The Room on Rue Amélie – by Kristin Harmel

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The Room on Rue Amélie by Kristin Harmel 

Hardcover: 400 pages

Publisher: Gallery Books (March 27 2018)

ISBN-13: 978-1501171406

Synopsis: For fans of Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale and Martha Hall Kelly’s Lilac Girls, this powerful novel of fate, resistance, and family—by the international bestselling author of The Sweetness of Forgetting and When We Meet Again—tells the tale of an American woman, a British RAF pilot, and a young Jewish teenager whose lives intersect in occupied Paris during the tumultuous days of World War II.

When newlywed Ruby Henderson Benoit arrives in Paris in 1939 with her French husband Marcel, she imagines strolling arm in arm along the grand boulevards, awash in the golden afternoon light. But war is looming on the horizon, and as France falls to the Nazis, her marriage begins to splinter, too.

Charlotte Dacher is eleven when the Germans roll into the French capital, their sinister swastika flags snapping in the breeze. After the Jewish restrictions take effect and Jews are ordered to wear the yellow star, Charlotte can’t imagine things getting much worse. But then the mass deportations begin, and her life is ripped forever apart.

Thomas Clarke joins the British Royal Air Force to protect his country, but when his beloved mother dies in a German bombing during the waning days of the Blitz, he wonders if he’s really making a difference. Then he finds himself in Paris, in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, and he discovers a new reason to keep fighting—and an unexpected road home.

When fate brings them together, Ruby, Charlotte, and Thomas must summon the courage to defy the Nazis—and to open their own broken hearts—as they fight to survive. Rich with historical drama and emotional depth, this is an unforgettable story that will stay with you long after the final page is turned.

* * *

The first line in this books description online states that it is for fans of THE NIGHTINGALE and THE LILAC GIRLS. Considering these are two of my favourite books, I knew I just HAD to read this one!

The Room on Rue Amelie follows three distinct characters who are brought together by the events of the Second World War. Each character, a female American, a British pilot and a Jewish child all experience a different side of the war, which I felt really help to encompass everything that was happening during WWII. Their characters were so real – Kristin Harmel did an amazing job of bringing them to life; I felt connected to them after only reading the first few chapters.

One thing that THE ROOM ON RUE AMEILE had that its comparatives did not was a strong focus of romance. While I really enjoyed this, some fans of THE NIGHTINGALE and THE LILAC GIRLS might not appreciate it as much.  However, the prologue gives hint to this prior to a reader dedicating themselves to the novel, so hopefully it won’t come as a shock to many… And on that note: the prologue!!! Don’t expect this to be a book you can just read parts of slowly over weeks or months. The prologue grabs you and sucks you in – I was unable to put the book down after that.

An amazing story and love and loss during a time of such darkness, fear and uncertainty. Harmel does an amazing job at conveying all aspects of the War and what life was like for people from all different backgrounds and walks of life during this time.

Rating: 9.5/10

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Simon & Schuster Canada *

 

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