This book is The Nightingale meets All the Light We Cannot See, only it's all true--a thrilling wartime adventure story of downed American aviators rescued by French resistance fighters, taken to Nazi-occupied Paris, and hidden under the very noses of the Gestapo
Escape from Paris is the true story of a small group of U.S. aviators whose four B-17 Flying Fortresses were shot down over German-occupied France on a single, fateful day: July 14, 1943, Bastille Day. They were rescued by brave French civilians and taken to Paris for eventual escape out of France. In the French capital, where German troops walked on every street and Gestapo agents hid around every corner, the flyers met a brave Parisian resistance family living and working in the Hôtel des Invalides, a complex of buildings and military memorials, where Nazi officials had set up offices. Hidden in the complex the Americans, along with dozens of other downed Allied pilots and resistance operatives, hatched daring escape plots. The danger of discovery by the Nazis grew every day, as did an unlikely romance when one of the American airmen begins a star-crossed wartime romance with the twenty-two-year old daughter of the family sheltering him--a noir tale of war, courage and desperation in the shadows of the City of Light.
Based on official American, French, and German documents, histories, personal memoirs, and the author's interviews with several of the story's key participants, Escape from Paris crosses the traditional lines of World War II history with tense drama of air combat over Europe, the intrigue of occupied Paris, and courageous American and Allied pilots and French resistance fighters pitted against Nazi thugs. All of this set in one of the world's most beautiful and captivating cities.
In this thrilling WWII history from Harding (Dawn of Infamy), two lives collide in a story of bravery, sacrifice, and love. Joe Cornwall was an American B-17 crew member flying missions into German territory. Yvette Morin was a member of the French Resistance. On July 14, 1943, Cornwall participated in one of the Allies' largest bombing missions. His plane was shot down, and he went on the run in Nazi-occupied France. Resistance members helped him reach Paris, and that's where he crossed paths with Morin. Long-term caretakers of H tel des Invalides, the large historic veterans hospital and Napoleon's tomb in the center of Paris, the Morin family had been using their roles as keepers of the keys to the complex's secret passageways and underground tunnels to hide members of the French Resistance and downed Allied airmen. It didn't take long for the American airman and the beautiful French Resistance fighter to fall in love, before tragedy separated them. Drawing on interviews with a still-feisty Yvette, now 90, and unfettered access to the Joe's papers and letters, Harding masterfully recreates thrilling details of air combat, the intrigue of the French Resistance, and the horrors of war. This masterfully told and dramatic tale will keep readers spellbound until the final page.