Paris Never Leaves You
Survival never comes with a clear conscience and identity is rarely what it seems.
- A CNN "Best Books" Pick for August 2020
- Apple Books (ANZ) "What To Read This Month"
Moving between wartime Paris crushed under the boot of the Nazi Occupation and 1950s Manhattan giddy with postwar abundance and optimism, Paris Never Leaves You is the story of one woman’s struggle to save her infant daughter and herself.
Running a bookshop in occupied Paris, a city darkened by blackouts, curfews, and constant fear; gripped by hunger, cold, and sudden roundups and deportations, Charlotte Foret walks a fine line between protecting her daughter and staying true to herself and her country; between her hatred for the enemy and her unwanted sympathy for a Wehrmacht physician tortured by his own lethal secret.
Charlotte endures and her daughter ultimately thrives, but the compromises she has made shadow her new life in postwar New York, where she works in a publishing house presided over with wry irreverence by a man haunted by his own war history. Their fates and that of the Wehrmacht physician who has fled to South America prove that though the war is over, the past is never past.
Publishing rights have been sold in Australia, Brazil, Czech Republic, Germany, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Macedonia, Romania, Russia, Serbia, and the United Kingdom. (Jackets will be displayed as they become available.)
Reviews and Praise
"An unforgettable story of resistance, trust, faith and love ... immediately grabs readers' hearts and never lets go... The best works of historical fiction have a way of illuminating the present, allowing readers to better understand themselves through well-defined characters reflected in the prism of time. In Paris Never Leaves You, Ellen Feldman does this beautifully in a multi-layered, tender story that explores the emotionally charged, often parallel terrains of truth, deception, love and heartbreak." Shelf Awareness
"Paris Never Leaves You is a heartbreakingly moving and unforgettable story of resilience, love—and impossible choices... it's a compelling and poignant tale that explores a number of complex themes, such as survivors guilt, motherhood and the search for identity. Rich, thought-provoking and utterly engrossing, Paris Never Leaves You is definitely a page-turner, and a welcome addition to the genre. I'll be watching very closely to see what Ellen Feldman delivers next." BetterReading (Australia/New Zealand)
"Riveting... a story of love, resilience, determination and courage [that] showcases just how far a mother and daughter will go to survive." CNN
"Motherhood is put to the test in this page-turning novel. Feldman excels at crafting a multi-layered story ... with tenderness and respect. Her female characters are particularly well-drawn and sharp banter keeps the story relatabl—even when the stakes are at their highest." Apple Books
"Things are seldom as they seem in this engrossing tale of identity, survival, loyalty, and love. With frequent time shifts and dubious identities, the author adds considerable depth to her well-crafted gripping tale unfolding amid vivid depictions of Paris in wartime. Recommended with enthusiasm..." Library Journal (starred review)
"A nuanced WWII story of love and survival in Occupied Paris...With its appealing heroine and historically detailed settings...a dangerous secret gives Feldman's story a gasp-worthy spin." Publishers Weekly
"For fans of Anthony Doerr's All the Light We Cannot See and Kristin Hannah's The Nightingale... Book groups are sure to find much to dissect and discuss." Booklist
"Nothing is quite what it seems... Wartime Paris is described in vivid, sometimes harrowing, detail... [An] engrossing page-turner... graceful and nuanced." Kirkus Reviews
"Extraordinary and exquisite...like pentimento where, as layers are rubbed away, more and more is exposed. The writing is economical, crisp, and often quite brilliant. Feldman is a master of subtlety...Many novels set during World War II are concerned with the horrors of life in the camps. Paris Never Leaves You occupies a space I have not encountered before." East Hampton Star
"Masterful. Magnificent. A passionate story of survival and a real page turner. This story will stay with me for a long time." Heather Morris, author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz and Cilka's Journey
"An exquisite novel that gives us what we're hungry for: an intelligent, complex female character who challenges our ideas of right and wrong, morality and immorality." Elizabeth J. Church, author of The Atomic Weight of Love
"Guaranteed to follow you around long after you've turned the last page. I gulped it down." Stacy Schiff, author of Cleopatra
"Propulsively readable... as rich and psychologically rewarding as only the finest literature can be." Liza Gyllenhaal, author of Local Knowledge
"Completely compelling. I tore through it. This novel pivots on how we manage to survive surviving. Charlotte's visceral story will stay with me." Naomi Wood, author of Mrs. Hemingway
"Feldman's powerful exploration of some of the most profound questions about love and loyalty resonates strongly today: What would you do to save your child? What is morality in wartime? How do we make peace with the past?" Christina Lynch, author of The Italian Party
"Ellen Feldman's writing is riveting in this beautiful novel that tells the bittersweet story of a young mother's strength and survival during WWII. From a tiny bookstore in Nazi-occupied Paris to a post-war New York publishing house, Feldman effortlessly captures the terror, immediacy, and inextinguishable human spirit." Noelle Salazar, author of The Flight Girls
"A deep, rich, vivid world of engrossing characters and emotional and moral crisis." Fred Allen, Leadership Editor, Forbes
"A vivid and precise portrait of that city under German Occupation... an exploration of the courage and cowardice of those bitter years." Richard Snow, author of Iron Dawn
"A memorable, thought-provoking moral conflict, and dialogue [that] crackles like a duel... Paris Never Leaves You succeeds as a meaty moral tale." Historical Novel Society
"A haunting novel that explores the effect of the choices people make to survive... a page-turning, real, and engaging look into some lesser-known shadows of World War II." Minneapolis Star Tribune
Readers are raving
"You don't just read Feldman's novels. You devour them... Feldman's prose and storytelling are so emotionally immersive, it feels as if we're witnessing history as it's happening...the work of a master at the top of her game." Lorraine K.
"Of all the historical fiction about WWII currently on the shelves, it's refreshing to read a story with an unexpected plot...It takes a talented storyteller to weave into the plot a narrative so tender that it almost eclipses the horrors of war." Debra S.
"Such a wonderful read! I've read many WWII books and this is yet again, another depiction, different depiction of what people went through. We don’t know what we will do when the time is here. War time calls for what you think is right at the time." Rachael B.
"The writing is wonderful, the characters jump off the page and ask you the question, "what would YOU do in their place?" An outstanding read, one of the best!" Debbi B.
"I do not have the skills to adequately express how much this book touched me! This was the first book I read by this author, but it definitely will not be the last. She is a master storyteller!" Judy C.
"Paris won't leave me anytime soon...A beautiful story sure to be enjoyed by all who read it." Jessica D.
"I love reading historical fiction books, and Paris Never Leaves you, is one of the best I've ever read. What I love is that it's a World War 2 novel, and it's told from a perspective I haven't heard before." Jess B.
"A definite page turner from word one—it was a beautiful story of love, resilience and survival." Doris A.