April in Paris

April in Paris

Book - 2008
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Random House, Inc.
Michael Wallner's thrilling first novel, set in occupied France during World War II, movingly recounts the impossible love affair between a German soldier and a French resistance fighter.Roth, a young soldier in the SS and a fluent French translator, works as an interpreter during the interrogation of Resistance fighters. But while off-duty, he slips away from his fellow officers, changes into civilian clothes, and wanders aimlessly through Paris disguised as his alter ego "Antoine." One day he is drawn into an antiquarian bookshop and becomes enchanted with the bookseller's beautiful daughter, Chantal. The two begin to meet and fall in love before Roth has the courage to reveal his true identity, or the time to discover that Chantal is part of the Resistance. Written in an elegant and arresting style, April in Paris is an engrossing novel from a promising new talent.

Baker & Taylor
Working in the army's back offices in occupied Paris, Roth, a young German soldier, is transferred to Gestapo headquarters to work as an interpreter during the interrogation of Resistance fighters because of his ability to speak fluent French, but when he falls in love with Chantal, the beautiful daughter of an antiquarian bookshop owner, he suddenly finds himself on the opposite side of his Nazi colleagues. Reprint. 25,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Anchor Books, 2008
New York : Nan A. Talese, Doubleday, [2007]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2007
ISBN: 9780307277688
9780385519144
0385519141
Branch Call Number: FICTION WALLN...M
Characteristics: 248 pages ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Cullen, John

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DeltaQueen50
Apr 28, 2012

April in Paris explores the moral dilemma of being a soldier in an occupied city, a soldier who has no military ambitions and generally seems indifferent to the political structure of his country. He is assigned to the Gestapo headquarters to work as a translator during the interrogation of prisoners. His escape takes the form of dropping his military uniform every now and then, dressing as a civilian and pretending to be a Frenchman. Sounds harmless enough, but German soldiers were under strict orders never to appear on the streets out of uniform.

During his wanderings, he meets and becomes infatuated with a young French girl. Eventually he realizes that she is in fact working for the Resistance. Although, on the surface a love story, I found this more of a perceptive, intimate look at a young man, torn from his carefree student life, put into a uniform and forced to do things to prove he is a loyal German soldier, things that were destroying his soul. The romantic aspect just didn’t connect with me, they spent very little time with each other, instead, probably due to his loneliness, he built this up in his head to be more than it was.

As we all know every German soldier during World War II was not a Nazi, and I found this an interesting subject to read about. This book is both thought provoking and suspenseful as it delves into one young man’s apathy and transformation as he realizes that during war, one can’t just drift along. Excellently translated from German, April In Paris details life in occupied Paris which makes a fascinating backdrop to this story of both an impossible love and of facing up to your inner convictions.

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