Book Review: The Siren of Paris by David LeRoy
Marc Tolbert was born in France, but raised in America. As a young man in his early twenties he left his parents, sister, and the American life for Paris, France. His family had hoped he'd become a medical doctor. Marc wanted to be an artist. He attended art schools in Paris. He met Marie, a model-poser for art classes. Their relationship developed. Later Marc went to work at a government office in Paris. While Marc is living out his dream in Paris, Nazi Germany is moving across Europe: Austria, Czechoslovakia, Norway, Denmark, Poland, Belgium, and then France. Although he attempts a dramatic escape, Marc stays in his beloved Paris.
The Siren of Paris moves back and forth in time, from 1967 to 1939, then back and forth through the years of World War II. Most of the story is during the war years.
- I was given a panoramic view of the citizens of Paris desperately trying to leave the Nazi German invaders. This included the many American's (30,000) who'd made Paris their home. The anxious conversations amongst Parisian's are "what will happen to them" or "can there be peace." Reality settles in just as the invaders reach the outskirts of Paris and the bombings can be heard, then the citizens panic.
- While Paris and France is under occupation. Nazi Germany imposes their murderous evil regime. The scope of which many could hardly fathom until "they" were knocking on their door. The fear and anguish of loved ones abused or murdered, the strict adherence to curfew and food rations is addressed through story.
- Parisian's that were apart of the resistance gave me an insight into what their role was in winning the war against Nazi Germany. With a bitter pungency they were willing to lay down their lives for freedom.
- Marc is a typical young man full of bravado. He will be tested both physically and emotionally. I was drawn to his character, not because I was particularly smitten with him, but felt invested in his outcome---I cared, I had to know how it would all end.
- I was not entirely surprised by Marc's love interest Marie. I was pleased with her depiction, meaning she was palpable to me, I saw her outward choices and her well-placed mask. I also saw how she came to make the choices she made. She is a strong character and could have over-shadowed Marc's---she may need her own book.
- I felt the ending tied everything in well. No loose threads.
- In the beginning of Marc's life in Paris he develops a few friends: David, Nigel, and Dora. The Siren of Paris follows their attempts at escaping France after Nazi Germany invaded. I'd thought that these characters had been given in order to add to the rest of Marc's story, but they disappear from the pages early-on. I don't believe they should have been followed as much as they are not a big investment.
- The shuffling back and forth of the time periods is not graceful. It needs a bit of sprucing-up. The first time I was taken back, or maybe forward----I got lost. Afterwards I was more prepared.
- I would have liked to see more viewpoint or drama from a Nazi German. They are the villains. I saw some dialogue and story between Marc and an officer. I would like to see more in the story behind the Nazi uniform. I don't want the story to tell me about their evil, I want it to show me evil.
Thank you to David LeRoy and Promo 101 Promotional Services for my free review copy in exchange for an honest review.
Published July 2012
Historical Fiction/World War II/September in Paris Reading Challenge 2012/Germany/France/Nazi Party/
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