Cover Image: While Paris Slept: The beautiful, heartrending story of a mother in wartime Paris

While Paris Slept: The beautiful, heartrending story of a mother in wartime Paris

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Member Reviews

A heart wrenching read which will grab your emotions from the very first page.
It evokes everything that is a mother’s love and the length and sacrifices she will make to keep her child safe and happy so they can grow into a beautiful human being.
It is an emotional read on many levels and will leave you in tears at the end.
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The fate of a French Jewish family in 1944 and the strength of a mother's love for a newborn child.  A story touching on the part French citizens had to play in World War II.  The escape to American of a French couple thrown together by circumstances and the Jewish baby , Sam, they saved and continued to bring up as their own.  Choices this couple made, caused another couple considerable heartache, but Sam grew up American spurning the attempt of returning to France, until much later when he became a father himself and could then understand and realise the love of a parent.
Well written and with intrigue to keep the pages turning.
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A woman being sent to Auschwitz entrusts her most treasured possession to a man working on the railway. This is the beginning of a powerful story about love. Not the sentimental kind but the love that will make sacrifices and is unconditional. 
It’s a beautiful story that will move you. The true ending of the book comes in the epilogue and when I read it, I felt as though I, as well as the characters had come a full circle - as love is a circle, never ending.
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This was such an emotional read, a real roller coaster!
It's set in Paris 1944 and Santa Cruz 1953. The story flips between characters and time frames.
I really had to slow myself down whilst reading this, to savour the story and think about the implications of the character's decisions.
The author did a brilliant job of making you really feel empathy for Jean-Luc and Charlotte and David and Sarah.
This is a perfect story for book clubs and group reads. It naturally brings up so many questions.
I'm not going to say anything about the story as I wouldn't want to give away any spoilers.
I'm so pleased to have been given an arc of this ebook from Netgalley uk and Headline Publishing
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'I loved While Paris Slept. I finished the novel with tears in my eyes. This book is truly uplifting and shows us what the human soul can survive and achieve.  A great book for  book clubs'.
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A surprisingly moving and emotional book which I couldn't put down.
Jean Luc, a railway worker in Paris in WW2 rescues a Jewish baby called Samuel. 9 years later he is arrested in  America and Samuel is returned to Paris. The description of Samuel trying to adapt to this new life is very moving.
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A very different take on the Second World War and the plight of Jewish people in the hands of the Nazi's. 
The story starts in California in the 1950s, and is told by a cast of characters, all of whom lived in Paris under Nazi rule. There is a railway worker and a nurse, unhappy with having to work for the Nazi's, but seeing little option. They meet and fall in love and want to make a difference. Then there is a Jewish couple who are trying to escape capture. Their lives cross in an unexpected way and this is their story. 
I very much enjoyed the concept and it's execution. It is powerful and memorable. 
While Paris Slept is well written, emotional and novel. I definitely recommend it. 
Thank you to the author, the publishers and @NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this lovely novel.
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This is an unusual WW2 story. When I first started it, I almost did not continue because I thought that there would be harrowing descriptions of the holocaust. This was hinted at but avoided, as it changed tack and became the story of a child who was rescued and taken to the USA. All falls apart when his real parents claim him back. The characters were well depicted and the little boy's voice was particularly strong. The authorities treated the case very harshly and all four parents were put through anguish as the child's world was torn apart. The novel is structured in the current fashion, with dual time sections in alternate chapters. This was unnecessary as some of the suspense was lost - a linear timeline with just a prologue would have been better. However, the ending and epilogue are poignant and satisfying.
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This is a wonderful book,set in two timelines Paris 1944 and California 1953. The story is about two French Families who briefly connect during the war and the repercussions of their actions many years later .There is so much love,strength and sacrifice in this story .Wartime courage and desperation ,survival and never giving up is the theme running through this extraordinary book .Such an emotional story but so beautifully written and the ending was perfect .Many thanks to the Publisher ,the Author and NetGalley for my copy in return for an honest review .
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Set in Paris during the Second World War war and America in the 1950's, this is an emotional, well researched book that not only pulls, but tugs (with great force) at your heart strings.  The story is told through Jean-Luc, a railway worker in Paris, his girlfriend and a young jewish couple with a newborn baby.  I really don't want to give anything away and spoil what is a heartbreaking story.  But let's just say, I sobbed my way through this book.  As I reached the end my  children were begging me to tell them about the book but I could't speak for crying.  That evening I went out for dinner with my husband and tried to tell him about the book but I couldn't tell him for crying either.  It is 5 days since I finished the book and I can only now talk about it.   I am telling everyone to READ THIS BOOK, especially fans of Kristen Hannah's The Nightingale. It is the BEST book I have read this year.   It would make a great Bookclub book, as it explores familial love, moral and ethical dilemmas, courage, belonging and above all hope. Incase you are in any doubt, I loved this book and would give it 6 stars if I could.
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Thank you to netgalley for the ARC of this book.  I enjoyed this book  I felt the characters were well developed   and the narrative different enough to the mass of WWII  fiction  to warrant real interest.  However I think is a perfect example of where the current style of writing over two time periods simply does not work.  Because of the early sections the reader knows what happens to the main characters / whether or not they survive etc etc. It is like reading the end of the book before the beginning.  For me this truly spoils the effect of the storyline which would have been much better suited to a linear approach.
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Spanning the years from 1944 to 1953, we follow Jean-Luc, a Frenchman, working on the railways during the German occupation of Paris.
Together with Charlotte, his wife, they manage to flee to America, believing that the horrors of the past, although never forgotten, could never be repeated.
There is another couple involved in this tale and their combined history makes a story so heart-breaking and vividly real.
Written with such intensity, While Paris Slept feels real and is an emotional and unforgettable story of the enduring strength of love in all its forms.
Atmospheric and at times terrifying, your emotions will be torn by the situation these innocent people find themselves in, and although it was sometimes painful to read, I will remember this heart-breaking story for some time...
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# when Paris Slept # Netgalley 
A box going back many years to the 2 world war. A family’s journey through the horrors of occupied France by the Germans. A horrific  time of survival, love loss and rebuilding your lives. Without some of your friends family  and little support as everyone was in a similar situation. Yet in there own way they managed to support each other and slowly build a future fir themselves 
A powerful book of betray, love, loss, determination. It will bring tears to your eyes in some parts, laughter in others sadness, even pride. It touches every human emotion. I found I just wanted to read it without putting it down. I was in the edges of my seat a few times I do recommend you read this book
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While Paris Slept is an emotional story set in the time of world war 2 and then the 50’s of the USA.
It is a story of pain, suffering and heartbreak and the self sacrifice of a mother knowing there can be little hope for her child in the horrific nazi  death camps. Leaving the child with Jean Luc a man she does not know, pleading with him to protect her son.
 9 year later in America there is a knock on Jean Lucas door starting another chain of events when he is accused of kidnapping Sam the boy he is now bringing up as his son.
Historically accurate and beautifully written this is a truly unforgettable read of love, suffering and sacrifice but above all hope, it resonates with the sheer pain of those who  lost their lives in those horrific concentration camps. This story will stay with me a long time, it is a time that should never be forgotten.
My thanks to net galley and publisher for the opportunity to review this book honestly.
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I think for fans of World War Two historical fiction, this book will be just the ticket for you! This book has two main parallel timelines, 1944 Paris and 1953 California. The novel follows Charlotte and Jean-Luc living in Nazi Occupied France in the 1940s, who fall in love and make a life changing decision before fleeing to the United States. The implications of their decision back in 1944 comes back to haunt them in their new lives in America.

This book briefly touches on the Jewish experience in Nazi Occupied France and being taken to Auschwitz. But the novel deals with wider issues of identity, heritage, culture and the connection to home. This is a hard hitting historical fiction and beautifully written. 

I have decided to give this book three stars only because I feel like historical fiction as a genre is oversaturated with World War Two novels. And while this was a compelling read, this book didn’t add anything particularly unique to this genre. But if you love World War novels, I highly recommend this book. A very strong story.

Thanks to the author Ruth Druart, Headline and NetGalley for a review copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Wow a very powerful novel, looks into a suffering during the War that not many would have thought about.  Amazing book stirred up lots of emotions during the struggle of effectively 2 families, with one child in between.
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I really loved this book . At my age I have read lots of books , but I think this story was the best I have ever read . The characters were described so well that I felt I knew them , this made me go through the story with them . When they were happy or sad I felt the same . The author really did make you feel you were in the story with them . Amazing . 💯 recommend
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Set in 1944 in Paris and 1953 in California, While Paris Slept is a thought-provoking, emotive read that made me think about the lengths people go to in order to save those they love the most and how far you would put aside your feelings for someone if you loved them. 
Jean-Luc works repairing railways, he hates having to obey the Nazis and is desperate to find a way to fight back. One day a desperate Jewish woman being transported to Auschwitz hands him a tiny baby, tells him the child’s name is Samuel, and begs Jean-Luc to take him and save his life. Not knowing what to do, Jean-Luc races to his girlfriend, Charlotte’s home and pleads for help. Charlotte’s mother gives them the name and address of a contact and together the couple carry the baby over the Pyrenees to safety.
Nine years later in 1953, Jean-Luc and Charlotte are enjoying a comfortable life in America. They are happy and their son, oblivious to his true parentage, enjoys all that America offers. They have kept their past a secret from friends and don’t speak French. Then there’s a knock on the door. Samuel’s parents have been looking for their son, now they’ve found him and want him back to live with them in Paris. 
It took me a while to become completely enthralled by their story, but I certainly did so, especially towards the end. I was desperate to know what would happen to Jean-Luc and Charlotte, as well as Sam’s birth parents, David and Sarah. Both couples loved the boy, and both wanted him living with them. I thought their anguish and struggles with their emotions about their dreadful situation was beautifully depicted, and the horrific experiences that David and Sarah had to face in the labour camps shocking. The ending was both heart-breaking and heart-warming, and ultimately what I had hoped would happen for poor Sam. 
Thanks to NetGalley and Headline for an ARC copy in return for an honest review
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I absolutely loved this book! A very powerful story of survival and love during the war. Very sad at times and uplifting in others. Reading it during a pandemic gave me cause to count my blessings as well.
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This book is not my usual genre (crime & thrillers) but I was drawn to the synopsis. In places, I found it very disturbing. I can happily read fiction about dismembered bodies and serial killers but this was fiction that was based on fact, a very dark and real period of history that happened to real people. All the characters were strongly portrayed and even some of the Germans were shown to have a humane side (offering David a flask of water).  I have no hesitation in giving this novel 5 stars. It is definitely one of the best I have read recently and I shall be recommending it when it is published.
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