Cover Image: The Paris Daughter

The Paris Daughter

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

I always think there couldn't possibly be another take on a WWII novel, and then Kristin Harmel comes through for me.... every time. This story was so enjoyable. It was heart wrenching as you would expect from a novel in this time period, but I really enjoyed the different routes these characters took during the war and that a lot of the story took place after the war. This was a food 4 star read.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to the publisher for the gifted e-copy.

Kristin Harmel did it again. She wrote a historical fiction that completely destroyed me, then put all the pieces back together. I seriously cried through the middle of the book, which hasn't happened in a long time.

Elise and Juliette meet in Paris before the war, and bond over their pregnancies and then their baby girls. When the war starts, Elise leaves her daughter in Juliette's care as she has to go into hiding for a while. After the war, Elise returns for her daughter, but only finds the destroyed remains of Juliette's bookshop.

The chapters alternate between Elise and Juliette, delineating their respective lives after the war and how they handle things very differently. The "twist" is pretty predictable, but still gave me chills at the end when everything is revealed.

HF fans will love this one, I think!

Was this review helpful?

Kristin Harmel always manages to find interesting pockets of World War II history to tackle in her novels. This story is focused on two women in France during the war. Elise is forced to flee after her husband is killed by the Germans, so she leaves her daughter in the care of her friend Juliette. After the war, Elise returns only to discover that Juliette's home was bombed and her daughter was killed. What happened? Elise sets out on a quest to find Juliette and some answers.

I really liked the first half of this book. As always, Harmel writes with great detail and research, and the story was completely intriguing. But in the second half of the book, I struggled. I think there is supposed to be a "twist" in this story, but I found the twist to be very predictable. So I wonder if it is even supposed to be a twist at all? But it is written in a way that seems like it should surprise the reader, yet I was not at all surprised. So I found myself frustrated through the second half as it leads up to this reveal, because I already knew what the reveal would be and that took away from the suspense.

Also, there is an event that happens at the end of this book, which is a real event that happened in real life. However, the fact that it happened in the same place where the characters in this book were also located at the time was just completely far-fetched! I could not get on board with the dramatic way this story wrapped up, and that soured the end of the book for me.

So for me, this one was a great start and not my favorite ending. However based on other reviews, many others loved it and I think it is still worth a read for an engaging historical fiction novel!

Was this review helpful?

Another phenomenal book by Kristin Harmel. A must- read for fans of Historical Fiction books set in WWII. Set in Paris and NY (17 years later) the story involves two young moms who become the dearest of friends until tragic events year their worlds apart. Heartbreaking but filled with such courage to keep moving forward while enduring such sorrow.

Was this review helpful?

Kristin Harmel is a beautiful writer. I'm always excited when I hear she has a new book coming out. With that being said this one was not my favorite. I think I found it a little too predictable. I still enjoyed it, but I would recommend other titles first.

Was this review helpful?

Kristin Harmel has once again delivered an emotional and insightful WWII historical fiction story. This book deals with the anguish of giving one’s child to another to protect and hopefully to give that child a chance to survive. This story features three women who were mothers and friends to each other. Two of the women made the agonizing decision to leave their children with others during the war. The post war era, with the uncertainty of who survived and who did not, made this an real page turner.

Was this review helpful?

The newest novel by Kristin Harmel, out now from Gallery Books is once again a World War II story. It is the tale of two women living parallel lives in Paris starting in 1940 with the Nazi invasion and continuing on throughout their lives. Their connection as expats Americans, married to Europeans is what initially brought the two together. They both had daughters around the same time and their connection only grew. However, when Elise is forced to flee from the Nazis, she entrusts Juliette with her daughter, knowing she may never see her again and Juliette promises to keep her safe. While she tries to keep her promise, the attack on Paris by the allies changes everything, and Julliette is forced to make the ultimate decision to abandon her life and her promise to Elise. The tale concludes in New York City years later when the women are both confronted by their decisions and ultimately come to terms with what they had done.
While there are Jewish character’s in the book, it is not a traditional Holocaust tale, and therefore is a refreshing look at World War II for those of you who are looking for a unique perspective. It deals with the horrors that the everyday French endured under Nazi rule and the consequences of the daily actions of the run of the mill French citizens in their hope for survival under tyranny.

Was this review helpful?

I'm glad I gave another Paris during WWII novel a chance. It addresses an interesting point - what are right and wrong decisions when we can't predict the future. In the end we have to accept the outcome and make the best of it.

Was this review helpful?

As a long time fan of this author, I am convinced that she can write nothing that I wouldn’t read and cherish. This book cuts right through you but rest assured the pieces of your heart are put back together. You can always tell how much this author puts into her research and is reflected in the details of her writing. This book will definitely take its rightful place, and yes I also bought the book, in my collection of Ms. Harmel’s books. If you haven’t experienced this author’s writing and ability to weave a story, I would suggest you remedy that.
I was privileged to review a copy of this book provided by NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

Was this review helpful?

The Paris Daughter is a historical novel set in Paris in 1939. Elise and Juliette are friends and when Elise is in jeopardy, she asks Juliette to care for her beloved daughter. At the end of the war, Elise searches frantically for Juliette and her daughter but can't find them. This is the story of her quest.

I wanted to read this novel because I love historical fiction, especially with a World War II setting. This is a powerful and moving story. Other fans of historical fiction will be engrossed in this book as well - I highly recommend it.

Was this review helpful?

Kristin Harmel is magical when it comes to historical fiction, and THE PARIS DAUGHTER did not disappoint. I have read books about people helping Jews escape France during WWII, and I have read stories about women who helped Jewish children find safety, but none that explores it quite like Harmel has here. The love of these two mothers for their children - one who stays in Paris and tries to protect them, and the mother who leaves her daughter with her best friend while she escapes - the best chance for them both to survive - is beautifully expressed.

They both face struggles post-war, and the pain is palpable. The books is full of twists, some which i suspected early on, and one that I think I was so caught up in the drama and emotion that I did not see coming. This is a story of motherhood, friendship, love, and enduring hardship, beautifully written.

Harmel's author notes at the end add more to the story, so don't skip them.

Was this review helpful?

The Paris Daughter by Kristin Harmel was an emotional journey into an impossibly difficult period in history. Both mothers - Elise and Juliette - want only the best for their children, but during World War II, there were few good options. Elise leaves her young daughter in her friend Juliette's care thinking it will be the safer choice, but she is later devastated by the consequences.

I appreciate the author's writing as emotional and somewhat suspenseful. The characters were developed clearly for the most part, but I was disappointed and a little puzzled by the change in Juliette. The way she handled her grief didn't seem to match the way she was described earlier in the book, and it conflicted with the deep friendship she supposedly had with Elise. The ending was a little too neat and tidy for my liking, but the research notes at the end were thorough and helped to explain some of the plot points.

I will give this book 3.5 stars rounded up to 4.

I will recommend this to readers who like historical women's fiction.

Thank you to Gallery Books and NetGalley for the digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.

Was this review helpful?

This book really just took me for a ride. I loved the build up, the character development, and the writing. I would definitely read more from this author!

Was this review helpful?

This story is told in third person and follows Juliette and Elise beginning in 1939 Paris and covers various parts of their lives including tragedies in WWII with a focus on the aftermath and rebuilding their lives and concludes in 1960 New York City.

I found the beginning to be a little slow to grab my interest, but I think that was a “me thing” since I’m not one to be interested in the subjects of motherhood and parenting. I think others will be grabbed immediately. I will say that as an outside observer, I am always amazed at how much people judge others’ choices as parents. There is a recurring theme with the mothers and whether it is better to protect your children yourself or send them away in the hopes of keeping them safe from danger.

Juliette and Elise become friends by circumstance and lead lives that are quite different even though they are both Americans living in Paris. I enjoyed their contrasting situations that switch back and forth throughout the story. Juliette and her French husband own a book shop and work together as a team, while Elise is married to a prominent French artist and is accepted into his circles as his wife but not as an artist in her own right. I’ll admit it was frustrating watching her husband and friends brush off her sculpting as dabbling and this takes a toll on her self-esteem, which provides for an interesting turn of events after the war as she tries to rebuild her life from scratch.

I enjoyed this story especially as it goes into the ways both women choose to rebuild their lives (or not) after the war. A lot of the WWII fiction that I’ve read end with that hopeful note for the future, but this one addresses the difficulties of moving on both emotionally and physically. It was both heartbreaking and devastating while still hopeful. I was moved to tears multiple times and impressed with the refreshing honesty of the portrayal of love and loss, especially the resentments that it brings whether rational or not.

Thank you to Netgalley and Gallery Books for a copy provided for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

I requested this book as an ARC from NetGalley, and then I saw that Kristin Harmel was coming to M. Judson in Greenville, SC for books over drinks, so I signed up to go in person & get a physical book. I’m so glad I went to the event, got to meet Kristin, and hear her discuss her characters, her process for writing, and answer questions. This book was my first read by her & I loved it. I love HF novels & my friend Hannah recommended I read her novels. I’m so glad I did because I was in awe at how Kristin writes really likable and unlikeable characters that feel real. You can feel their emotion, their reactions, and visualize how they would look if you were seeing it take place in real life. This novel dives into grief, reliving the past, and unresolved feelings towards others that deep seated grief tries to twist.

When WWII strikes Paris and Hitler’s army takes over, many French people are in hiding, running, or trying to help their Jewish children survive. When two great friends must make good on their promise to each other for survival, it comes down to how much does your word really mean. Having to choose between leaving your children behind for their best chance at survival and questioning every day whether they live or not is one of the main themes in this book that grips each female main character differently.

All in all, I would 100% recommend this book!

Was this review helpful?

After hearing the author at an event a few weeks ago, I flew through the digital review copy I had on my e-reader. The mystery that's set up in this WWII era novel may seem easy to solve but I really admire the way the author gets us there The entire ending was not what expected, for me, I'm really glad to have a new historical fiction title to put into the hands of readers at the library.

Was this review helpful?

3.5 ⭐️‘s
Always a fan of Harmel’s work, I liked this one as well, but not as much as her previous novels. The characters came across a bit too flat and didn’t feel authentic. It was quite easy to figure out where Harmel was taking us and it came together quite neatly in the end. While I felt that the plot was forced, Harmel does have a way of hooking the reader until the very end. Thank you to Simon and Schuster and NetGalley for an ARC of this book.

Was this review helpful?

I’ve been a huge fan of Kristin Harmel since The Room on Rue Amelie. Once again she has created a beautiful story set in my beloved France. The Paris Daughter eloquently tells the story of the mother daughter bond and the incredible trauma War places on relationships.

I loved every thing about this book from the gorgeous cover, to the well developed characters and intriguing story. Highly recommend reading this lovely novel.

Thank you Galley Books and NetGalley for the advanced copy. All opinions are my own.

Was this review helpful?

I received this e-book ARC through Net Galley from Gallery Books in exchange for a truthful review.

Historical fiction set in WWII and the succeeding decades after the war, a story of artists, expats, protecting children and motherly love.
I figured out the plot twists in this one pretty quickly, but it was still satisfying to see them play out as I wanted.
A few nods to the author's prior WWII historical fiction novel, The Book of Lost Names.

Was this review helpful?

If Kristin Harmel writes it, I’m going to read it. She is quickly becoming one of my favorite writers. I could have read this book in one sitting. It’s heartbreaking, moving and inspiring. It also shows how deep and enduring a mother's love is. Thank you for the ARC NetGalley, this is a beautiful book.

Was this review helpful?