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Paris Noire (2011)

by Francine Thomas Howard(Favorite Author)
3.07 of 5 Votes: 3
1935597973 (ISBN13: 9781935597971)
review 1: I was looking forward to learning more about the Nazi occupation of France during World War II and the subsequent liberation in Ms. Howard’s newest novel, Paris Noire. I thought it might be gritty and deftly blend the fictional characters with the bloody reality of 1944 Paris.Paris Noire revolves around Marie-Therese, a black immigrant from Martinique, and her two children, Colette and Christophe, who were the product of her marriage to a white Frenchman.While every mother wants the best for her children, I don’t know that Marie-Therese went about it in the most effective way possible. Instead of encouraging her children to be their own people, she sets so many “rules” about their relationships with others that the kids rebel. I wish the characters were a little le... moress two-dimensional or caricatures of themselves.Overall, the racial issues were well executed in regard to the omission in the history of WWII of the contributions that black soldiers made to the resistance. However, I felt like Marie-Therese made a bigger issue of it in her personal life than necessary - especially with her comments about her daughter dating a white man.Another issue is the historical facts are not as solid as they should be, with many things included that did not happen in the time frame of the novel or were just plain inaccurate. Also, there were many descriptive phrases and dialogue used over and over again which, for me, detracted from the novel.Paris Noire seemed to be more of a romance novel thinly veiled as a blending of fact and fiction of the life and times of people in 1944 Paris. I also wasn’t very fond of the “neat and tidy” ending to the novel, which felt forced and didn’t really seem to fit the book as a whole.
review 2: I was surprised by this book. The plot centers around Colette and Christophe, two siblings who are trying to make their way in the world during the beginning of the end of WWII. They don't have it easy, many people regard them "black" even though they are not described as very dark at all. This book does contain many mentions of racial prejudice. The author is very delicate with the subject, but the reader will be able to tell she did her research. This novel isn't just about historical events. There is a star crossed love story as well. Christophe meets and falls hard for a woman named Genevieve. Genevieve, however, is not telling the truth about a very pertinent fact from her past. Even so, Christophe does truly appear to love her, that much will be apparent to the reader. Whenever a relationship is based on lies...I think the author captured the general feeling of the time very well, as well as how people were reacting to the hard times. The characters overall were very dynamic and interesting. The secondary characters played fairly large parts in the plot at times, somewhat unusual, but it worked. The events were fast-paced, sometimes the reader may want to slow down or look back over a chapter. The ending...well, the ending was the only quality I somewhat hated about the novel....but I suppose that might be the mark of a good author. This book is recommended to adult readers. less
Reviews (see all)
This wasn't exactly my cup of tea, but it was so well-written that I enjoyed it anyway.
A pretty good story...... I would have liked a different ending though :)
I'm just reading way too much right now and this will have to wait!!
I did expect a little more but it was OK.
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