Reading French History.

Book Review for “The Paris Library” by Janet Skeslien Charles. Summary: “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 … Continue reading Reading French History.

Trifecta of Troubles.

Book Review for “Trio: A Novel” by William Boyd. Summary: “It is summer in 1968, the year of the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy. While the world is reeling our trio is involved in making a rackety Swingin' Sixties British movie in sunny Brighton. All are leading secret lives. As the film … Continue reading Trifecta of Troubles.

Un Assez Bon Repas!

Book Review for “The Secret French Recipes of Sophie Valroux” by Samantha Vérant. Summary: Summary: “French-born American chef Sophie Valroux had one dream: to be part of the 1% of female chefs running a Michelin-starred restaurant. From spending summers with her grandmother, who taught her the power of cooking and food, to attending the Culinary … Continue reading Un Assez Bon Repas!

A Revealingly Obscure Story.

Book Review for "The Mystery of Henri Pick" by David Foenkinos (Translated by Sam Taylor) "In the small town of Crozon in Brittany (France), a library houses manuscripts that were rejected for publication: the faded dreams of aspiring writers. Visiting while on holiday, young editor Delphine Despero is thrilled to discover a novel so powerful … Continue reading A Revealingly Obscure Story.

Resistance in Red Lipstick.

Book Review for “Code Name Hélène” by Ariel Lawhon Nancy Wake was an ex-pat Australian, working as a freelance journalist in France sending stories to the Hearst papers in the US, when she fell in love with the wealthy businessman, Henri Fiocca. That was in 1936, and Nancy had already witnessed the beginnings of the … Continue reading Resistance in Red Lipstick.

Liberty, Equality, Sorority!

Book Review for “Ribbons of Scarlet: A Novel of the French Revolution’s Women” by Stephanie Dray, Laura Kamoie, E. Knight, Sophie Perinot, Kate Quinn, and Heather Webb. This is not a novel but it’s also very much a novel. To be precise, rather it’s a collection of six short stories (or more accurately, six short … Continue reading Liberty, Equality, Sorority!

The Tint and the Taint

Book Review of “The Blue” by Nancy Bilyeau. In the author’s notes of this book, Bilyeau calls this “a spy story set amid the rivalry of eighteenth-century porcelain factories,” in which the author tells the story of Geneviève Planché, who becomes entangled in the intrigue behind discovering a new shade of blue that is also … Continue reading The Tint and the Taint

Women’s Wartime Communications

Book review of "Girls on the Line" a Novel by Aimie K. Runyan. The women of the US Army’s Signal Corps were known as the “Hello Girls,” and their deployment to France at the end of 1917 was considered both controversial and expedient. When Ruby Wager’s brother is one of the first casualties of the … Continue reading Women’s Wartime Communications