Book Review: The Paris children by Gloria Goldreich

Rating: 4/5

Genre: Historical Fiction


Inspired by the true story of one woman’s fight to survive during the 20th century’s darkest hour

Paris, 1935. A dark shadow falls over Europe as Adolf Hitler’s regime gains momentum, leaving the city of Paris on the brink of occupation. Young Madeleine Levy—granddaughter of Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish World War I hero—steps bravely into a new wave of resistance and becomes the guardian of lost children.

When Madeleine meets a small girl in a tattered coat with the hollow look of one forced to live a nightmare—a young Jewish refugee from Germany named Anna—she knows that she cannot stand idly by. Paris is full of children like Anna—frightened and starving, innocent casualties of a war barely begun. Madeleine offers them comfort and strength while working with other members of the resistance to smuggle them into safer territories. But as the Paris she loves is transformed into a theater of tension and hatred, many people are tempted to abandon the cause—and the country. And amidst the impending horror and doubt, Madeleine’s relationship with Claude, a young Jewish Resistance fighter, as passionate about saving vulnerable children as she is, deepens. With a questionable future ahead of them, all Madeleine can do is continue fighting and hope that her spirit—and the nation’s—won’t be broken.

A remarkable, paranoramic novel, The Paris Children is a story of love and tragedy that illuminates the power of hope and courage in the face of adversity.

My verdict: A heartbreaking and emotional rollercoaster set against the backdrop of World War II when Europe was at its weakest point. The author perfectly conveys the resilience and grit as well as the risk those took in helping the resistance. Fans of Danielle Steele and Natasha Lester will love this emotional and action packed saga based on real events. The author writes realistically with doses of emotion as well as sympathy and empathy. Gloria’s writing reminded me very much and Gill Paul and Lesley Pearce. I have to admit I shed lots of tears reading this and admire the work the resistance did to save countless lives from genocide and those who helped us win the war.

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