Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Escape from Paris by Carolyn Hart
The poster was all over Nazi-occupied Paris. "ALL PERSONS HARBORING ENGLISH SOLDIERS MUST DELIVER SAME TO THE NEAREST KOMMANDNATUR NOT LATER THAN 20 OCTOBER 1940. THOSE PERSONS WHO CONTINUE TO HARBOUR ENGLISHMEN AFTER THIS DATE WITHOUT HAVING NOTIFIED THE AUTHORITIES WILL BE SHOT." Nineteen-year-old Linda never meant to bring danger to her family. One day, though, the American filled in for her sister Eleanor and visited the hospitals under the Red Cross flag, taking small gifts for the soldiers. When a British soldier asked for help, saying he'd healed enough that he was going to be sent to The Citadel, and then to a prisoner of war camp in Germany, Linda impulsively agreed to help him escape. She never thought of the danger she was bringing to her sister and thirteen-year-old nephew. But, Eleanor and Robert were up to the task, determined to help the man escape.
Eleanor hatched a plan, rented an apartment, then found the right person to get Michael out of the city. Father Laurent helped, but he was part of a much bigger plan. RAF fliers had been shot down in Northern France, and Father Laurent needed help hiding them, in groups of four or five, until he could send them down the chain that would eventually get them to Spain, then Gibraltar. But, it w was dangerous, and the two sisters knew they could be arrested at any time, and shot.
Linda had only come to France to visit her older sister after their parents were killed in a plane crash. Then, when Eleanor's husband disappeared after Dunkirk, Linda didn't want to leave Eleanor and Robert alone. Now, she was caught up in events that terrified her, hiding British fliers, wondering who might spy on them and turn them in to the Nazis.
It's hard to forget the courage of those people who worked right under the noses of the Nazis to help soldiers escape. And, Hart shows us the conditions they lived under. Those of us in the U.S. forget about the lack of food, the curfews, the suspicion. Escape from Paris takes readers into the heart of Paris, in a story told from multiple viewpoints, that of RAF fliers, living in fear of capture; the view of Nazis, hoping to capture those soldiers; and the views of Eleanor and Linda, two American women determined to do their part, to do the right thing to save lives. Carolyn Hart's Escape from Paris is a spellbinding story of intrigue and romance in occupied Paris.
Carolyn Hart's website is http://www.carolynhart.com/
Escape from Paris by Carolyn Hart. Oconee Spirit Press. 2011. ISBN 9780983004035 (paperback), 249p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The author sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.