A story of resistance, complicity, and an unlikely, transformative friendship, set in Paris, from internationally bestselling novelist Sebastian Faulks.
American historian Hannah intends to immerse herself in World War II research in Paris, wary of paying much attention to the city where a youthful misadventure once left her dejected. But a chance encounter with Tariq, a Moroccan teenager whose visions of the City of Lights as a world of opportunity and rebirth starkly contrast with her own, disrupts her plan.
Hannah agrees to take Tariq in as a lodger, forming an unexpected connection with the young man. Yet as Tariq begins to assimilate into the country he risked his life to enter, he realizes that its dark past and current ills are far more complicated than he’d anticipated. And Hannah, diving deeper into her work on women’s lives in Nazi-occupied Paris, uncovers a shocking piece of history that threatens to dismantle her core beliefs. Soon they each must question which sacrifices are worth their happiness and what, if anything, the tumultuous past century can teach them about the future.
From the sweltering streets of Tangier to deep beneath Paris via the Metro, from the affecting recorded accounts of women in German-occupied France and into the future through our hopes for these characters, Paris Echo offers a tough and poignant story of injustices and dreams.
Hannah has moved to Paris to do some research on WWII. Paris has not been very kind to her in the past. She takes in Tariq, totally by accident. Tariq is a refugee determined to make it in Paris. Hannah and Tariq become strange friends but it works for them. Their connection is unique and enjoyable.
I love the matter of fact tone of this author. There is no sugar-coating, no over-dramatizing. It just is. However, the story is filled with mundane, everyday activities. This I could do without. It also repeats itself in several places. But, I could not stop reading. I enjoyed the characters and their struggles. Especially Hannah. She discovers something during her research and it totally knocks her for a loop! This is a game changer in this story.
I enjoy historical remembrance stories. This book did not have as many as I like, but it made up for it in historical references. I learned a lot in this read about the struggles many women had during the occupation of France. Not sure I have every really given that much thought. I love it when an author gives me a different insight.
I received this novel from Henry Holt for a honest review.