Monday, March 28, 2022

Review: "Until Leaves Fall in Paris" by Sarah Sundin

Every year, I eagerly anticipate Sarah Sundin's new release, and, so far, I've always been completely charmed by the book when I read it. This year was no different!

When the Nazis march toward Paris, American ballerina Lucie Girard buys her favorite English-language bookstore to allow the Jewish owners to escape. The Germans make it difficult for her to keep Green Leaf Books afloat. And she must keep the store open if she is to continue aiding 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. But in order to carry out his mission, he must appear to support the occupation—which does not win him any sympathy when he meets Lucie in the bookstore.

In a world turned upside down, will love or duty prevail?

What a story - a story of two brave Americans risking their lives to thwart the Nazis in Paris! When the novel begins, Paul is a grieving widower who longs to take his daughter and return to the United States, but he is convinced by the US military to remain at his automotive factory under the guise of an opportunistic businessman who sympathizes with the Germans. Lucie, a ballerina with the Paris Opera Ballet, buys her Jewish friends' bookstore and continue to run it in their honor, and then begins aiding the resistance.

Paul and Lucie are drawn to each other immediately, though their romance is hampered by Lucie's belief that Paul is a collaborator and Paul's need to keep his activities secret. The novel is filled with tension - both of the romantic variety and the suspense variety. In fact, I think I felt more tense while reading this than I've felt while reading any other Sundin novel. It's not that I doubted that Paul and Lucie would end up together, but the journey to their "happily ever after" was fraught with danger that felt so real.

One thing I really appreciated was the way Paul and Lucie were so different in the way they approached life, and they each became better people by knowing the other. I also especially loved Lucie's growth as she came to understand that not having a formal education didn't make her stupid; God gave her talents that she could use to make a lasting impact.

Also, while this is a stand-alone novel, Evelyn and Peter from When Twilight Breaks do make a fun appearance.

This is a wonderful story that kept me tearing through the pages, a story I'm still thinking about days after finishing it. 5 stars.

Buy the book (Amazon ad).
Read my reviews of other Sundin novels.

Sarah Sundin is the author of the Waves of Freedom, the Wings of the Nightingale, and the Wings of Glory series. A graduate of UC San Francisco School of Pharmacy, she works on call as a hospital pharmacist. During WWII, her grandfather served as a pharmacist's mate (medic) in the Navy and her great-uncle flew with the US Eighth Air Force. Sarah lives in California.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book from the publisher. I was not required to leave a positive review, and the opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click the link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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