The Paris Library - Janet Skeslien Charles

The Paris Library

By Janet Skeslien Charles

  • Release Date: 2021-02-09
  • Genre: Historical
Score: 4.5
From 657 Ratings


Instant New York Times bestseller
USA TODAY and Washington Post bestseller

LibraryReads Pick and named a Most Anticipated Book of the Year by Library Journal and Goodreads

Based on the true World War II story of the heroic librarians at the American Library in Paris, this is an unforgettable story of romance, friendship, family, and the power of literature to bring us together, perfect for fans of The Lilac Girls and The Paris Wife.

Paris, 1939: Young and ambitious Odile Souchet has it all: her handsome police officer beau and a dream job at the American Library in Paris. When the Nazis march into Paris, Odile stands to lose everything she holds dear, including her beloved library. Together with her fellow librarians, Odile joins the Resistance with the best weapons she has: books. But when the war finally ends, instead of freedom, Odile tastes the bitter sting of unspeakable betrayal.

Montana, 1983: Lily is a lonely teenager looking for adventure in small-town Montana. Her interest is piqued by her solitary, elderly neighbor. As Lily uncovers more about her neighbor’s mysterious past, she finds that they share a love of language, the same longings, and the same intense jealousy, never suspecting that a dark secret from the past connects them.

A powerful novel that explores the consequences of our choices and the relationships that make us who we are—family, friends, and favorite authors—The Paris Library shows that extraordinary heroism can sometimes be found in the quietest of places.


  • The Paris Library

    By Joanabake
    I loved this book. It combines my love for France with my love for reading, libraries of my youth and incredible true stories of real people during WW II.
  • Fascinating History

    By cathjar
    The American Library in Paris is as important as the characters in this true life drama.The amazing people who kept the library open during the occupation of Paris took my breath away.
  • Outstanding!

    By gypsyflutterby
    I loved this book and couldn’t put it down. I love historical fiction and this book was well done. Skipping between two very separate worlds and then bringing them together so effortlessly was inspiring.
  • The Paris library

    By Nanna Rara
    Beautiful book, had no idea, thought it was just a made up story. Sooo glad I bought that book
  • Amazing!

    By Maverickio
    I loved this book from beginning to end. The characters are so nuanced and you can’t help but fall in love with Odile. This story is beautifully written and serves as a reminder to never forget the atrocities that occurred during the war.
  • ALP

    By Peter 14
    Wonderful story about friends, true friends.
  • The Paris Library

    By zoesampoochie
    Well written. Unforgettable characters.
  • Brillante!

    By Inny222
    My niece is a librarian and this book captured the love she and fellow librarians have for books and how they share that love with others.