Set in 1943, April in Paris is the dramatic story of an impossible love between a German soldier and a French Resistance fighter. Roth, a 21-year-old soldier, has spent most of his time in occupied Paris working in the army's back offices. But when his superiors learn of his ability to speak accent-free French, he is abruptly transferred to Gestapo headquarters to work as an interpreter during the interrogation of Resistance fighters. Rather than question his role in the Nazi regime, Roth translates with impeccable accuracy as the torture proceeds. But when his duty ends, Roth 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 to discover Chantal's.
April in Paris is one of those rare books in which the emotional force of the love story is matched by transfixing suspense. With its elegant and arresting style, it is a thrilling novel by a promising new writer, who has brought the reality of a war-torn past very much to the present.
"Wallner's harrowing debut, a love story of sorts, though there's little romance, rings with authenticity." (Publishers Weekly)
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A beautiful love story set in occupied paris...
This is a very moving story about two people who just wanted to be "normal", but tragically it turned out to be impossible in occupied Paris. Sadly, there was no room for love or compassion during those dark days. The harsh reality is well described by M. Wallner.
This is not a romance, this is an historical fiction.The story is very classy and there are no bodice ripper moments in it.
The story was told from Corporal Roth's point of view , his love for Chantal is very touching, he never loses hope that they will be reunited. Even when he was tortured by the Gestapo he never gave up hope and tried to draw strength from his memories of Chantal and the time they've spent together. This is a story about a person with an immense inner strength who loses everything in a second, but manages to stay human and not succumb to the devils that surround him.
This is my first listen, but i'd like to listen to his other works.
Roth and Chantal kissing in the street when a German vehicle passes by in order to disguise Roth's face from his commander who is in the car.
It is a quick read and recommended for Historical fiction lovers, especially those who are interested in historical fiction about WW2 .
- cat lover