Cover Image: The Paris Network

The Paris Network

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Member Reviews

Jeanne is 49 years old and is forced to retire as a police detective. At the same time her mother, Lorilee, passes away but Jeanne never had a close relationship with her, always feeling that her mother didn't really like her. She discovers a box with a deed to a bookshop in France and her father admits that Lorilee was not her biological mother. She travels to France with her father, Wendell, to learn more about her mother, Laurence.

It was a good story, heartbreaking at times. Laurence owned a book store where she would write book prescriptions for her patrons with quotes or poems to help them through difficult times. She was certainly brave with her work for the Resistance. I liked Laurence but she seemed to be the only character that was really developed. It was written from the perspective of Laurence in 1943 and Jeanne in 1993 and it worked well in this case. As Jeanne would discover something the story would switch to Laurence and fill in the blanks.

Sometimes it read like YA to me. Jeanne didn't always talk or act like a retired police detective and at one point they try to get into Laurence's book shop and her 70+ father who uses a cane hops over a high fence. There were a lot of ohh la la's and them chanting Liberty, Liberty, Liberty. Only as an American probably but I kept hearing the commercial. Genevieve was someone that Laurence had grown up. She became a famous actress in Paris and came back during the war but is now called Gigi. She seemed to float through the book and played a large part but the character itself remained in the background. I would have liked to know more about her.

I enjoyed the relationship of Wendell and Laurence but then the ending seemed rushed. I would have liked to know more about how Jeanne was taken from France and how Wendell ended up with Lorilee.

I would like to thank Netgalley and Bookouture from providing me with a digital copy.
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I am drawn to stories that take place during WWII. The personal struggles and sacrifices made by ordinary people wanting to make a difference in the war effort, and the bravery and resilience of those who survived is so inspiring. 
The Paris Network is a beautiful written, dual timeline WW2 story with themes around courage strength, resilience, and hope. Engaging and captivating, this slow unraveling story touched on all my emotions. I simply couldn’t put it down.  

While both storylines were captivating, and the author successfully stitched together the threads from each storyline to bridge the gap and uncover the secrets of the past, I found I was more drawn to the historic storyline.  The protagonist of the historical thread is Laurence, a bookshop owner, who in the face of adversity, joins up with the French resistance.  She’s an ordinary person who does extraordinary things, putting herself in harms way to help others despite the risk to her own safety. I love how she uses her love of literature to bring hope to others.  She was brave and loyal.  The network of friendships she made and her ability to find love despite the horrific circumstances of  this time was heartwarming. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for the opportunity to preview an advance reader copy of this fantastic story in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
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Wow, fantastic. This was a book that I was desperate to find out what happens, but also never wanted it to finish. Loved every page from start to finish. Highly recommend. One of my top reads this year.
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Paris, 1940.  A dual timeline that also takes us to 1993. This is a story of a young woman, who owns a bookstore in a small French town, during the German occupation. Her story and courage brings to life vividly, life in occupied France and how some fought back, while others just gave in or collaborated, when Nazi Germany took over.  Well written, well researched and an excellent story.
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Very good read highly recommended. I totally recommend this book to friends and family it does not disappoint. Hope to read more books by this author in the near future.
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Have been unable to review due to illness. Review coming soon! This novel looks fantastic and I highly recommend this author to everyone!
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Not for me unfortunately. I struggled at that start and therefore didn't finish it. Might come back to at a later date
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Rating: 4.5 Stars

A heart-wrenching historical novel inspired by true events, Siobhan Curham’s The Paris Network is an incredible tale of courage, resilience and bravery that will leave readers breathless.

In Paris 1940, bookseller Laurence is embarking on a dangerous mission. Sent to meet a man called Pierre Duras, she has left her shop in order to help defeat the enemy and save her country. With the people of France under threat and with the war raging on and showing no sign whatsoever of slowing down, Laurence must do whatever she can – even if everything feels so hopeless and desperate. When she slips out at night under the cover of darkness and sees an Allied plane on fire, Laurence must do whatever she can to rescue the pilot. Straying from this mission isn’t part of the plan and Laurence must work diligently and quickly – because if she is discovered, the repercussions could be fatal…

Years later, an American woman called Jeanne is shocked to her very core when she is going through her father’s garage and discovers that she has inherited a book shop in France from a mysterious woman called Laurence in a French village on the outskirts of Paris. Jeanne travels to France to claim her legacy and finds a book shop in complete disrepair. But there is a further discovery to be made of a tiny silver pendant hidden beneath the scorched floorboards. Intrigued by the story of her mysterious benefactor, Jeanne decides to uncover the story of this woman who changed her life and brought her to France. But will Jeanne’s discovery about Laurence change her future? Or will it end up breaking her heart?

Siobhan Curham is an amazing storyteller who writes with insight, perception and heart about characters who defy the odds and triumph against all the obstacles standing in their way. The Paris Network is an emotional, electrifying and heart-breaking historical novel that takes the reader into a world of danger, jeopardy, hope and love that will keep them eagerly turning the pages way past their bedtime.

Inspiring, passionate and beguiling, The Paris Network is an epic historical novel readers will not forget in a hurry.
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A dual timeline story set during World War 2 France and 1993. I am fascinated by stories of the French resistance and the author has researched the subject well. An emotional read.
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Enthralling- draws you in from the start. Great read for anyone who enjoys WWII books. Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advanced copy.
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This is the second book I've from Siobhan Curtis, and her eye for intricate period detail is excellent.  I didn't enjoy the later story of Jeanne and her family as much as the World War II actions of Laurence and her friends, and I felt like the ending wrapped up a bit too easily.  But I enjoyed this dual timeline historical novel and I am always eager to read more stories about the Resistance.
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Unfortunately, this was a no for me. The story wasn’t terrible and there were parts that were so heart breaking I cried. However, Jeans character never really caught my attention. I didn’t particularly find anything to like about her for the most part of the book. I also didn’t really like the 1990s timeline much.
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The blurb was very promising and I was really intrigued by the claim of “Inspired by true events”. The novel is built around two timelines, one based during World War II and a more modern one set in 1993.

I thought the “past” timeline was the most accomplished and compelling part of the book. The author paints a very vivid and poignant picture of occupied France. On the other hand, the modern timeline was weaker and less developed overall (plot-wise and character-wise) and could’ve been avoided altogether to keep momentum with the “historical” part.

It’s a gripping novel that still feels relevant considering the current news. Characters like Laurence are inspiring and true heroes. I highly recommend this read!

PS: I was hoping that Laurence had been a real person, but from what I understood in the author’s final word, even though the story is indeed based on true events, she doesn’t give precise information (unlike what Ellie Midwood did in her novel The White Rose Network). So we don’t know which parts are true and which are romanticized. It’s too bad.
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The Paris Network takes place in two timelines, during WW2 beginning in 1939 and 1993. In 1939 La Vallee du Cerf, France, Laurence Sidot has turned her family store into The Book Dispensary. As the name hints to a pharmacy, she calls herself the book doctor and gives “prescriptions” of books/poems to her customers based on their emotional requirements. Laurence's parents are dead and there are rumors of horrible things happening inside and outside of France. When the Germans take over her town, people she has known for years are shot and deported. Laurence decides to fight back. Her response varies from reading all the books on the banned list to actively participating as a member of the French Resistance. In 1993, Jeanne's mother has died and after the funeral, she finds a a dusty old box in her father’s garage. From it's contents she learns she has inherited a bookstore, in a tiny French village, from a woman named Laurence. Her dad tells her little about this woman that he once knew so they travel to La Vallee du Cerf to attempt to claim her property and to find out who she was and what happened to Laurence.

This story is told from two POVs, Laurence and Jeanne. With most dual timeline stories, I preferrred the past story more than the present. Laurence made a great heroine. She is smart and intuitive and uses her brain to get herself out of trouble more than once. I enjoyed seeing her character grow in this story. Jeanne was an okay character, but didn't pull me in like Laurence. I was intrigued by Laurence's storyline. I learned more about the resistance and the way their various activities were carried out. Of course, I loved the pride of place books played. From the "book prescriptions" to book discussions, hiding and reading banned books to publishing of them, my bookish brain was engaged. I found it interesting how much the Nazis tried to cow the citizens by numbing their brains. The present day timeline didn't capture me as much as I would like, but it was used to shed light on the past, as well as show the reverence people had for Laurence. I would have been happy if it has just been the historical story, bookended by the 1993 one. Overall, the historical timeline was interesting and educational and I recommend this book for that reason.
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The historical timeline in 1939 France as the Nazis invade was stronger than the 1993 timeline when Jeanne discovers her father, Wendell, hid the story of her birth from her.  I really loved how books and the power of words played such an important role in the story of French Resistance.  Laurence owns a bookstore, and is known for her book prescriptions, of books and poems meeting the emotional needs of the purchaser.  As the Nazis begin to terrorize the community, Laurence will become involved with the resistance, first forming a Resistance book club, reading books from a secret press disseminating the truth of the war.  This is a book with many ramifications for todays’s world.  Recommended and thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.
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Set in 2 timelines, this book moves from Nazi era Paris to the modern day. Laurence works with the French Resistance using her bookstore as a meeting point, and present day Jeanne finds much more than she had expected in the life of this brave French woman and her efforts during WWII.
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It's the 1940s and the Nazis have taken over the town where a young lady, living alone, owns a book store. Laurence doesn't just own a book store, she prescribes poems and books to the people of the town like a prescription a doctor would give them, to help them with whatever need they have. 
What else does a young woman living alone in France during the most dangerous time of her life do? She joins the French resistance. 
She puts her life on the line for the people who have now become her family and for the freedom of France but can she survive what the resistance is asking her to do? Can she help liberate her people and end the Nazi invasion? 

I needed a moment after I was done with this book. The tears I didn't know I was crying, slipping silently down my cheeks was all the noise I could handle.
Laurence, took root in my soul right from the first moment I read her name. I felt like I was right there with her. Living her life, feeling her emotions, reading the books through her eyes.  I was catapulted into a world I never dreamed I would see. 
Right from the beginning she was never going to give up France to the Nazis. She was not going to collaborate. She was not going to hand over her radio. 
I ask myself would I have been brave enough to join the resistance? I honestly hope I would but the dangers she faced.... She was an amazing hero in a time where a lone woman should have been keeping her head down.
She meets Wendell during one of her missions and the sparks flew. I could feel their passion flaming down my spine. Every page I needed to know if they ever found their way back to each other. 

The rest of the story is set in the 1990s where Jeanne, a detective now in early retirement finds out the lady she buried, her mother, wasn't really her mother and now her father Wendell has some explaining to do. After Wendell gives Jeanne the deeds to the bookstore in France, they both travel to France in hopes of finding out what really happen to Laurence and why she had to send Jeanne as a baby away to the safety of her Father.

I was torn between both times, I had to know what happened and the storylines merge perfectly. It was artfully done and the ending, horrific as it was, was just the kind of closure my heart needed, 

It was magnificent. Truly, I have read dozens and dozens of books set in this era and this one sent me on a whirlwind through time. If you love a really well written, flawlessly researched that will have you turning pages with the force of an atom bomb, this is the book for you. Grab a box of tissues and a cup of tea and know you would be getting up for hours. 

5 stars
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Wow so many family secrets bringing an emotional and heart wrenching story. Jeanne & Laurence are both such strong women. The tie they have together explains it. What a gift this book is. Make sure to read it.
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What a beautiful, beautiful book! I laughed. I cried. I was moved. Powerful. Absorbing . Wonderful. A masterpiece
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I enjoyed the historical aspect of this book very much, however the contemporary story didn't work for me. I would much rather have read the book strictly from the 1940s historical section and have it end there. Other than that I enjoyed the book very much.
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