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Took me awhile to get into the storyline but once there we were away. Scary, frightening times to fight through and having to continue to fight on a different levels through changing generations against the bureaucracy after the actual war ended. So much happening on so many differing levels while the characters lived their lives. Enjoyable and enlightening.
For the character of Sylvie, everything she cared about and how real/multidimensional she is... For the writing that puts the reader in the scene where we can hear and see and maybe smell exactly what happened... For the historical accuracy... For the wide timespan covered in Sylvie's story.... For a book filled with action and plot twists all the way through, rather than a slow build to a single climax... For the Parisian glamour, including both the wardrobe and the French phrases throughout the book... For the character of Sylvie (again)...
...I cannot give less than 4 stars.
For the hand of the editor being too obvious... For the mistakes in grammar/spelling (few, but obvious)... For meeting characters again but having them introduced like it's the first time... For the poorly-executed friends-to-lovers trope... For the telling, instead of showing, for the modern part of the story... For the threads unfinished... For the under-developed Madelaine... For the character whose only function is plot convenience... For the anti-climactic ending...
For all these small points... I cannot give it more than 4 stars either.
But I loved Sylvie and I loved the action-packed storyline that really had my heart in my throat and me on the edge of my seat. That's what books should do, and this is the best example I've found for a while. Maybe I was too critical, but it's such an exciting story that I hated anything that dragged me out of it for even a second! Anything at all that broke the suspension of disbelief. Because this is a book that really made me feel things.
I don't usually like books which go back and forward in time and characters but somehow it really worked in this case. Sylvie was an actress in France when she was caught up in the 2nd world war. She does what she has to protect herself and her friends. Years later her grand daughter Juliana is alone, her mother has died and she has no other relatives she knows of. When Juliana starts going through some of her mothers belongings she finds out things she never knew about her family and goes to France to find out more. Although the book wasn't quite what I expected I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a little romance and also books about what it was like to be caught up in the war.
This is great story, Maybe more of a romantic novel than I usually go for but nonetheless, I found this to be a gripping tale, well told, with a high degree of historical accuracy. I loved the way that the story switches between the war years and present day, the book might not have worked as well had it been written any other way. The descriptions of the principal characters are superb without being too detailed. I highly recommend this book.
Couldn't put the book down, brings alive the horrors of occupied France. Makes you appreciate being around in a comparatively peaceful time. So many ordinary people showed immense courage. It is hard to imagine how the Nazis could be so inhumane.