Monday, April 9, 2018

The Room on Rue Amelie by Kristin Harmel

This was yet another in a string of what seems like many books lately that deal with the Holocaust from the perspective of people in France (both Jewish and non-Jewish).  I liked it, but I wouldn't say I loved it.  I did enjoy the structure in that there was a prologue set in the early 2000s which introduces two of the characters without specifying who they are.  So throughout the wartime narrative they are always in the back of your head as you try to piece together who was going to survive (I did guess, I didn't think it was that hard to).

Ruby is a young American who falls for a Parisian man on the eve of World War II.  Against her parents' wishes she marries him and follows him to France, staying in Paris even after the war breaks out.  Through her husband she becomes involved in the French underground - in particular she becomes part of the escape route for Allied pilots who are shot down over France.

She is also neighbours with a Jewish family and befriends the young daughter, Charlotte.  So we get some insight into how Jews were treated through Charlotte and her family.

Finally, we are introduced to Thomas, a British pilot.  We also get to see the war through his eyes.

Because getting into more detail would give the story away, I'll stop here.  The only real enjoyment is the suspense aspect so I don't want to ruin that.

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