Author(s): Janet Skeslien Charles
IN THE DARKNESS OF WAR, THE LIGHT OF BOOKS 'A wonderful novel celebrating the power of books and libraries to change people's lives' Jill Mansell 'A book about books, lovers and book lovers - what's not to love?' Ruth Hogan 'I devoured The Paris Library in one hungry gulp . . . charming and moving' Tatiana de Rosnay 'An irresistible, compelling read' Fiona Davis Based on the true World War II story of the heroic librarians at the American Library in Paris, this is the unforgettable story of romance, friendship, family, and the power of literature to bring us together. PARIS, 1939 Odile Souchet is obsessed with books, and working at The American Library in Paris for the formidable director Dorothy Reeder is all she has ever dreamed of. The Library and its thriving community of students, writers, diplomats and book lovers provide her with a safe haven. When war is declared, the Library is determined to remain open. But then the Nazis invade Paris, and everything changes. The Nazi 'Library Protector' changes the rules overnight, declaring a war on words and making the librarians risk their lives to do their jobs. Under the courageous guidance of Miss Reeder, Odile and her fellow librarians defy the authorities to make sure all their subscribers, even those deemed no longer desirable, get access to books and remain part of their community, whatever the cost. Choices as black and white as the words on a page become a murky shade of grey - choices that will put many of the wrong side of history, and the consequences of which will echo for decades to come. The Paris Library illuminates a seldom-seen slice of history: the role of women and their fate during the war. It also recounts the consequences of unspeakable betrayal, when the people we count on for understanding and protection fail us.