Les Parisiennes by Anne Sebba
How the Women of Paris Lived, Loved and Died in the 1940s

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 2 Critic Reviews

Reading Les Parisiennes, I am nonetheless filled with admiration not only for the women themselves, but for Sebba’s heroic research, for her meticulous tracking of these people and their exploits, of their fragility and their strength.
-Guardian

Synopsis

What did it feel like to be a woman living in Paris during the years 1939 to 1949? These were years of fear, power, aggression, courage, deprivation and secrets until, finally, there was renewal and retribution. Even at the darkest moments, dogs and cats might be abandoned howling on the street, the swastika flew from the Eiffel Tower and danger lurked on every corner, but glamour was ever present. French women wore lipstick. Why?

By looking at a wide range of individuals, from collaborators to resisters; actresses and prostitutes to teachers and writers; native Parisian women and those living in Paris temporarily, including American women and Nazi wives; muses and mothers; housewives and mistresses; fashion and jewellery designers; and nurses, journalists and spies, Anne Sebba reveals truths about basic human instincts and desires.

It was women more than men who came face-to-face with the German conquerors on a daily basis as waitresses, shop assistants, or prostitutes or merely on the Metro, where a German soldier had priority when it came to seats. Parisian women mostly did whatever they needed to do to survive. Many of them faced life-and-death decisions every day.

But this is not just an audiobook about war. Les Parisiennes is an audiobook book about the effects of war and, for those who survived, how they came to terms with their own behaviour and that of others. The second half of the decade can be understood only by examining the catastrophic shock of the first. Although politics lies at its heart, Les Parisiennes is an account of the lives of the people of the city and specifically, in this most feminine of cities, its women and young girls - including thousands who grew up fatherless.

 

About Anne Sebba

See more books from this Author
 
Published July 14, 2016 by Orion Publishing Group Limited.
Genres: History, Travel, War.
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for Les Parisiennes
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Lauren Elkin on Aug 05 2016

Reading Les Parisiennes, I am nonetheless filled with admiration not only for the women themselves, but for Sebba’s heroic research, for her meticulous tracking of these people and their exploits, of their fragility and their strength.

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

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Sarah Helm on Jul 31 2016

Sebba’s narrative is increasingly driven by her search for an explanation as to why some of these women chose to risk their lives and resist when they, like so many fellow Parisennes, could have saved their skins.

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

Reader Rating for Les Parisiennes
85%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 7 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review