Title: Paris in Ruins
Author: M.K. Tod
Publisher: Heath Street Publishing
Publish Date: March 30, 2021 (Today!)
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "Paris 1870. Raised for a
life of parties and servants, Camille and Mariele have much in common,
but it takes the horrors of war to bring them together to fight for the
city and people they love.
A few weeks after the abdication of Napoleon III, the Prussian army lays siege to Paris. Camille Noisette, the daughter of a wealthy family, volunteers to nurse wounded soldiers and agrees to spy on a group of radicals plotting to overthrow the French government. Her future sister-in-law, Mariele de Crécy, is appalled by the gaps between rich and poor. She volunteers to look after destitute children whose families can barely afford to eat.
Somehow, Camille and Mariele must find the courage and strength to endure months of devastating siege, bloody civil war, and great personal risk. Through it all, an unexpected friendship grows between the two women, as they face the destruction of Paris and discover that in war women have as much to fight for as men.
War has a way of teaching lessons—if only Camille and Mariele can survive long enough to learn them."
My Two Cents:
In 1870, Paris is being torn apart in a fight between self-determination and the foreign Prussian Army seeking to bend the French to their will. The gorgeous city is now a place of chaos and destruction, beset by violence and chaos. With the advent of war, people from different walks of life are on much more equal footing: each pulled into a fight for survival. Mariele and Camille were both born to a life of luxury but the war rips all of that away. Both of them will be forced to fight for their survival and for those that they love. Will they be able to rise to the occasion?
Both of the heroines at the center of the book are fascinating! Both of them are willing to leave their extremely comfortable lives in order to find some way to contribute to their country. Camille finds herself tending to the wounded in a theater-turned-hospital, run by none other than famous actress Sarah Bernhardt. Camille is also called into service as a spy to watch the communards. Mariele works hard to save the children orphaned by the war. Camille and Mariele will be called on over and over again to show what they are made of and both will discover that they are made of tougher stuff than they realized. These are two heroines that you can stand up and cheer for!
Paris is one of those places where although I have never been, I want to read about every chance I get. The Franco-Prussian War is really not a time period that I have read much in and so it was amazing to see how quickly war descended upon the country and how quickly things turned upside down. The detail in this book was fantastic. The author does a great job of bringing Paris under siege to life. There are so many different groups at odds during this time period and the author infuses great historical detail so that you can understand all of the different motives that helped to throw the city into chaos. This is a wonderful tale of resilience, strength, and hope - perfect for my fellow historical fiction lovers!