The Paris Daughter
The Paris Daughter
Late last night I finished reading The Paris Daughter by Kristin Harmel which tells the story of two American women married to French men Elise and Juliette. They both have baby girls around the same time World War II begins in France. When Elise’s husband is executed for his communist activities against the Nazi’s, her cowardly husband lied saying Elise was responsible. Having no choice, Elise had to leave her daughter Mathilde with Juliette and her husband Paul so both Elise and Mathilde have a chance at life. Unfortunately Juliette and Pauls bookstore Librairie des Rêves (The Bookshop of Dreams) is bombed and only one daughter survives. Question is which one? The book extends to after the war and Elise goes to New York to track down Juliette and find out what happened. I’m honestly glad that I picked this book up from the library. I used to always buy Kristin’s books but lately her newer ones are lacking.
I love Paris and I always will. I love the Librairie des Rêves and could imagine myself being in the bookstore. I also loved the fact that a character that was in The Book of Lost Names made an appearance again. I read the name and thought, wait a minute? He’s back? When I read the authors note confirming it, it made me happy. He was one of my favorite characters from The Book of Lost Names.
This book reminded me why I made the decision to get Kristin’s books from the library. The story dragged and I didn’t care for most of the characters except for Elise. Juliette I felt was the worst one and she became more cold and drifting deeper and deeper to living in the past. The twist at the end wasn’t much of a twist and the ending was abrupt. The three Kristin Harmel books I thought were the worst were The Winemakers Wife, & The Forest of Vanishing Stars. Now The Paris Daughter has beat both of these books to first place.
While I like the idea of the story and the motivation of Kristin to explore this story with the idea of motherhood in mind, it was executed poorly. The story not only dragged but something else was missing form it. If you’re a fan of historical fiction and of Kristin Harmel as an author, if you want to check this out, have at it. In my opinion it wasn’t the best.