The Parisians
Paris, 1940. The Nazis have occupied the city¬—and the Ritz. The opulent old hotel, so loved by Parisians, is now full of swaggering officers, their minions and their mistresses.For American Olivia Olsen, working as a chambermaid at the hotel means denying her nationality and living a lie, every day bringing the danger of discovery closer. When Hitler’s right-hand man moves in and makes her his pet, she sees an opportunity to help the Resistance—and draw closer to Jack, her contact, whose brusque instructions may be a shield for something more…Within the hotel, famed designer Coco Chanel quickly learns that the new regime could work to her benefit, while Arletty, one of France’s best-loved actresses, shocks those around her—and herself—with a forbidden love.But as the war reaches its terrible end, all three women learn the true price of their proximity to the enemy. For in the shadow of war, is anyone truly safe?

The Parisians Details

TitleThe Parisians
Author
ReleaseJan 17th, 2019
PublisherLake Union Publishing
ISBN-139781503905047
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Cultural, France, War, World War II

The Parisians Review

  • Kylie D
    January 1, 1970
    An interesting look at Paris during World War 2, concentrating on the guests and staff at the plush Ritz hotel. It has a mixture of real and fictional characters, including icons such as fashion designer Coco Chanel and French actress Arletty. We also follow the life of fictional character Olivia Olsen, an American chambermaid at the Ritz, hiding her identity behind a Swedish passport. We explore their stories during the Nazi occupation, and the ways each individual handles the oppressive regime An interesting look at Paris during World War 2, concentrating on the guests and staff at the plush Ritz hotel. It has a mixture of real and fictional characters, including icons such as fashion designer Coco Chanel and French actress Arletty. We also follow the life of fictional character Olivia Olsen, an American chambermaid at the Ritz, hiding her identity behind a Swedish passport. We explore their stories during the Nazi occupation, and the ways each individual handles the oppressive regime. As the Nazi's take over one wing of the famed hotel we find our ladies risking their lives as the war drags on and on.I did enjoy this book, and some of the characters are memorable, but not really fleshed out too much. This is a very believable tale, we get the lowdown how the Nazi's treated those in a position of privilege. My only real gripe is we don't really get a sense of time. It seems like characters have only just met, then suddenly two years have passed. All in all it's not a bad novel, it just doesn't have what it takes to stand out in a very popular genre.My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
    January 1, 1970
    EXCERPT: . . . the eve of war had come as a shock. It was here suddenly, the thing they had all dreaded but not wished to look at, like the monster that lurked under the beds of children. Now, with terrifying purpose, it had clambered out and proved itself real after all. ABOUT THIS BOOK: Paris, 1940. The Nazis have occupied the city¬—and the Ritz. The opulent old hotel, so loved by Parisians, is now full of swaggering officers, their minions and their mistresses.For American Olivia Olsen, worki EXCERPT: . . . the eve of war had come as a shock. It was here suddenly, the thing they had all dreaded but not wished to look at, like the monster that lurked under the beds of children. Now, with terrifying purpose, it had clambered out and proved itself real after all. ABOUT THIS BOOK: Paris, 1940. The Nazis have occupied the city¬—and the Ritz. The opulent old hotel, so loved by Parisians, is now full of swaggering officers, their minions and their mistresses.For American Olivia Olsen, working as a chambermaid at the hotel means denying her nationality and living a lie, every day bringing the danger of discovery closer. When Hitler’s right-hand man moves in and makes her his pet, she sees an opportunity to help the Resistance—and draw closer to Jack, her contact, whose brusque instructions may be a shield for something more…Within the hotel, famed designer Coco Chanel quickly learns that the new regime could work to her benefit, while Arletty, one of France’s best-loved actresses, shocks those around her—and herself—with a forbidden love.But as the war reaches its terrible end, all three women learn the true price of their proximity to the enemy. For in the shadow of war, is anyone truly safe? MY THOUGHTS: What began as a fairly average read about a young American woman in Paris to make her name as an artist, slowly morphed into a gritty novel of surviving the war, and the German occupation of Paris, by whatever means possible. I particularly liked how the author contrasted the lives of these three women, whose lives intersect at times, to give different perspectives. I also liked how he contrasted the grim reality, the melancholy of everyday life under the occupation, with rare moments of unadulterated joy, the spark that lit the desire to survive, no matter what. The book is peppered with real people. I learned a lot about Coco Chanel. I had never known her background, nor that she was a Nazi sympathizer. I had, in the past, simply admired her style. And I had never heard of Arletty, the French film star. At the end of the book, the Author's Note provides a lot of information about the people in the book who were real and what happened to them after the war, as well as further information about the history of the Ritz Hotel in Paris. It, like the book itself, is well worth reading. Although one of the categories I have assigned The Parisians is romance, don't let that put you off. There is no schmaltzy romance, more of an awakening, and nothing that is inappropriate to the story. If anything, the love story enhances the overall realism. This is not a book to be rushed through. It is a book to be lingered over, one that may challenge your previous perceptions about the people on both sides of the war. I would like to read more by this author. 😊😊😊😊THE AUTHOR: Marius Gabriel is an international thriller and mystery writer.Under the pseudonym Madeleine Ker, he wrote over 30 romance novels in the 1980s.As Marius Gabriel he has written several mystery best-sellers, some of them historical novels.He has three grown-up children and currently lives in Cairo and London.DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Lake Union Publishing via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Parisians by Marius Gabriel for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my sandysbookaday.wordpress.com page https://sandysbookaday.wordpress.com/...
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    3. 5 stars Thanks to Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review Readers choose books for all sorts of reasons and I am no exception. I chose this book specifically for its title because Paris is one of my favorite cities in the world. I may have mentioned this in other reviews, but I cried the very first time I saw that city and if the Eiffel Tower had been a person, well it most likely asked me to stop taking pictures of it. The fact that it was also sur 3. 5 stars Thanks to Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review Readers choose books for all sorts of reasons and I am no exception. I chose this book specifically for its title because Paris is one of my favorite cities in the world. I may have mentioned this in other reviews, but I cried the very first time I saw that city and if the Eiffel Tower had been a person, well it most likely asked me to stop taking pictures of it. The fact that it was also surrounding the WWII era was a plus. Juggling characters can be difficult, in the case of The Parisians, we have three very interesting characters( a chambermaid, a French actress, and Coco Chanel) and one intriguing setting- the Ritz hotel. Since this was the main place of entertainment and rest for the main players in the Nazi regime, our plot is driven by plenty of wartime intrigue. While young Swedish-American Olivia is driven to spy on Herman Goering after her lover dies at the hands of the Gestapo, French actress Arletty balances a fine line between the France she knew and what it has become, and Marius Gabriel leaves little doubt about designer Coco Chanel's collaboration with the Nazis. I enjoyed this story, reading it in one sitting, and despite one foolish sex scene in which both genders sexual organs were described as particular flowers, I felt this was a good addition to the WWII era library.
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  • Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
    January 1, 1970
    I will say this about this book, thank God for Coco Chanel and Arletty! Those two women made the book worthwhile reading. I found the beginning of the book very hard to get into thanks to Olivia Olsen, this young artist who has come to Paris to paint. She's just the kind of character I have a problem with, a young naive thing that on the very first pages of the book meets a young anarchist that will take her by storm. I was not amused, I found Olivia to be boring to be very frank. However, I kep I will say this about this book, thank God for Coco Chanel and Arletty! Those two women made the book worthwhile reading. I found the beginning of the book very hard to get into thanks to Olivia Olsen, this young artist who has come to Paris to paint. She's just the kind of character I have a problem with, a young naive thing that on the very first pages of the book meets a young anarchist that will take her by storm. I was not amused, I found Olivia to be boring to be very frank. However, I kept on reading because as I wrote before there were two bright spots in this book Coco Chanel and the French actress Arletty. Personally, I wouldn't have minded that Olivia had been cut out of the picture and the book had been just about Coco Chanel and Arletty. Although I have to admit Olivia role become more interesting after the Germans occupied France and she started to help the Resistance.At first, I gave the book 4-stars, but after some considerations did I lover the rating to 3-stars. And, that's because I've read two books previously by Marius Gabriel that I really enjoyed, The Ocean Liner and The Designer. The Parisians can't really measure up to them. It's just not as interesting, unfortunately. Still, there are some really good parts in the book, well everything concerning Coco Chanel and Arletty. I felt that Olivia personality was truly bland and I felt it the most when she interacted with them. She grew a bit better towards the end, but still, the stars of this book were Coco Chanel and Arletty!I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!>
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  • The Just-About-Cocky Ms M
    January 1, 1970
    Got this from NetGalley, which is sometimes as much a crapshoot as First Reads. But I was surprised this time and delighted: a good, gritty, urbane, accurate, practical, frightening, realistic, and generally pitch-perfect novel of a little slice of Paris during the war. And no smarmy, over-the-top, twee, treacly Romance anywhere.Review to follow.Oh, if anyone read that horrible gossipy, inaccurate, and poorly written National Enquirer version of the Ritz Hotel during the war by an alleged histor Got this from NetGalley, which is sometimes as much a crapshoot as First Reads. But I was surprised this time and delighted: a good, gritty, urbane, accurate, practical, frightening, realistic, and generally pitch-perfect novel of a little slice of Paris during the war. And no smarmy, over-the-top, twee, treacly Romance anywhere.Review to follow.Oh, if anyone read that horrible gossipy, inaccurate, and poorly written National Enquirer version of the Ritz Hotel during the war by an alleged historian, Tilar Mazzeo, read The Parisians instead. Even though it is historical fiction, it is far better and definitely more accurate.
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  •  Martin
    January 1, 1970
    I very much enjoyed this trip to WW2 where real and fictional characters do a cross over in a plush hotel in Paris. From Coco Chanel to famed French actress Arletty, not to mention a bunch of other well-drawn fictional characters, all are faced with the invasion of the Nazis and all yearn to survive the best possible way. This of course is far from being simple, especially for the central heroine who longs to save her boyfriend who is at the hands of the Gestapo. One thing’s for sure, though, si I very much enjoyed this trip to WW2 where real and fictional characters do a cross over in a plush hotel in Paris. From Coco Chanel to famed French actress Arletty, not to mention a bunch of other well-drawn fictional characters, all are faced with the invasion of the Nazis and all yearn to survive the best possible way. This of course is far from being simple, especially for the central heroine who longs to save her boyfriend who is at the hands of the Gestapo. One thing’s for sure, though, simple or not, their many problems do make for a fine read. The narrative, as the plot and subplots, is solid, and I found myself totally invested in the denouement of these complicated but oh-so fascinating people. Marius Gabriel has a knack for re-imagining true moments in time, and I look forward to read more of his stuff in the future. Thumbs up to NetGalley and the publisher for this reviewed title.Full review: https://sleaze-factor.blogspot.com/20...
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  • Sherry Chiger
    January 1, 1970
    If you're looking for an effortless read that juxtaposes the lifestyles of rich Nazi sympathizers and struggling Resistance workers in Paris during World War II, you'll enjoy this. It really made my commute zip along. If, however, you like your books with some depth and writing that rises above the workmanlike, this will disappoint. The characters never blossomed into three-dimensional. Their motivations seemed pat and superficial. For instance, did Arletty, one of the biggest French film stars If you're looking for an effortless read that juxtaposes the lifestyles of rich Nazi sympathizers and struggling Resistance workers in Paris during World War II, you'll enjoy this. It really made my commute zip along. If, however, you like your books with some depth and writing that rises above the workmanlike, this will disappoint. The characters never blossomed into three-dimensional. Their motivations seemed pat and superficial. For instance, did Arletty, one of the biggest French film stars of the time, really plunge so deeply in love with a Nazi officer that she didn't give more than a passing thought to how she was betraying her audience and her country? And there's a lovemaking scene that I think qualifies for the Bad Sex Writing Award. All that said, as escapism that introduces you to the role of the Paris Ritz (and the sumptuousness of the hotel itself) and the attitudes of French society types during the war, this will please.
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  • Amy Layton
    January 1, 1970
    In the end, this book left me breathless and aching.  This is a powerful story about love, World War II, and just what it means to do your duty.  With a mixture of fictional characters and real, Gabriel depicts women's struggles during this war.  The story revolves around Olivia Olsen, an asset to the Resistance, Arletty, a Nazi sympathizer, and Coco Chanel, a Nazi.  One thing that I really appreciated about this book is that it took women's struggles seriously, regardless of their political aff In the end, this book left me breathless and aching.  This is a powerful story about love, World War II, and just what it means to do your duty.  With a mixture of fictional characters and real, Gabriel depicts women's struggles during this war.  The story revolves around Olivia Olsen, an asset to the Resistance, Arletty, a Nazi sympathizer, and Coco Chanel, a Nazi.  One thing that I really appreciated about this book is that it took women's struggles seriously, regardless of their political affairs.  There's pregnancy, abortion, miscarriages, double standards, threats, and the inevitable being told to "smile."  Each woman made their decision, and they stood by it until the end, even if they didn't necessarily like the consequences.  Though at times this book seemed strangely catered to the male gaze (warning--there's a failed lesbian rape scene in the later half of this book), it overall did a good job resisting that notion and critiquing the positions women were put into when Nazi men were making the rules.  To smile is to survive, to lie about your identity is to survive, to continue working at a hotel that now serves the enemy in order to be able to eat is to survive.  One other thing that I really enjoyed about this book is the notion of female solidarity.  When Olivia, Coco, and Arletty had scenes together, there was an unspoken sense of trust between them.  They helped each other get abortions, allowed for one moment for a facade to drop.  Regardless of their choices, they were still women, and as women, they needed to stick together.  I also learned quite a bit about WWII--I'm not a very big history buff, but it was really fun to be able to learn about names and places and be able to look them up for reference and additional learning.  It helped me contextualize this story a little better.  Not only that, but it also helped me learn a lot more about French culture--which is saying something considering I lived in France.  But again, not knowing much about history, there's always so much to learn!Overall, this book was an engaging ride, filled with intrigue, and at times, horror.  At times I wanted to sit back and appreciate the detail, and others, I needed to rush through to discover what would happen next.  Just wonderful, absolutely wonderful.Review cross-listed here!
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  • Sherri Lewis
    January 1, 1970
    *** I received an advanced e-copy from Net Galley in exchange for my honest reviewIn Paris, the Ritz was the place everyone wanted to be during WWII, including the Nazi's. They took over half of the hotel at a 90% discount, and expected the same lavish treatment as everyone else. The book concentrates the story around 3 women at the Ritz, and how they all dealt with the invasion. Coco Chanel decides to put it to her advantage and gets a lover high up in the regime. Arletty is a French actress wh *** I received an advanced e-copy from Net Galley in exchange for my honest reviewIn Paris, the Ritz was the place everyone wanted to be during WWII, including the Nazi's. They took over half of the hotel at a 90% discount, and expected the same lavish treatment as everyone else. The book concentrates the story around 3 women at the Ritz, and how they all dealt with the invasion. Coco Chanel decides to put it to her advantage and gets a lover high up in the regime. Arletty is a French actress who falls deeply in love with a Nazi officer and it ruins her name in society and her career. Then there is Olivia. Olivia was a struggling painter before the war, but took a job at the Ritz as a chambermaid because she needed the money. Her Swiss beauty played to her advantage and she became doted on by one of the top Nazi's. She turned that to her advantage and became an informant for the resistance.I could not put this book down. It was fascinating seeing everything from their viewpoint. There was some romance, and lots of intrigue and moments where I sat on the edge of my seat. I can not recommend begin to recommend this book enough....it is definitely a must-read!
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  • Sarah MacIntyre
    January 1, 1970
    A fascinating insight into how different women handled life in occupied Paris during WW2. It is fiction but based on real characters during this period. Those unwilling to give up their privileged lives that they have worked hard to achieve so enjoy the best of the Nazi's occupation. Others who see the horrors of the Nazi's and SS and join the resistance and a German living in Paris who is gleeful in joining the Gestapo. Set with the background of the Ritz Hotel the book is full of bravery, deca A fascinating insight into how different women handled life in occupied Paris during WW2. It is fiction but based on real characters during this period. Those unwilling to give up their privileged lives that they have worked hard to achieve so enjoy the best of the Nazi's occupation. Others who see the horrors of the Nazi's and SS and join the resistance and a German living in Paris who is gleeful in joining the Gestapo. Set with the background of the Ritz Hotel the book is full of bravery, decadence and pure evil. I read over a weekend and enjoyed it immensely. I have read other books from Marius Gabriel and really enjoy his writing.
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  • Michelle (Champ)
    January 1, 1970
    I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway and I was thrilled because I had wanted to read this one!!There is a lot going on in The Ritz hotel during WWII. For most of the book, the Nazis have taken over the hotel, leaving the regular residents either out of a home or in different quarters. It was odd to see a side of a famous designer, Coco Chanel that I had never seen. We also see a middle-aged actress, Arletty and her lovers. We see a chambermaid, Olivia, find love and risk everything for someth I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway and I was thrilled because I had wanted to read this one!!There is a lot going on in The Ritz hotel during WWII. For most of the book, the Nazis have taken over the hotel, leaving the regular residents either out of a home or in different quarters. It was odd to see a side of a famous designer, Coco Chanel that I had never seen. We also see a middle-aged actress, Arletty and her lovers. We see a chambermaid, Olivia, find love and risk everything for something she truly believes in. I hate to give away the plot because I am a person that hates spoilers, but I will tell you that some of the things are shocking!! The way the Germans could treat people will forever shock me no matter how many WWII books I read.I enjoyed this book. My only issue with it is that it kept me up too late because I did not want to put it down.
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  • Jeanette
    January 1, 1970
    I do enjoy reading historical fiction and especially enjoy reading books where WW2 is concerned. This is the first time that i have read any books by Marius Gabriel and have a few more which shall be reading soon. I am not going to write what this story is about, as i prefer one to read the story for themselves. Recommended.My thanks to Netgalley and the Publishers. This is my honest review.
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  • Kathleen Gray
    January 1, 1970
    Another take on women in Paris during WWII that will appeal to fans of historical fiction where real women play a role. In this case, Gabriel has merged the stories of Olivia, who is working with the Resistance, with Leonie Bathiat aka "Arletty", a sympathizer and well, Coco Chanel, who has somehow managed to escape from her collusion. Look at them as women and this is a better read than if you think about the politics and ethics. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.
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  • Jasmine Emma
    January 1, 1970
    **I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**For the first half of this book, I was ready to give it a one-star review. I actually considered abandoning it which I never do. But it really picked up in the second half and by the end I was gripped. So I don’t really understand why the first half of the story exists – if the book had started where the plot did, with Nazi occupation underway and Olivia deciding to use her position as a Chambermaid in the Ritz to **I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**For the first half of this book, I was ready to give it a one-star review. I actually considered abandoning it which I never do. But it really picked up in the second half and by the end I was gripped. So I don’t really understand why the first half of the story exists – if the book had started where the plot did, with Nazi occupation underway and Olivia deciding to use her position as a Chambermaid in the Ritz to help, it would have been action packed and fascinating. Instead, we have to deal with a lot of unconvincing romance and slow chapters to get there. I think Marcus Gabriel perhaps tried to do too much with this book. At its heart, we have Olivia, a purely fictional character whose story includes romance, tragedy and a real sense of purpose. But then we also have chapters about Arletty and Chanel, both fascinating women from history, but completely unconnected to Olivia’s story except for passing each other by in the Ritz and occasionally having conversations. Moving between each woman’s story means that none of them have a chance to fully develop, and I wished we could have stayed with each for longer to better understand them. I would love to read a book about any one of these three women, but I didn’t understand why this one was about all three of them.At times, I also felt uncomfortable about the way sexuality was presented in The Parisians. Three of the female characters are either bisexual or lesbians. One of these women shows sympathy towards the Nazis, one has what seems to be a mental breakdown, and the third is violent and terrifying, at one point attempting to rape a female colleague. While all three of these women are based on historical figures so the author was presumably limited in what he felt he could do with them, the combination of their stories and the way they were presented didn’t sit well with me. The strengths of this book lie in its historical setting. I learnt a lot about the role of the Ritz in the war and was fascinated by the author’s note at the end of the book. Lots of the characters in this story are either real historical figures or are based on people from history, and that makes this story feel important even when the plot doesn’t feel like it’s going anywhere. I love that this is a story trying to tell the war through the eyes of women in different positions. There is interesting discussion of the different standards women are held to in wartime, and the way women are punished by society for the acts they rely on to get by. And despite the frankly terrible sex scenes, women are generally quite empowered in this book, so I’m grateful for that.Overall, this is a book worth reading if you’re interested in this era or in one of the historical figures featured. However, as a story it’s quite slow and it’s difficult to feel attached to the characters.
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  • Cassandre
    January 1, 1970
    The next installment in my unintentional historical-fiction journey this month brings me to Paris in the 1940s, just as Hitler and the Nazis have taken over France. The Parisians follows three women who do what it takes to survive in the city they love during the tumultuous World War II. Olivia Olsen is a Swedish-American who moved to Paris as a young adult to become a painter and be inspired by the most beautiful city in the world. Penniless and desperate, she gets a job at the Ritz hotel as a The next installment in my unintentional historical-fiction journey this month brings me to Paris in the 1940s, just as Hitler and the Nazis have taken over France. The Parisians follows three women who do what it takes to survive in the city they love during the tumultuous World War II. Olivia Olsen is a Swedish-American who moved to Paris as a young adult to become a painter and be inspired by the most beautiful city in the world. Penniless and desperate, she gets a job at the Ritz hotel as a chambermaid in order to pay her rent. The Ritz is soon taken over by high-ranking Nazi officers, and Olivia finds herself not only favoured by Hitler's right-hand man but helping the Resistance try to put an end the horrors around them.Other women staying at the hotel include Coco Chanel, the much-loved fashion designer, who uses the new regime to her advantage, and Arletty, a famous French actress, who finds love in the most unusual of places. Can their careers—and they, themselves—survive Nazi occupation? This the first book I've read by Marius Gabriel, and I've got to say: The man really does his research. While there were a few fictional characters in this novel, a large number of the cast was inspired by true events and real people—and we got the imagining of how their stories concluded the way they did. Although I really wasn't interested in Coco Chanel's story in the slightest (it really didn't seem like she worked very hard to get where she was or keep what she had), I was not at all familiar with Arletty, and find myself wanting to delve a little deeper into her biography. Chanel and Arletty were not as three-dimensional as I would have liked—their motivations were not as clear as the third (and most exciting) woman of the novel. The fictional Olivia is where my heart and interest was held the most. She's an ordinary woman of little means who stepped up to try to end a war she could have easily escaped by going home. She's the real hero of this story. Though a lot of the plot centres on the love lives of these three women, I wouldn't consider it a romantic book, necessarily. These women had to do what they needed to survive—and sometimes that means falling in love with men they shouldn't. The story is really what's at the heart of this novel, and if the subject matter interests you in the slightest, I would definitely recommend it. I thought it started a little slowly, though, so make sure you give it time before you make your final decision.3 stars.Thank you to NetGalley and Amazon Publishing UK for the advanced copy.
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  • Candy
    January 1, 1970
    The Parisians by Marius Gabriel (3 Stars)Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book in return for an honest review.This is a book of historical fiction, yet with a lot of reality thrown into the mix. The book follows three main characters, Olivia, Arletty and Coco, all within the context of their relationship to Olivia.Let’s start with Olivia, the fictional character. Just before World War II, Olivia is an American in Paris studying to be an artist, albeit a starvi The Parisians by Marius Gabriel (3 Stars)Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book in return for an honest review.This is a book of historical fiction, yet with a lot of reality thrown into the mix. The book follows three main characters, Olivia, Arletty and Coco, all within the context of their relationship to Olivia.Let’s start with Olivia, the fictional character. Just before World War II, Olivia is an American in Paris studying to be an artist, albeit a starving one at the moment. She meets Fabrice, an anarchist, falls in love, and goes to work at the Ritz Hotel. The Nazis soon occupy Paris and commandeer the Ritz Hotel. Fabrice is killed, and her anger over his death leads Olivia to become a spy for the Resistance. As a chambermaid at the Ritz, she has access to the Nazis’ living quarters and any papers they may have.Based on reality, the French actress Arletty has an affair with the German officer Hans Jürgen Soehring. Arletty and Olivia become friends, which I just totally did not understand. Arletty is branded a collaborator and marked for death by the Resistance, yet Olivia tries to see the gray areas and feels benevolent toward her.Also based on reality is the story of Coco Chanel, who lived at the Ritz for most of her life. It is well-known that not only was she was a collaborator, she initiated schemes to rid herself of her Jewish partners. Once again, Olivia feels some compassion for her.I tried to like the book, and will say that I learned a lot about the real-life people portrayed as it led me to do some research. But the characters just seemed hollow, especially Olivia. For a woman who is a spy in the Resistance, she lacks...something. Passion? Drive? Anger? Hate? At some points it felt like I was reading a Harlequin novel. It just didn’t click for me, and didn’t add to the story. I would have preferred some more grittiness of the Resistance and less of the debauchery and opulence of the wealthy.www.candysplanet.wordpress.com
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  • BranDee Wenzl
    January 1, 1970
    The Parisians was a new take on looking at what happened I'm France during World War 2. Here you are seeing the war and occupation through those that work and live at the Ritz hotel. Yoi get to see how the rich we're affected by the Nazi's as well as those with less. There are characters within the story that are real people, which I found fascinating. It brought them to life for me. I struggled a little with getting into the story. I love all things World War 2 and was really excited to read th The Parisians was a new take on looking at what happened I'm France during World War 2. Here you are seeing the war and occupation through those that work and live at the Ritz hotel. Yoi get to see how the rich we're affected by the Nazi's as well as those with less. There are characters within the story that are real people, which I found fascinating. It brought them to life for me. I struggled a little with getting into the story. I love all things World War 2 and was really excited to read this book. It was an enjoyable read and did open my mind to some things I had not thought of before. But I felt like the characters could have been added to a little bit more. I was left wanting more from some of them, feeling they were not completely flushed out. I have never read Marius Gabriel before, but I did enjoy this novel. It is an interesting take on a time when many books are written. It was nice to find something that wasn't just the same old story that we know.
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  • Shaylee (Bookswithshayydeniece_)
    January 1, 1970
    Big thank you to Netgalley for the review copy of this wonderful book! I really enjoyed this novel. It was a great book to fall asleep to every night. The ending was by far the best thing I could have imagine for this story. I was starting to wonder for awhile but everything was tied up nicely and I finally felt a connection to the characters about halfway through. The beginning was good but I didn't really care but the author really turned it around in the second half and I grew to love Olivia. Big thank you to Netgalley for the review copy of this wonderful book! I really enjoyed this novel. It was a great book to fall asleep to every night. The ending was by far the best thing I could have imagine for this story. I was starting to wonder for awhile but everything was tied up nicely and I finally felt a connection to the characters about halfway through. The beginning was good but I didn't really care but the author really turned it around in the second half and I grew to love Olivia. I am very happy to have had the opportunity to read this before it's release date!
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  • Debra
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed reading this book,I.love reading about this time in history especially France,Germany because of my ancestry.I like Olivia 's character the best,you feel like your right there watching her paint.I definitely recommend you read this book soon,you won't regret it.I will be looking out for more books by this new author to me.
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  • Barbara A. Mattison
    January 1, 1970
    Once I started reading this book I couldn’t put it down I hated to see this book end. I’m an avid reader and haven’t had a book grab my attention as much as this one in many years. He brought the terrors of WWII to life and showed how brave the men and women were in fighting the Nazis
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  • Andi Miller
    January 1, 1970
    I thought that this was a great story, the book totally encapsulated me. I enjoyed the use of the Ritz Hotel.I thought that Marius Gabriel told the history of how life was in Paris in the occupation was very good.I felt moved, dismayed, nervous, excited and thrilled. Such use of emotion in a book makes it a fantastic book in my opinion.
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  • Patricia Manville
    January 1, 1970
    A read hard to put downI loved reading the stories of each character. This book is well written and jumping between stories was never confusing just very interesting. Love stories to drama is what this is all about. I truly love stories set in time of WWII and especially in Paris. This hits all my reading wishes.
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  • Denise Levendoski
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Marius Gabriel and Goodreads.com I won this book in a Giveaway.Another interesting perspective on WWII; but with fiction and non-fiction parts. I liked the discrepancy in two lives that he wrote about. One struggling artist and one very famous actress and how each navigated their personal lives through the war and how each was considered a spy.
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  • noreen stephens
    January 1, 1970
    Can't stop reading, loved itThe author kept you involved while describing Paris during WW2 and the lives of characters intertwined by the Ritz hotel and the various situations that kept them involved with each other. I read this in 2 days, loved it.
  • Kirsty Hutchison
    January 1, 1970
    I loved, loved, loved The Parisians by Marius Gabriel. For me, this is historic fiction at it's best. Set in Nazi occupied Paris during World War II with many of the characters real historic figures such as Coco Chanel, this was a story that fascinated me, chilled me to the bone and totally consumed me. I finished it a few days ago and I'm still suffering from my book hangover. To read my full review go to: https://noveldelights.com/2019/01/13/...
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  • Sybil Brown
    January 1, 1970
    Good bookI really enjoyed this book. Didn’t want it to end. I love my World War 11 novels and this one didn’t disappoint.
  • Suzanne Guida
    January 1, 1970
    Brilliant Gabriel’s one of those cherished authors who continues to amaze. I did stay up too late finishing this and it is so worth a few hours of missed sleep!
  • maryannehoyt
    January 1, 1970
    Couldn’t put it downI haven’t enjoyed a book this much in a long time. Keeps you on the edge of your seat at times
  • Cindy
    January 1, 1970
    Smooth readSmooth read. I enjoyed the storyline immensely and appreciated the author’s note in the end which provided some much needed closure.
  • Dori
    January 1, 1970
    Another fantastic book by Gabriel I thoroughly enjoyed this story and all of the historical knowledge Gabriel included. Hard book to put down so it was a pretty quick read. Enjoy!
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