A story of a young girl trying to survive during occupied France and what led up to her being a war bride of someone else’s fiancée.
The French War Bride is told by two narrators – Amélie and Kat. Amélie is the French War Bride of American Serviceman Dr. Jack O’Connor. Kat was engaged to Jack when he went off to war. Over seventy years later, a dying Kat comes to Amélie to make peace with the past. In order to let go of the grudge she has held against Amélie all these years, Kat wants to know how Jack and Amélie met and why they married. Amélie agrees to tell her story, but in her own way which is frustrating for the impatient Kat. Kat doesn’t care about Amélie’s sufferings and doesn’t want to listen to Amelie’s life story – just wants to hear about Amélie’s time with Jack. Amélie states, “some actions only make sense if you know the reasons why” and feels that in order for Kat to fully understand why and how she and Jack married, she needs to listen to her perspective of her life during the war.
This book is good in so many levels: the writing, the characters, the history! Robin Wells described historical events in a way that made you feel you were there. It is evident that a tremendous amount of research went into it writing this gem of a book. The story goes back and forth from the present day, just prior to the German invasion of Paris; Amelie’s struggles during occupied France, liberated France (which was just as bad for Amelie); to her new life in small town Wedding Tree, Louisiana. In the process, we are reminded of the costs of war and how it can have devastating effects on all involved. With the power of Robin Wells storytelling, this story did exactly what I needed – it transported me to a different place and time, letting me see the world through their eyes and hearts. One of my very favorite books of the year.
World War II Paris serves as the backdrop of a story of compassion, betrayal, and forgiveness from the national bestselling author of The Wedding Tree . . .
“I never knew what he saw in you.”
At her assisted living center in Wedding Tree, Louisiana, ninety-three-year-old Amélie O’Connor is in the habit of leaving her door open for friends. One day she receives an unexpected visitor—Kat Thompson, the ex-fiancée of her late husband, Jack.
Kat and Jack were high school sweethearts who planned to marry when Jack returned from France after World War II. But in a cruel twist of fate, their plans were irrevocably derailed when a desperate French girl overheard an American officer’s confession in a Parisian church. . .
Now Kat wants to know the truth behind a story that’s haunted her whole life. Finding out how Amélie stole Jack’s heart will—she thinks—finally bring her peace. As Amélie recalls the dark days of the Nazi occupation of Paris, The French War Bride reveals how history shapes the courses of our lives. . .for better or for worse.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Before she became a full-time writer, Robin Wells was an advertising and public relations executive, but she always dreamed of writing novels—a dream inspired by a grandmother who told “hot tales” and parents who were both librarians. She is also the author of The Wedding Tree. Her books have won the RWA Golden Heart, two National Readers’ Choice Awards, the HOLT Medallion, and numerous other awards. She now lives in Texas with her husband, but will always be a Louisiana girl at heart.