* Thank you to NetGalley and Random House for this complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review. *
‘All The Flowers In Paris’ by Sarah Jio
Pub Date: August 13, 2019
Perseverance is a central theme in this sweepingly eloquent novel by Sarah Jio. ‘All The Flowers In Paris’, out August 13th, tells the story of the power of love, even in the face of abject terror and misery. Hauntingly beautiful, the reader will experience a dual tale of love and loss as we move between present day and Nazi occupied territory. The reader will easily be taken in by the heartbreaking elements of raw emotion mingling with seeds of hope.
Two women living in two different time periods have suffered immeasurably and are forced to try and cope with their newfound realities. For Caroline, the American divorcee, this proves to be a frustratingly impossible task for her to achieve because, when the reader initially encounters her, we learn that Caroline suffers from acute memory loss due to an accident she’s recently been in. Glimpses into Caroline’s past, one in which she’s attempting to piece back together, reveal that she has suffered in ways that make it difficult for her to not remain paralyzed by her own grief. Yet, it is the mystery of Celine that will eventually resonate with her.
Celine haunts the halls of the Paris apartment Caroline is now occupying. A woman who considered herself French and not Jewish, and the daughter of a local flourist, Celine is quickly targeted by one Nazi solider in particular. During the war, Nazi soldiers saw it as in their best interests to take what they wanted from French women. Torn away from her father, Celine’s sole consolation is that her daughter, Cosi, managed to escape to the apartment with her. As the sun continues to rise and set each day, Celine begins to lose all hope that they will be found, and starts to believe she will never be rescued from this life of misery where she’s playing a German hausfrau to an irate German soldier. Celine’s story mingles with her daughter’s story, in the form of post cards and journal entries left behind, which just might be the necessary key to unlock some of Caroline’s insecurities.
Perfect for fans of ‘The Age of Light’ and ‘The Room In Rue Amelie’, ‘All The Flowers In Paris’ by Sarah Jio, is impactful and essential to preventing us from ever truly forgetting what humanity proved themselves capable of during World War II. It serves to remind us that, while tragedy definitely reshapes us, it doesn’t have to be the end of ‘us’ as we know it. A must pick up summer read this year.