Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Review: The Race for Paris by Meg Waite Clayton

The New York Times bestselling author of The Wednesday Sisters returns with a moving and powerfully dynamic World War II novel about two American journalists and an Englishman, who together race the Allies to Occupied Paris for the scoop of their lives

Normandy, 1944. To cover the fighting in France, Jane, a reporter for the Nashville Banner, and Liv, an Associated Press photographer, have already had to endure enormous danger and frustrating obstacles—including strict military regulations limiting what women correspondents can. Even so, Liv wants more.

Encouraged by her husband, the editor of a New York newspaper, she’s determined to be the first photographer to reach Paris with the Allies, and capture its freedom from the Nazis.

However, her Commanding Officer has other ideas about the role of women in the press corps. To fulfill her ambitions, Liv must go AWOL. She persuades Jane to join her, and the two women find a guardian angel in Fletcher, a British military photographer who reluctantly agrees to escort them. As they race for Paris across the perilous French countryside, Liv, Jane, and Fletcher forge an indelible emotional bond that will transform them and reverberate long after the war is over.

Based on daring, real-life female reporters on the front lines of history like Margaret Bourke-White, Lee Miller, and Martha Gellhorn—and with cameos by other famous faces of the time—The Race for Paris is an absorbing, atmospheric saga full of drama, adventure, and passion. Combining riveting storytelling with expert literary craftsmanship and thorough research, Meg Waite Clayton crafts a compelling, resonant read.

Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Expected publication: August 11th 2015 by Harper 
Genre: Historical Fiction

Kristine's Thoughts:

** I received an advanced readers copy from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!**

I have to start out by saying that I am a huge fan of historical fiction and books surrounding both World Wars both fiction and non fiction. It would not be an exaggeration for me to say that I have read hundreds of them. Just when I thought I had read a story from every angle along came The Race for Paris. I have read many books about strong women and their roles during the war but never about a woman journalist and photographer racing to the action to do their job. I was hooked. I absolutely adored everything about this book from the writing to the characters in it. Although the story was fictional it wasn't hard to tell that a lot of time, thought and research went into making it as accurate as possible.

There is nothing I love more than reading a book about a strong female character and this one gives us not one but two. Both Jane and Liv were easy to like and easy to route for. Perhaps it is the strong female in myself that found myself relating to them in many ways. I am not the type of person that stands down if I am told I can't do something because I am a woman and that is exactly who Jane and Liv were. Of course, times were a lot different and they were in a war zone which made the obstacles for the two of them even more of a challenge. The easy friendship and bond between the two of them was beautiful to read.

I wasn't sure of the direction the story was going to take when Fletcher entered the picture and part of me worried unnecessarily. The love and friendship between the three of them as they struggled towards Paris and farther was beyond what I am capable of putting into words. I could say beautiful or poetic but it just wouldn't do it justice. All I can say is that it was a real pleasure to read.

After reading this book I really want to know more about the female journalists and photographers during the war and may have to do a little research to find out more. I know I have loved a book when it makes me want to know more.

I laughed, I cried and I couldn't put it down. It was a beautifully told story about an ugly time in our history that I won't soon forget. I would highly recommend this book to fans of historical fiction about war.


About the Author
Meg Waite Clayton is the New York Times bestselling author of four novels: The Four Mrs. Bradwells; The Wednesday Sisters; The Language of Light, a finalist for the Bellwether Prize; and The Wednesday Daughters. She’s written for the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Washington Post, San Jose Mercury News, Forbes, Writer’s Digest, Runner’s World, and public radio. A graduate of the University Michigan Law School, she lives in Palo Alto, California.

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