For this blog tour we’re looking at an incredibly relevant book that happens to take place nearly a century ago. For this blog tour we’re looking at The Paris Network by Siobhan Curham.
Despite Being Set Nearly A Century Ago, Still All Too Relevant. This is one of those books that makes a lot of solid political points… without ever actually coming across as preachy, as they are completely couched within the story being told and the period it is being told within. Specifically as it relates to resistance of tyranny not always needing to be violent and that the mind is the only thing the tyrants can never take, as well as a war-born form of “cancel culture” to boot. But again, the tale makes all of these points in a moving tale of a 1990s era 50 yr old woman trying to find her origins in 1943 France – and of a young woman in 1939 France destined to become the mother of the 50 year old. Kudos to the author as well not only for the points I’ve already mentioned but also in not being afraid to take what is a … less conventional… path that makes the tale all the more realistic for it. This is absolutely one of those books that truly takes you to the era and brings out *all* of the emotions therein… leaving you breathless by the end, and maybe sitting in a room that suddenly becomes quite dusty. Very much recommended.
After the jump, the “publisher details”, including book description, author bio, and social media and buy links.
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One Book. Two Stories. Both Compelling. This is a story with a LOT going on and a LOT of intricacies that it seems most (at least those on Goodreads so far, about 5 weeks before publication) miss out on touching on. This is effectively *both* a historical fiction (which I think it will ultimately be marketed as) of a young Jewish girl in WWII who leaves a diary behind (where does that ring a bell? 😉 ) *and* a modern day psychological drama. Valpy does a remarkable job of bringing a sensuous and visceral understanding of both periods of Casablanca and Morocco, and both periods and their relevant issues – WWII / Nazis / Resistance / Operation Torch and modern shipping conglomerates / expats / refugees / immigrants – are shown in a degree of realism not often seen. Truly, either story could have been expanded a bit more – perhaps by extending out the later chapters of both – and stood equally well as standalone books. Which is high praise, as few dual timeline historical fiction books can pull this off, in my own reading experience at least. Truly a remarkable book, and very much recommended.
This review of The Storyteller of Casablanca by Fiona Valpy was originally written on August 16, 2021.