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5.0 out of 5 stars From Socialite to being a member of the French Resistance...., 28 July 2011
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This review is from: The Last Time I Saw Paris (Kindle Edition)
The Last Time I Saw Paris by Lyn Sheene is one of the best books I have read based on the Second World War and the French Resistance. It was an exciting read and with each turn of the page I was not disappointed. The main character Claire Harris Stone, a socialite living in Manhattan, is clearly a girl who uses her looks and body to get what she wants in life. When I first started to read about Claire I thought I was not going to like her as the main character of the book how wrong was I? totally wrong as she turned out to be a character with not only love in her heart but with a heart of a lion as she learns to fight for what she believed in and that was for the good people of Paris.
As I continued reading I learned that Claire has had a really hard childhood. When we first meet Claire, she is married to Russell Stone who is very rich in the money side of things but was totally empty of love and also was on the side of the Germans. She is clearly living the high life, planning rich parties for her husband and making her husband look good for his business. She has everything she could possibly wish for as long as money can buy it. Claire has a french lover Laurent Oliver who we meet early on in the novel, she has too look for love outside of the marriage as her marriage to Russell was a marriage really only for appearances sake on both their parts and the lover give her the attention she craved from her husband. Though the marriage suited both Claire and her husband Russell, Claire was hiding her background from him and when a person from Claire's past decides to tell Russell where Claire is really from she does what she does best she runs away to start another new life. This is where the book gets really interesting is when she decides to follow her french lover to Paris and does not realise while she is running towards Paris she cannot understand why everyone else is fleeing Paris!! I think she was a girl who lived in her own world where she could hide away from the bad things the world had to offer when I was reading this I found it rather odd but when you read more into the book and realise what life was like for her when she lived with her parents you can fully understand why she was like this.
Claire is clearly a girl that has always run away from her problems but she seems to have always landed on her feet. When she lands in Paris she thinks she is going to have a good time having fun and meeting rich men. As the war goes on she has her eyes opened to the cruelty of the Germans, and she grows up very quickly as she is living a life so far away from the privileged rich world in New York she had been living with her husband.
Claire firstly joins the French resistance purely for selfish reasons and as her time continues with the resistance she falls in love not just with a man for the first time in her life she also falls in love with Paris. Claire hates to see they way the Nazis have taken over Paris and destroyed its beauty with their cruelty. Claire grows in so many ways, she shows so much bravery fighting for the freedom of Paris and freedom of the people she has grown to love and admire for the life they lead to make France free again. The book starts off in Manhattan, New York 1940 and continues throughout the years of the Second World War to when the war is over in 1945 and shortly afterwards when peace is restored.
If you want a book which you just cannot put down and you want a book which touches every emotion possible this is the book for you. This book will tell you how, while some people did everything possible through the war years just to survive with France other people turned towards Germany and wanted the regime which Hitler promised and would have betrayed their own family just to get this. That is one part I had difficulty reading as I could not understand how anyone could do that.
It is certainly one book which I will not forget and which I highly recommend to any reader who likes to read about this time in history, it is a book which the author clearly has researched very well and I cannot wait until her next book is out. Lyn Sheene is certainly an author which I will be watching out for.
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