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Janet Skeslien Charles

Autor(a) de The Paris Library

3+ Works 2,366 Membros 201 Críticas 3 Favorited

About the Author

Obras por Janet Skeslien Charles

The Paris Library (2020) 1,985 exemplares, 103 críticas
Moonlight in Odessa (2009) 273 exemplares, 86 críticas
Miss Morgan's Book Brigade (2024) 108 exemplares, 12 críticas

Associated Works

Montana Noir (2017) — Contribuidor — 49 exemplares, 15 críticas


Conhecimento Comum

Nome legal
Skeslien Charles, Janet
Data de nascimento
Locais de residência
Paris, France
Shelby, Montana, USA
University of Montana (English, French, and Russian)
Prémios e menções honrosas
Soros Fellowship to work and study in Odessa, Ukraine.
Laura Longrigg (MBA Literary Agents)

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Janet Skeslien Charles is currently working on her second novel. For more information please visit www.jskesliencharles.com.



Book on CD performed by Nicky Diss, Sarah Feathers,and Esther Wane.

This is a work of historical fiction based on the real story of the librarians and staff at the American Library in Paris during WW2. The author uses the de rigueur dual timeline to tell the story.

In 1939, Odile lands her ideal job as a librarian at the library in Paris. But the Nazi occupation soon makes things difficult. Fast forward to 1983 in small-town Froid, Montana, where a lonely teenager, Lily, befriends the widow next door, and Odile begins to teach her French.

Lily will uncover some of Odile’s long-held secrets, though not always understand their importance and true meaning. During the war, Odile will also be privy to secrets she doesn’t fully understand. In both cases there will be betrayals and the parties involved will have to come to terms with whether they can forgive.

I loved all the literary references and how Charles used the Dewey Decimal System throughout the book. She also did a fine job of exploring the various emotions and reactions to incredible stress. Some characters were virtually paralyzed by fear, others moved boldly, still others did their best to stay under the radar, hearts pounding while they tried to help the cause. The younger characters, especially Lily, were frequently impetuous and rash, not understanding until later how their actions / statements might impact others.

The author notes at the end tell us that, apart from Odile (our fictional heroine), all the people in the library were real; they all did what they could in the face of horrendous circumstances. Would that we all could be so brave and steadfast!

The audiobook is marvelously performed by a trio of talented voice artists. This certainly helped to keep straight both timeline and which point of view was being used in a given chapter.
… (mais)
BookConcierge | 102 outras críticas | Jun 30, 2024 |
Excellent!!! Based on real people and yet another glimpse into real people being heroes in ways that were easily missed and forgotten. The Author’s Note brought this story to the next level for me.

“My goal in writing the book was to share this little-known chapter of World War II history and to capture the voices of the courageous librarians who defied the Nazis in order to help subscribers and to share a love of literature. I wanted to explore the relationships that make us who we are, as well as how we help and hinder one another. Language is a gate that we can open and close on people. The words we use shape perception, as do the books we read, the stories we tell one another, and the stories we tell ourselves. The foreign staff and subscribers of the Library were considered “enemy aliens” and several were interned. Jewish subscribers were not allowed to enter the Library, and many were later killed in concentration camps. A friend said she believes that in reading stories set in World War II, people like to ask themselves what they would have done. I think a better question to ask is what we can do now to ensure that libraries and learning are accessible to all and that we treat people with dignity and compassion.”

Gut punch during these times we are currently living in. Beautiful words, beautiful sentiment, beautiful truth.

I ❤️ books.
… (mais)
snewell2 | 102 outras críticas | Jun 24, 2024 |
From 1918 a group of international women are helping devastated French communities rebuild as WWI rages on. Jessie Carson is one of these women and hers is a story worth reading. It falls to a librarian in 1987 who finds a “passing reference” to take on the research and piece together the story of the American Committee for Devastated France. Founded and funded by Anne Morgan, heiress to the Morgan banking fortune, with her companion Dr. Anne Murray Dike, they championed a contingent of wealthy debutantes. These women lived, worked, saved lives and created hope for the French villagers.

This is another story about the horrors of The Great War with a meaningful twist relating the power of kindness and the connection that was made with the offer of a book. Knowing a story, offering a novel, a chance to escape if only for a few hours, we all know how therapeutic it can be. Jessie Carson found a way to reach the helpless and almost hopeless and gave them a reason to continue and look to the future.

I enjoyed this very well written book which had a feeling “of the time”. My thanks to NetGalley and Atria Books for a copy.
… (mais)
kimkimkim | 11 outras críticas | Jun 21, 2024 |
I thought I had read enough World War I and/or II books, but I couldn’t resist this one based on the true story of Jessie “Kit” Carson, a young American librarian who travels to France to work for the American Committee for Devasted France in 1918. This group, called CARDs, is composed of women, mostly socialites, who helped rebuild devasted French communities just miles from the front lines. The group is headed by millionaire Anne Morgan, and with her support Kit is recruited to establish children’s libraries. So that’s where “Miss Morgan” of the title comes from. But this is really Kit’s story.

I found it a fascinating piece of little-known history of these women who received the Croix de Guerre medal for courage under fire. As the publisher notes, this novel “is a tribute to the resilience of the human spirit, the power of literature, and ultimately, the courage it takes to make a change.”

The novel alternates between two timelines, 1918 during the Great War, and 1987, when aspiring writer Wendy Peterson discovers a reference to Jessie Carson and becomes obsessed in researching the young librarian from the New York Public Library, who isn’t a socialite like the other volunteers. In researching Kit’s tale in hopes of writing about her, Wendy felt “like a detective, a literary detective with a real live clue.”

While reading Kit’s story, and following Wendy’s research as she uncovers that story 70 years later, the novel includes many noteworthy quotes about books, reading, why we read, and quotes about life and living taken directly from classics including some of Kit’s favorites: "My Antonia," "Emma," and "Madame Bovary."

There were so many phrases and thoughts I would have underlined if it hadn’t been a library book. A few of them were:

“A town needs a library in the same way that a home needs a hearth.”

“Sharing our love of stories, seeing children happy – this was what made our profession a joy.”

“Books, newspapers, and journals contained our past, the way we saw things, and the way we wished things would be. They carried our longings, our dreams for children, an hour of escape, and an education.”

“Why we read – to know that others feel the same, that we’re not alone.”

I enjoyed this fascinating tale of historical fiction depicting brave women and the power of libraries and librarians. It is a story of how books inspire, rescue, and provide hope. I highly recommend!
… (mais)
PhyllisReads | 11 outras críticas | May 29, 2024 |



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