The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles

Literary Loop

Paris, 1939: Young and ambitious Odile Souchet has it all: her handsome police officer beau and a dream job at the American Library in Paris.

When the Nazis march into Paris, Odile stands to lose everything she holds dear, including her beloved library. Together with her fellow librarians, Odile joins the Resistance with the best weapons she has: books.

But when the war finally ends, instead of freedom, Odile tastes the bitter sting of unspeakable betrayal.

Montana, 1983: Lily is a lonely teenager looking for adventure in small-town Montana. Her interest is piqued by her solitary, elderly neighbor.

As Lily uncovers more about her neighbor’s mysterious past, she finds that they share a love of language, the same longings, and the same intense jealousy, never suspecting that a dark secret from the past connects them.

Based on the true World War II story of the heroic librarians at the American Library in Paris, this is an unforgettable story of romance, friendship, family and the power of literature to bring us together. Charles shows that extraordinary heroism can sometimes be found in the quietest of places.

“Intelligent and sensuously rich… a novel tailor-made for those who cherish books and libraries,” says Kirkus Reviews.

“A love letter to Paris, the power of books, and the beauty of intergenerational friendship,” says Booklist.