As the Nazis march toward Paris in 1940, American ballerina Lucie Girard buys her favorite English-language bookstore to allow the Jewish owners to escape. Lucie struggles to run Green Leaf Books due to oppressive German laws and harsh conditions, but she finds a way to aid the resistance by passing secret messages between the pages of her books.
Widower Paul Aubrey wants nothing more than to return to the States with his little girl, but the US Army convinces him to keep his factory running and obtain military information from his German customers. As the war rages on, Paul offers his own resistance by sabotaging his product and hiding British airmen in his factory. After they meet in the bookstore, Paul and Lucie are drawn to each other, but she rejects him when she discovers he sells to the Germans. And for Paul to win her trust would mean betraying his mission.
Master of WWII-era fiction Sarah Sundin invites you onto the streets of occupied Paris to discover whether love or duty will prevail.
In Sundin's moving latest (after When Twilight Breaks), two Americans living in Nazi-occupied Paris fall in love, but struggle to trust each other with their involvement in anti-Nazi activism. Lucie Girard, a bohemian former ballerina, buys the bookstore of Jewish family friends who are fleeing the country and hides messages for the Resistance in her books. Widower Paul Aubrey runs a car assembly plant that builds vehicles for German civilian use, but Paul secretly sends intelligence about his German contacts to U.S. bureaucrats. When Paul visits Lucie's bookstore, the two expats instantly connect, but Lucie is shocked after learning of Paul's dealings with the Germans. Paul, meanwhile, is unaware of Lucie's Resistance activities and must decide if he can trust her with his secret. Though Lucie and Paul's Christian faith drives their anti-Nazi resistance, historical themes take precedence over Christian ones. Fast-paced and rich with historical detail, Sundin's narrative captivates by leaning into the complexity of what it means to live by Christian principles in a morally compromised world. This potent synthesis of history, love, and faith will delight romance readers, religious and nonreligious alike.
Award-winning author Sarah Sundin is one of the most important and accomplished voices in writing WWII historical war romances. Her novels are based on meticulous research, have substantial, realistic plots, and are filled with characters that come alive and live in your mind long after you have finished reading the last word. Her latest release, Until Leaves Fall in Paris, is another DAZZLING example of her excellence in sharing a story.
This story is set in 1940 as the Nazis continue their march to Paris. Sundin shares the lives of American ballerina Lucie Girard and widower Paul Aubrey, an industrial engineer factory owner and his precious little girl, Josie. Lucie is struggling to keep her beloved Green Leaf Books (English language bookshop) open. Paul is struggling with being a single parent as well as not letting his company be taken over by the Nazis. Each of them wants to be a part of the resistance but the risks are enormous. Lucie decides to allow her Bookshop to be used clandestinely and Paul agrees to work with the US Army through his factory. During these perilous times, the children seem more vulnerable than ever before. Lucie and Paul have met and it becomes clear that they are kindred spirits but they live in fear of being able to trust anyone for any reason. Lucie begins The Children's Hour where she reads stories, has a puppet show and play games with the children. This hour proves to be a turning point in the lives of Josie, Lucie and Paul. Lucie can incorporate her creative gifts of writing, dance, drama, and her compassionate spirit to guide Josie’s own story from the darkness of life. Sundin paints exquisite word pictures to describe the growing relationships between these three characters and it is a beautiful and reverential telling. Sundin will leave readers dazzled with this story!
I was provided a complimentary copy of this novel by Revell and NetGalley. The opinions expressed here are completely my own and without influence.