Publisher: Grand Central Publishing 23rd February 2021
On a platform in occupied Paris, a mother whispers goodbye.
It is the end.
But also the beginning.
Santa Cruz 1953. Jean-Luc thought he had left it all behind. The scar on his face a small price to pay for surviving the horrors of Nazi occupation. Now, he has a new life in California, a family. He never expected the past to come knocking on his door.
Paris 1944. A young woman’s future is torn away in a heartbeat. Herded on to a train bound for Auschwitz, in an act of desperation she entrusts her most precious possession to a stranger. All she has left now is hope.
On a darkened platform two destinies become entangled. Their choice will change the future in ways neither could have imagined.
Beginning on an ordinary day and ending on an extraordinary one, WHILE PARIS SLEPT is an unforgettable read.
Wow this book has some incredible reviews and I’m so lucky to have an ARC that I’m going to read over Christmas. Sarah is on a train bound for Auschwitz when she passes her baby son to Jean-Luc. He has been tasked with repairing a fault on the train, while the passengers are still on board. He takes the baby, and with his friend Charlotte he makes his way over to the USA, starting a new life on the West Coast. Nine years later, Samuel is growing up fast and Charlotte and Jean-Luc are the only parents he’s ever had. However, Sarah survived Auschwitz, and along with her husband has spent the last few years searching for her son. One morning, the police come knocking at Jean-Luc’s door. The narrative switches between 1953 and how to reconcile what has happened, to 1944 and how Sarah has survived to find her son, and what Jean-Luc and Charlotte went through to make a new life for the son they handed on a platform nine years ago. Regular readers will know about my late in-laws complicated war history. My mother-in-law had a family of half siblings in America, since her family had been torn apart in Poland. Each half of the family thought the other was lost. I can’t wait to tell you more about this book.
‘Both epic and intimate, this unexpected story had me completely and utterly enraptured. You’ll have your heart in your mouth and tears on your cheeks as it reaches its rich, life-affirming conclusion’ Louise Candlish
‘While Paris Slept made me think and cry and rage and smile at mankind’s capacity for both beautiful, selfless love and terrible, heartbreaking cruelty. Prepare to be thoroughly engrossed in this compelling book’ Natasha Lester
‘What a book… Emotional and heartrending…absolutely phenomenal. I was on tenterhooks throughout. A wonderful achievement’ Jill Mansell
Beautiful. Powerful. Unforgettable. A stunning portrait of the brutality of war and the tenacity of love. In the tradition of Virginia Baily’s Early One Morning and M. L. Stedman’s The Light Between Oceans.