Now as a young woman all alone in the world, Valerie must return to Paris, to the bookshop and her sole surviving relative, her grandfather Vincent, the only person who knows the truth about what happened to her parents. As she gets to know grumpy, taciturn Vincent again, she hears a tragic story of Nazi-occupied Paris, a doomed love affair and a mother willing to sacrifice everything for her beloved daughter.
Can Valerie and Vincent help each other to mend the wounds of the past? Valerie isn’t after a fairytale ending, she only wants the truth. But what is the one devastating secret that Vincent is determined to keep from his granddaughter?
An unputdownable and unforgettable story of love, fear and courage in a time of war. Immerse yourself in a Paris where soldiers’ boots echo on cobbled streets and the air is full of whispers. Fans of Before We Were Yours, Kathryn Hughes and The Paris Wife will be absolutely hooked by this beautiful, tragic tale.
This is the truly enchanting story of Valerie who returns to Paris to find her grandfather and hopefully unlock some tightly hidden family secrets. The book is set in both past and present timelines but the changes are seamless and the book has a beautiful flow to it.
Valerie was sent to England as a three-year-old when the Nazi’s occupied France and she grew up believing her immediate family were all dead. When she finds out that her grandfather is alive and running a bookshop in Paris she makes a plan to get to know him. She applies for a job with accommodation included and finds herself living and working with the grumpy and opinionated Monsieur Dupont in Paris, but he has no idea of her identity.
The character of Monsieur Dupont is truly inspired. His views on Literature made me smile, his opinion was that Wordsworth’s poetry was ‘too English’ and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle ‘a fool who plays golf’. His friend Madame Joubert was the perfect light to his shade and a great ally to Valerie. You see instantly that underneath Dupont’s brusque exterior there lies a heart which has been broken for many years.
You get a strong insight into how the French were treated under Occupation and the bullying and bigotry that accompanied it. There’s romance too, unfaltering friendship, bravery, and huge sacrifices.
I wanted Valerie’s story to go on forever. It is a heartbreaking read but there is so much joy in this book and the characters literally took my breath away.
Lily is the author of five novels, including THE ISLAND VILLA. All her books have entered the Amazon Top 100 bestseller list. THE PARIS SECRET is published on 4th October 2018.