Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Last Time I Saw Paris-Lynn Sheene

The Last Time I Saw Paris
Lynn Sheene
Berkley, May 3 2011, $15.00
ISBN: 9780425240847

In 1940 as the Nazis are about to occupy Paris, Claire Harris flees Manhattan and her abusive war profiteering spouse Russell for France. She hopes her former lover Laurent can provide her with shelter, but he is unwelcoming. Claire lacks papers because some thief tossed her papers into the water, but she finds a job and a place to stay with Madame Palain the owner of a florist.

When the Nazis take over the city, Claire, out of necessity to obtain papers, joins the resistance. Her delivering flowers to German galas enable her to obtain information she passes on to her compatriots. Claire loves her adopted nation and begins seeing the city and surrounding area accompanied by English resistance agents and spy Thomas Harding Grey who she met at Laurent’s apartment. As she helps two females escape from Paris, someone betrays her leaving her forced to go to extreme measures to try to save herself and her loved ones from the Nazis.

Nazi occupied Paris owns this interesting WWII drama as the readers sees vividly what happened in the 1940s. The heroine’s early actions to desperately escape from her spouse seem inane as she flies from the East River to the French-Spanish border (she should have returned to Oklahoma although in fairness she believed she could never go home). With a nod to Dominique Lapierre’s Is Paris Burning? Readers will enjoy the American expatriate symbolizing Lady Liberty as she survives, loves and fights for freedom.

Harriet Klausner

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