Member Reviews

Best book of 2023 so far for me! So many tears- so many characters to get behind and have a connection to. The ending was a bit predictable. I don't know if I'm unsatisfied with it because it was predictable and bit abrupt, or if I just did not want the story to end. Still, such a great read!

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The Paris Daughter is heartbreakingly beautiful. I love historical fiction and this story did not disappoint, This book brought to light so many different things - friendships, promises, being a mother, and ultimately some mental health issues after trauma. I really couldn’t put this book down. Wonderful work Kristin Harmel, you must be so proud.

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The Paris Daughter by Kristin Harmel adds another notch in her ever-stretching belt of intriguing historical fiction gems. Like all her books, this story was equally heartbreaking and heartwarming.

Two women become friends, each with daughters close to the same age. When Elise is forced to leave her daughter behind due to her husband’s role in the resistance, she places her child in Juliette’s care. Harmel created wrenching scenes as Jewish mothers all over Europe were sending their children to the countryside or even further to protect them from going to the Nazi work/death camps.

I adored the descriptions of the art that was threaded throughout the novel, and I could easily imagine the wood carvings that Elise worked on. Harmel also brought Paris to life, especially the bookstore where much of the book was set. This is definitely an escapist novel.

I dare say more because I fear if I keep typing it will lead me to spilling a spoiler. Book clubs will adore this one!

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If you’re looking for a light summer read, you might want to skip The Paris Daughter. Light, it is not. But it is beautifully written and does make you think—two fabulous traits of a great book. I kind of have a thing for World War II books, so I couldn’t resist it. Plus it’s about artists and book lovers. What?! That’s just the best.

It opens in Paris—another subject I find hard to resist—in 1939. Three mothers, Elise, Juliette, and Ruth become friends at Juliette and her husband’s bookstore in Bois de Boulogne. With war on the horizon, Ruth is the first forced to make a gut-wrenching decision. Elise is next. The book is told from the dual viewpoints of Elise and Juliette, but Ruth remains an important part.

One reason I like World War II books is because they typically force me to question myself. Would I make the same choices? How would I cope with unrelenting stress for years? Would I persevere in the face of heartbreak? I hope I never have to answer those questions. Too many have and still do.

But the themes of motherhood, love, friendship, endurance, and who we are at our core weave together to tell a heart-breaking, beautiful story. Keep the tissue box handy. 4.5 stars (just because it made me so sad) rounded up to 5.

Thank you to NetGalley and Gallery Books for my advanced review copy.

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Such a beautiful story of the power of mothers. The focus was on Jewish children, but also on how other families were affected by WWII through their political affiliations. This was a new aspect of WWII fiction for me, so I was interested to keep reading this. I highly recommend!

I received an advance copy. All thoughts are my own.

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It is very hard for me, even a Baby Boomer, to know what it was like in many places in Europe during World War II. We are very lucky as Americans to have never been occupied by a foreign power. The bombing that it took along with the cruel treatment of citizens is something we can only imagine. Kristin Harmel in her latest book brings it all to life in "The Paris Daughter". Many parents gave up their children to keep them safe. In some cases, it worked, in others it did not. The separation, worry, and often heartache of these disjoined families are something we can only imagine. Harmel brings to life the joys, the struggles, the reunions, and the sacrifices of families in this latest of her historical novels set in occupied Europe. Harmel painstakingly researches these stories. I enjoyed reading "The Paris Daughter". Harmel's story is about a couple, both artists and their daughter. It is also about her friend and the friend's family, bookstore owners during the horrible years of the German occupation of France. I won't spoil the story. Read this fascinating story of eternal family love. Thanks to #netgalley#TheParisDaughter for the opportunity to read and review this book.

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First I have to say I LOVED this book. It's one of my favorites of the year and one that I know I'll reach for repeatedly throughout the years. The vivid details of Paris, and the insights into the lives of the women in the book, really brings them to life right before your eyes.

The horrors of war and the devastating losses that came along with it are present throughout the book, and 'seeing' how it's affected the lives of the women who survived is at times hard to read, but seeing how everything ends is definitely worth reading through the women's hardships and how they changed because of them.

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WWII is the backdrop for this novel of heartache as two women, whose daughters are friends, lose everyone they love during the war. How do each of them deal with the loss ? You can guess, how it is going to end but you have to read it (in a day) to find out how it plays out.

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Kristin Harmel did not disappoint! What a beautifully tragic story about trauma and grief!

Juliette and Elise become friends, two Americans in Paris as WWII is beginning. As the Germans occupy Paris, Elise's artist husband gets caught up in the resistance and is arrested. He puts Elise and their daughter in danger and Elise has to run. She leaves her daughter, Mathilde, in Juliette's care in the bookstore where she lives with her husband and her three children.

Elise aches every day for her daughter and when she can return, she is devastated to find that the bookstore has been bombed and Juliette has disappeared with no word. All she can find are graves for Juliette's husband and boys and for Mathilde. Both friends have been forever changed by the grief and live shackled to the past but have handled it very differently. When Elise goes to New York to find her old friend more than one secret is revealed.

I gave it ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️. Kristin Harmel really showed the different ways we handle grief and trauma. It is as unique as the individual. It was such a beautifully written story and to me it was ultimately about hope and looking forward. It was also a story about motherhood and what we do for our children. It was historical fiction at its best!

Thank you to @netgalley and @gallerybooks for an early copy in exchange for an honest review! Also, thank you to @kristinharmel for a signed copy in Huntsville on pub day at the @friendsandfiction event!

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This is a heartbreaking story that is beautifully written. Itis full of emotions and you can feel every one of them. This is a book that once you start reading it, you don't want to put it down. If you are a fan of Historical Fiction, you will love this book. I received a complimentary copy from Gallery Books via NetGalley and was not required to write a review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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A heartbreaking and beautifully written historical fiction novel about motherhood, war and impossible choices. I have read most of Harmel’s books and this one may be my favorite!
Thanks to NetGalley, the publisher and Kristin Harmel for a digital copy of The Paris Daughter. Out now. Don’t miss this one!

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War is coming to France in 1939. When 2 young mothers meet with their children in a Paris park, they become fast and best friends. Juliette is an American and is married to Paul Foulon whilst Elise, another American, is married to Olivier LeClare. While Elise is an artist in her own right, she is overshadowed by her communist and insurrectionist husband, and is totally devoted to her daughter, Mathilde. Once Paris is occupied by the Nazis, Olivier becomes a prime target and is eventually captured and killed. Advised by her husband’s agent that she and her daughter are in grave danger, Elise decides to leave Mathilde with her best friend until it is safe to return - a difficult and heart wrenching decision. Juliette and Paul have 3 children, a 4th, a daughter, having died just after birth and operate a bookstore. One horrible day, an allied bombing of the Paris Renault factory goes horribly wrong (a real occurrence) and the bookstore suffers a direct hit. Only Juliette and her daughter survive. The remainder of the story deals with the years following the war - the guilt, the feeling of loss, and the difficulties in facing the past in the present.

As always, Harmel has created a well-written, moving story about the horrors and sacrifices of WWII and its lasting effects on families and non-combatants. It is a novel of love, loss, sacrifice, survival, resilience, and to some extent, forgiveness. The various subplots only add to the story. And I think it is worth noting a comment Harmel makes in her author’s notes: “When we know more about the past, we are better prepared to face the future.” Some wise woods for today’s world. My thanks to Gallery Books and NetGalley for the ARC of this book. Don’t miss it.

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Fabulous historical fiction at its finest! Kristin Harmel has outdone herself, painting a beautiful moving story with words. Because she meticulously researches the historical events, not only is it a pleasure to read but also provides a learning experience. And even though I had suspected the twist, it didn't take away from the storytelling at all. This is a must read for anyone who enjoys reading, especially historical fiction. My thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing a copy of this book for review. All opinions are my own.

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A chance meeting of two American mothers-to-be develops into a close friendship. Elise & Juliette support each other through the beginning days of WWII in Paris. As the Germans edge closer each mother must make a tough decision that will affect their children’s futures.

Kristin Harmel once again draws us into her WWII Parisian world. This book is full of emotional ups and downs that bring us closer to the main characters. We follow the war years and how each mother pieces their life back together afterwards. I could not put this book down. Lovers of historical fiction will be hooked!

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Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and Kristin Harmel.

I will forever read anything that Kristin has written. She is a master with words and feelings. I thought that I had read enough stories about WWII but saw this one and had to read it. I finished it one sitting. So incredibly good. Friendship, found family, love. It's all there.

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I enjoyed reading Kristin Harmel's latest historical fiction, The Paris Daughter, and will continually recommend her books to others. Filled with dramatic turns and German/Paris/American moments that Harmel writes best, I did not want to put this novel down. I instantly felt for Juliette and wanted to punch Elise automatically for her bad decisions on love. The Paris Daughter had a satisfying ending and left me aching for the next novel to come.

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The Paris Daughter is an exceptional novel. Author Kristin Harmel tells the story of two women who meet in Paris in 1939. Young mothers Elise and Juliette become fast friends and often spend time together with their children. Elise is a sculptor and her husband is a well known painter with Communist leanings. Juliette and her husband own a bookstore. As Word War II advances into France, Elise finds herself in a horrible predicament because of her husband's resistance work. Her best chance of survival is to disappear. To protect her daughter she leaves her with Juliette and promises to return for her. Juliette integrates Elise's daughter into her family seamlessly. Unfortunately no one is safe in a time of war. Harmel's characters are fascinating and endearing. This page turner has many twists and is one of the best books I've read this year.

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What a stunning and heartbreaking novel about love and loss. It’s a testament to a mothers love what both Juliette, Elise and Ruth do for their children. Ms. Harmel has another brilliant novel on her hands.

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If there's a Kristen Harmel novel that doesn't rip my heart to
bits, I haven't found it yet! The Paris Daughter is a painfully beautiful novel that sheds more light on the ripple affects of war.

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Elise and Juliette meet in France while each is heavily pregnant with a daughter, and their fast friendship soon extends to their young girls. When sinister circumstances force Elise to flee, she entrusts Juliette with caring for her daughter. After the war ends, Elise returns to find Juliette's bookshop and home reduced to rubble, her daughter, friend, and family nowhere to be found. Only years later will they reunite in New York and bring long-kept secrets to light.

Gripping, propulsive, and emotional, this book wrecked my mama heart in a most pensively melancholy way. The characters are exquisitely formed, the prose skillfully crafted, and the story progresses at a great pace. I was able to predict the plot early on, but that did not stop me from enjoying watching it unfold on the page. I'm not sure how this was only my first Kristin Harmel. novel, but I look forward to savoring many more of her works in the future!

Thank you to Gallery Books via NetGalley for gifting me with an ARC to review. I adored it!

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