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France

The Little French Bookshop by Cecile Pivot

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This is a good epistolary fiction set in contemporary France. Esther runs a bookshop and when she loses her father to suicide, she runs an ad in the newspaper inviting people to join her letter writing workshop. Five people sign up – a disillusioned businessman, a husband and wife struggling with her postpartum depression, a lonely elderly widow, and an awkward teenager trying to deal with his brother’s death from cancer. The group meet first in person to get to know each other, and are asked to answer one simple question: What Battles Are You Fighting?

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The Librarian of Saint-Malo by Mario Escobar

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This was a good historical fiction about a librarian in a small coastal French town during WWII and her determination to protect the town’s library and all of the books within.

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The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is a very good historical fiction set in Paris during WWII and is based on a true story. Odile is a young French girl who dreams of working at the American Library in Paris. She obtains her dream job, forming deep friendships with the other workers. She also starts to date a handsome police officer introduced to her by her father. When war breaks out and the Nazis occupy Paris, she and her fellow librarians are determined to keep the library open. They send valuable books out of town to safety, and they smuggle books to Jewish patrons that are forbidden from going to the library.

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