanel in the story adds an interesting twist and I enjoyed the book and will be looking for further books by this author.
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I loved this engaging novel set in WWII. Even Coco Chanel makes an appearance. Such a great book!

Many thanks to Netgalley, the publisher, and the author for my ARC. All opinions are my own.
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I've read a lot of good reviews for this book recently, but unfortunately I just couldn't get into it..  I am sending these thoughts now but have put this e book to one side and will hopefully pick up and try again at another time.

I received a copy of this e book from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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The Ritz Hotel in Paris takes center stage in WWII.  Three women, Olivia Olsen, chambermaid, Arletty, actress and Coco Chanel, designer of women's fashions.  It is no surprise, of course, from all that I have read about Chanel that she would appear in this novel.  This hotel, famous for hosting the Nazi elite, would be the perfect place for these 3 women to become involved with them.  Olivia to join the Resistance and gather information, Arletty to become in love with a German officer, and Chanel to save her own hide as well as her anti-Semitic views.

Olivia is the fictional character that brings the book together.  A young artist who came to France to further her creativity she just can't make it financially and out of desperation becomes a chambermaid at The Ritz.  With the breakout of WW!! she becomes involved with the Resistance in order to help her boyfriend who is in the hands of the Gestapo.  As for Arletty and Chanel, did they sell out France when they became involved with the Nazis?  Did they even care?  Certainly the depiction of those 2 famous people made the book engaging. While I've never read anything about the famed French actress Arletty, I have read enough about Chanel and her "fascination" with the Nazis.

This was not the first book I've read by Gabriel...it won't be my last.  The book was interesting and even though there were some "down" times, I enjoyed it.  This author always gives the reader a compelling novel, which is why I always come back for more!

My thanks to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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