One of our recommended books is Paris Never Leaves You by Ellen Feldman

PARIS NEVER LEAVES YOU

A Novel


Living through World War II working in a Paris bookstore with her young daughter, Vivi, and fighting for her life, Charlotte is no victim, she is a survivor. But can she survive the next chapter of her life?

Alternating between wartime Paris and 1950s New York publishing, Ellen Feldman’s Paris Never Leaves You is an extraordinary story of resilience, love, and impossible choices, exploring how survival never comes without a cost.

The war is over, but the past is never past.

more …

Living through World War II working in a Paris bookstore with her young daughter, Vivi, and fighting for her life, Charlotte is no victim, she is a survivor. But can she survive the next chapter of her life?

Alternating between wartime Paris and 1950s New York publishing, Ellen Feldman’s Paris Never Leaves You is an extraordinary story of resilience, love, and impossible choices, exploring how survival never comes without a cost.

The war is over, but the past is never past.

less …
  • St. Martin's Griffin
  • Paperback
  • August 2020
  • 368 Pages
  • 9781250622778

Buy the Book

$16.99

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About Ellen Feldman

Ellen Feldman is the author of Paris Never Leaves You, credit Laura MozesEllen Feldman, a 2009 Guggenheim fellow, is the author of Terrible Virtue, The Unwitting, Next to Love, Scottsboro (shortlisted for the Orange Prize), The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank (translated into nine languages), and Lucy. Her novel Terrible Virtue was optioned by Black Bicycle for a feature film.

Author Website

Praise

“A memorable, thought-provoking moral conflict, and dialogue [that] crackles like a duel… Paris Never Leaves You succeeds as a meaty moral tale.”Historical Novel Society

“Fans of Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See and Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale may want to pick this up.”Booklist

“Nothing is quite what it seems… Wartime Paris is described in vivid, sometimes harrowing, detail… [An] engrossing page-turner.”Kirkus

“The best works of historical fiction have a way of illuminating the present, allowing readers to better understand themselves through well-defined characters reflected in the prism of time…. Feldman does this beautifully in a multi-layered, tender story that explores the emotionally charged, often parallel terrains of truth, deception, love and heartbreak.”Shelf Awareness

“A nuanced WWII story of love and survival in Occupied Paris… With its appealing heroine and historically detailed settings… a dangerous secret gives Feldman’s story a gasp-worthy spin.”Publisher’s Weekly

Discussion Questions

1. Charlotte is continually trying to reassure herself that she didn’t really collaborate. She wasn’t dining on tournedos of beef and bo les of Saint-Émilion with Nazis. She never turned anyone in. Are there degrees of collaboration, and if so, how do you determine where to draw the line?

2. Was Charlotte right to raise Vivi believing a lie? If not, how and when could she have told her the truth?

3. Mr. Rosenblum, who has survived a concentration camp, absolves Charlotte of guilt. Hannah, who spends her life listening to tales of horror and trying to minister to those who have suffered it, refuses to forgive Charlotte. What do you think their different reactions are based on? Does someone who has not suffered have as great a right to judge as someone who has?

4. Julian believes he sacrificed honor, honesty, and his family to survive. If he had refused to serve in Hitler’s army would it have done any good?

5. Why do you think Charlotte answered Julian’s letters after the war and tried to help him?

6. The book begins with a quote from a young girl who lived in Paris during the Occupation about being able to hate in the abstract but not in individual instances. This phenomenon is generally recognized as an antidote to prejudice. If you live next door to a member of a minority, it is harder to hate that minority. How does this phenomenon apply to the hatred of oppressors and tyrants?

7. Charlotte spends a good deal of time worrying and talking about moral compasses — her own, her daughter’s, her late husband’s, her lover Julian’s. Hannah spends her time doing good. Can people who commit immoral acts be moral people? How does this relate to Hannah and Charlotte?

8. If your child was caught in a moral bind between turning in her best friend for cheating and ignoring the infraction, what would you advise her?

9. In the last scene in the book, Horace tells Charlotte she would have been better off if she’d stayed in Paris and suffered the consequences of her choices rather than getting off scot-free and spending the rest of her life punishing herself. Do you agree with this sentiment? Why or why not?