Les Parisiennes by Anne Sebba
How the Women of Paris Lived, Loved, and Died Under Nazi Occupation

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All this makes for a dense, sometimes dizzying read, and as a result Sebba’s work suffers in comparison with the storytelling of history writers Laura Hillenbrand and Erik Larson. Still, many readers will find this book well worth the effort.
-Star Tribune

Synopsis

“Anne Sebba has the nearly miraculous gift of combining the vivid intimacy of the lives of women during The Occupation with the history of the time. This is a remarkable book.” —Edmund de Waal, New York Times bestselling author of The Hare with the Amber Eyes

New York Times bestselling author Anne Sebba explores a devastating period in Paris's history and tells the stories of how women survived—or didn’t—during the Nazi occupation.

Paris in the 1940s was a place of fear, power, aggression, courage, deprivation, and secrets. During the occupation, the swastika flew from the Eiffel Tower and danger lurked on every corner. While Parisian men were either fighting at the front or captured and forced to work in German factories, the women of Paris were left behind where they would come face to face with the German conquerors on a daily basis, as waitresses, shop assistants, or wives and mothers, increasingly desperate to find food to feed their families as hunger became part of everyday life.

When the Nazis and the puppet Vichy regime began rounding up Jews to ship east to concentration camps, the full horror of the war was brought home and the choice between collaboration and resistance became unavoidable. Sebba focuses on the role of women, many of whom faced life and death decisions every day. After the war ended, there would be a fierce settling of accounts between those who made peace with or, worse, helped the occupiers and those who fought the Nazis in any way they could.

 

About Anne Sebba

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ANNE SEBBA is a biographer, lecturer, journalist and former Reuters foreign correspondent. She has written eight books, including acclaimed biographies of Jennie Churchill and Mother Theresa, as well as the New York Timesbestseller That Woman about the life of Wallis Simpson. She is a member of the Society of Authors Executive Committee.
 
Published October 18, 2016 by St. Martin's Press. 480 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel, War. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Les Parisiennes
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

Star Tribune

Below average
Reviewed by Maureen Mccarthy on Oct 21 2016

All this makes for a dense, sometimes dizzying read, and as a result Sebba’s work suffers in comparison with the storytelling of history writers Laura Hillenbrand and Erik Larson. Still, many readers will find this book well worth the effort.

Read Full Review of Les Parisiennes: How the Wome... | See more reviews from Star Tribune

Washington Times

Above average
Reviewed by Martin Rubin on Nov 09 2016

The stories of the many titled ladies playing up to the occupiers with similar lack of consequences are as shameful as the countless heroic tales of those women, famous and not, who risked everything working for the Resistance are edifying.

Read Full Review of Les Parisiennes: How the Wome... | See more reviews from Washington Times
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