“So the Nazis want to control our thoughts, as well as everything we say or do. And did you get rid of the books they don’t agree with?”Daisy Wood, The Forgotten Bookshop in Paris
Title: The Forgotten Bookshop in Paris
Author: Daisy Wood
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 400 (Kindle)
Publish Date (US): March 7th, 2023
My Rating: ★★★¾
Read: 12/7/2022 – 12/11/2022
There are a lot of appealing subjects in this book for me: WWII, Paris, and a bookshop. Needless to say, I was instantly drawn in by the cover and title.
Following a duel timeline, the story is set in both 1940s and modern-day France. During the war, we see Jacques and Mathilde’s story. While Mathilde seeks safety in the country, Jacques uses his bookshop, La Page Cachée, as a front to hide not only banned books but also refugees. In 2022, the bookshop is rediscovered by Juliette while on vacation in Paris. As she renovates it, she uncovers its past.
Though I typically enjoy duel timelines, the WWII plotline was strong and good enough not to need the modern-day addition. I found myself hurrying through Juliette’s part of the story so I could get back to Jacques and Mathilde’s. Having to jump back and forth made the book drag in places. Otherwise, the writing was strong and engaging, even if I didn’t particularly like certain bits and pieces of the story.
Thanks to NetGalley and Harper360/Avon for providing a free digital ARC of this book to read and review. Another thanks to Harper 360 for sending me a free physical copy as well!
Likes & Dislikes:
What I liked:
- The resistance work.
- The topic of banned books.
- As I already mentioned, this book has a lot of my favorite tropes you might say.
What I didn’t like:
- The modern plotline in general.
- The infidelity bit.
Though I didn’t enjoy the book as much as I’d hoped I would, the 1940s plot was fantastic. I can’t stress enough how much stronger the book could have been as a whole without the ‘escapism’ of Juliette’s story. It gave a sense of impracticality.