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The Paris Showroom

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In Nazi-occupied Paris, a talented artisan must fight for her life by designing for her enemies. From New York Times bestselling author Juliet Blackwell comes an extraordinary story about holding on to hope when all seems lost. Capucine Benoit works alongside her father to produce fans of rare feathers, beads, and intricate pleating for the haute couture fashion houses. But In Nazi-occupied Paris, a talented artisan must fight for her life by designing for her enemies. From New York Times bestselling author Juliet Blackwell comes an extraordinary story about holding on to hope when all seems lost. Capucine Benoit works alongside her father to produce fans of rare feathers, beads, and intricate pleating for the haute couture fashion houses. But after the Germans invade Paris in June 1940, Capucine and her father must focus on mere survival—until they are betrayed to the secret police and arrested for his political beliefs. When Capucine saves herself from deportation to Auschwitz by highlighting her connections to Parisian design houses, she is sent to a little-known prison camp located in the heart of Paris, within the Lévitan department store. There, hundreds of prisoners work to sort through, repair, and put on display the massive quantities of art, furniture, and household goods looted from Jewish homes and businesses. Forced to wait on German officials and their wives and mistresses, Capucine struggles to hold her tongue in order to survive, remembering happier days spent in the art salons, ateliers, and jazz clubs of Montmartre in the 1920s. Capucine’s estranged daughter, Mathilde, remains in the care of her conservative paternal grandparents, who are prospering under the Nazi occupation. But after her mother is arrested and then a childhood friend goes missing, the usually obedient Mathilde finds herself drawn into the shadowy world of Paris’s Résistance fighters. As her mind opens to new ways of looking at the world, Mathilde also begins to see her unconventional mother in a different light. When an old acquaintance arrives to go “shopping” at the Lévitan department store on the arm of a Nazi officer and secretly offers to help Capucine get in touch with Mathilde, this seeming act of kindness could have dangerous consequences.


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In Nazi-occupied Paris, a talented artisan must fight for her life by designing for her enemies. From New York Times bestselling author Juliet Blackwell comes an extraordinary story about holding on to hope when all seems lost. Capucine Benoit works alongside her father to produce fans of rare feathers, beads, and intricate pleating for the haute couture fashion houses. But In Nazi-occupied Paris, a talented artisan must fight for her life by designing for her enemies. From New York Times bestselling author Juliet Blackwell comes an extraordinary story about holding on to hope when all seems lost. Capucine Benoit works alongside her father to produce fans of rare feathers, beads, and intricate pleating for the haute couture fashion houses. But after the Germans invade Paris in June 1940, Capucine and her father must focus on mere survival—until they are betrayed to the secret police and arrested for his political beliefs. When Capucine saves herself from deportation to Auschwitz by highlighting her connections to Parisian design houses, she is sent to a little-known prison camp located in the heart of Paris, within the Lévitan department store. There, hundreds of prisoners work to sort through, repair, and put on display the massive quantities of art, furniture, and household goods looted from Jewish homes and businesses. Forced to wait on German officials and their wives and mistresses, Capucine struggles to hold her tongue in order to survive, remembering happier days spent in the art salons, ateliers, and jazz clubs of Montmartre in the 1920s. Capucine’s estranged daughter, Mathilde, remains in the care of her conservative paternal grandparents, who are prospering under the Nazi occupation. But after her mother is arrested and then a childhood friend goes missing, the usually obedient Mathilde finds herself drawn into the shadowy world of Paris’s Résistance fighters. As her mind opens to new ways of looking at the world, Mathilde also begins to see her unconventional mother in a different light. When an old acquaintance arrives to go “shopping” at the Lévitan department store on the arm of a Nazi officer and secretly offers to help Capucine get in touch with Mathilde, this seeming act of kindness could have dangerous consequences.

30 review for The Paris Showroom

  1. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

    We meet Mathilde and Capucine during the occupation of Paris....mother and daughter. Mathilde lives with her grandparents who are doing well under the Nazi regime. She has lived with them for years because her mother had left. Capucine and her father Bruno were taken away. Bruno went to a concentration camp, and Capucine was sent to a camp that was in a Parisian furniture store...Levitan. In this store the Jewish prisoners were made to sort and then sell the items the Germans had taken from the ho We meet Mathilde and Capucine during the occupation of Paris....mother and daughter. Mathilde lives with her grandparents who are doing well under the Nazi regime. She has lived with them for years because her mother had left. Capucine and her father Bruno were taken away. Bruno went to a concentration camp, and Capucine was sent to a camp that was in a Parisian furniture store...Levitan. In this store the Jewish prisoners were made to sort and then sell the items the Germans had taken from the homes of Jewish families who were evacuated from their homes. The German officers would "shop" in the store. Some of the workers found the things from their families and made their time in the furniture store even worse. The prisoners also confiscated personal papers they found for anyone who may survive and have something of their loved ones. That was one way they could defy the enemy. We follow Mathilde and Capucine both present and past through alternating chapters. Loved learning about the gorgeous fans Capucine's father made before the war and that spoke to others simply by where the fan was placed on one's face or heart. You will LOVE the characters as we also meet men and women in the French Resistance. You will be amazed at how the prisoners in this furniture store camp worked together to keep spirits up. I had never heard of this camp and what was going on inside. Such interesting facts and research but that obviously included the heartbreaking situations of WWII. THE PARIS SHOWDOWN will keep your interest even though it is a bit confusing at first with all the characters. Another book Juliet Blackwell fans won’t want to miss. 4/5 This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    MicheleReader

    Capucine Benoit lived her life as a free spirit in Paris. As a young widow, unable to provide the lifestyle she wanted for her daughter Mathilde, she agreed to have her raised by her late husband’s parents. Enjoying the jazz clubs and bohemian life at night, Capucine worked with her father during the day creating beautiful feather fans. In June 1940, her father is betrayed and arrested for his political views. Capucine, not willing to denounce her father, is also arrested and sent to a work camp Capucine Benoit lived her life as a free spirit in Paris. As a young widow, unable to provide the lifestyle she wanted for her daughter Mathilde, she agreed to have her raised by her late husband’s parents. Enjoying the jazz clubs and bohemian life at night, Capucine worked with her father during the day creating beautiful feather fans. In June 1940, her father is betrayed and arrested for his political views. Capucine, not willing to denounce her father, is also arrested and sent to a work camp within Paris’ Lévitan department store, which was converted into a collection site for all the items the Nazis looted from Jewish homes. The prisoners were assigned the task of sorting through all the furniture, artwork, jewelry and other valuables, organizing and repairing them. As Capucine’s daughter Mathilde grows up, she starts to question her grandparents’ beliefs including their support of the German occupation. She learns about the Résistance movement and vows to help her mother. Before reading The Paris Showroom, I was unaware that prisoners were held in Paris to prepare the plundered items so that the German officers could take whatever they wanted from the former four-story department store. Author Juliet Blackwell has done a fine job researching this period in history and telling this relatively unknown story. The mother-daughter story was emotional and effective. While WWII stories are always heartfelt and sad, I found this book to be written in a lighter style even though there is plenty of tragedy detailed. It therefore might also appeal to a younger audience. As I usually do with subject matter that is new to me, I spent time researching the real life Möbel Aktion or “Operation Furniture”. There are some fascinating articles and photos posted online that can serve as an excellent supplement to this book. Rated 3.75 stars. Review posted on MicheleReader.com.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Literary Redhead

    The Paris Showroom by Juliet Blackwell Berkley Publishing Group Pub Date: April 19. This was such a fascinating twist on WWII novels, told from the alternating POVs of Capucine and her daughter Mathilde. Capucine once made gorgeous haute couture fans with her father until both were arrested by the Nazis. She was sent to Lévitan, a Nazi camp in a Paris department store, where workers were forced to sort through, repair and sell items stolen from Jews to German customers. For all I've read on the wa The Paris Showroom by Juliet Blackwell Berkley Publishing Group Pub Date: April 19. This was such a fascinating twist on WWII novels, told from the alternating POVs of Capucine and her daughter Mathilde. Capucine once made gorgeous haute couture fans with her father until both were arrested by the Nazis. She was sent to Lévitan, a Nazi camp in a Paris department store, where workers were forced to sort through, repair and sell items stolen from Jews to German customers. For all I've read on the war, Lévitan was unknown to me. Mathilde, living with her grandparents who did well under the Nazi occupation, decides instead to join the Paris Résistance. I gained new insight into the War and its impact through their alternating chapters, written so compelling that I found myself completely absorbed. A must-read for historical fiction fans wishing for something new on WWII, especially set in Paris. Thanks to the author, Berkley Publishing Group, and NetGalley for the ARC. Opinions are mine. #TheParisShowroom #JulietBlackwell #berkleypublishinggroup #netgalley

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Schultz

    I have read many historical fiction books that take place during World War II; so much so that the premise really has to offer something different for me to have interest. This story about a Nazi work camp within a Parisian department store is compelling and moving; details about wartime Paris life and the department store are woven into a story about survival and second chances. The narratives switches between Capucine and her distant daughter, Mathilde; occasionally, multiple narrators makes f I have read many historical fiction books that take place during World War II; so much so that the premise really has to offer something different for me to have interest. This story about a Nazi work camp within a Parisian department store is compelling and moving; details about wartime Paris life and the department store are woven into a story about survival and second chances. The narratives switches between Capucine and her distant daughter, Mathilde; occasionally, multiple narrators makes for a confusing and uneven narrative. In this case, Juliet Blackwell balances both women's unique stories so that the reader is drawn to both storylines. Librarians/booksellers: Historical fiction fans will be drawn to this unique story, even if they have read many WWII stories. Many thanks to Berkley and NetGalley for a digital review copy in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nursebookie

    TITLE: THE PARIS SHOWROOM AUTHOR: Juliet Blackwell PUB DATE: 04.19.2022 Now Available Ahhhh to have another Juliet Blackwell book on my hands is the feeling of pure joy for this historical fiction loving nurse! The Paris Showroom tells the story of estranged mother and daughter, Capucine and Mathilda during the Nazi occupation of Paris. I loved the rich details in the story most especially the description of the ateliers, and the Paris Pre- occupation. Through alternating point of views and time fr TITLE: THE PARIS SHOWROOM AUTHOR: Juliet Blackwell PUB DATE: 04.19.2022 Now Available Ahhhh to have another Juliet Blackwell book on my hands is the feeling of pure joy for this historical fiction loving nurse! The Paris Showroom tells the story of estranged mother and daughter, Capucine and Mathilda during the Nazi occupation of Paris. I loved the rich details in the story most especially the description of the ateliers, and the Paris Pre- occupation. Through alternating point of views and time frames, we see this story through their eyes and experiences. I always learn something new when I read about these WWII historical fiction stories. This story was heartbreaking but also a very hopeful story.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Charlotte Lynn

    Anyone who has read my reviews knows that I love WWII books. Juliet Blackwell wrote a story that intrigued me. I was entirely enthralled by this unique look at Paris during WWII. There is so much to learn from a historical fiction book, in this book I learned so much about what had been happening to those detained by the Germans. I learned that those detained were not all sent to camps, in this book they were sent to a department store. Not all the guards were horrible people, and some did what Anyone who has read my reviews knows that I love WWII books. Juliet Blackwell wrote a story that intrigued me. I was entirely enthralled by this unique look at Paris during WWII. There is so much to learn from a historical fiction book, in this book I learned so much about what had been happening to those detained by the Germans. I learned that those detained were not all sent to camps, in this book they were sent to a department store. Not all the guards were horrible people, and some did what they could to help the prisoners. Capucine Benoit had an interesting life before the war. She was a fan maker, she lost her husband, had a daughter, had in-laws that did not appreciate the life she was living, and had a boyfriend that was from the US. I enjoyed seeing how all the before war life choices would play into her war life choices. Capucine’s strength was immense as she was held prisoner. She was a leader within her pod of inmates, she was willing to make choices that pushed her into dangerous territory but never beyond what she could handle, she stayed true to her friends both inmates and non-inmates, and her family was the most important to her. I love Capucine. She was a soft spoken, behind the scenes hero of WWII Paris. The Paris Showroom gave me a unique look at WWII as told by Capucine and her daughter, Mathilde. I was entirely absorbed into the store and excited to continue reading their story. Capucine is a hero prisoner. She was a leader within her pod of inmates, she was willing to make choices that pushed her into dangerous territory but never beyond what she could handle, she stayed true to her friends both inmates and non-inmates, and her family was the most important to her. Mathilde is someone who grew up with a privileged life with her strong opinionated grandparents. As she goes out in the world and sees what is happening, she realizes that her grandparents opinions are not always the same as hers. There is so much to learn in The Paris Showroom. Your heart will break at the horrors of WWII but it will soar at the strength of the characters.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lev

    I wanted to love this book because I've read hundreds of books over the years, fiction and nonfiction, about WWII, including about France during the Occupation. I couldn't. The dialogue often sounds too American and too contemporary, like characters saying "Whatever." and "True that." There's a concierge who sounds like a life coach and is just way too wise and all-knowing, and one heroine who in 1944 and at 21 doesn't understand how or why the war started or what the Occupation really means. He I wanted to love this book because I've read hundreds of books over the years, fiction and nonfiction, about WWII, including about France during the Occupation. I couldn't. The dialogue often sounds too American and too contemporary, like characters saying "Whatever." and "True that." There's a concierge who sounds like a life coach and is just way too wise and all-knowing, and one heroine who in 1944 and at 21 doesn't understand how or why the war started or what the Occupation really means. Her questions can be unbelievably naive. The author also gets some things wrong like explanations of some aspects of Judaism and, glaringly, the French name for The Phony War. Though she peppers the book with bits of French for atmosphere, she for some reason uses the English "huh?" rather than the French "hein?" which you'd get from context. And rather than use "bibelot" she uses the very popular American word from Yiddish "tchotchke"-- doesn't quite get its meaning right either. Another error that's hard to comprehend from a seasoned author: She says the Jews wore "golden stars." No, no, no: it was a Yellow Star. I suspect professional historians would find even more problems than I did.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Books

    A wonderfully written story of a mother and daughter both in the same city in France during WWII and the Nazi occupation, but not together. Each chapter is told one by the mother, who is a prisoner of the Nazi’s and one told by the daughter who has been living with her paternal grandparents. The story is told in such a way that you continue turning the pages hoping for the best outcome but wondering if it will ever come. Mother and daughter are estranged, but can what’s happening in France, someh A wonderfully written story of a mother and daughter both in the same city in France during WWII and the Nazi occupation, but not together. Each chapter is told one by the mother, who is a prisoner of the Nazi’s and one told by the daughter who has been living with her paternal grandparents. The story is told in such a way that you continue turning the pages hoping for the best outcome but wondering if it will ever come. Mother and daughter are estranged, but can what’s happening in France, somehow bring the back together again? Juliet Blackwell has given us a story that holds your attention and keeps you holding on for the end. Thank you to #netgalley and #berkleypublishinggroup for allowing me to read the eARC of this book. All opinions expressed above are my own.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jonny Moskowitz

    Ended up really enjoying this book. I was a little worried at first that it was falling into the trap that a lot of WWII novels fall into wherein the author is hyper focused on how bad the nazis are instead of writing an actually story, but that was not the case here. I also always appreciate stories where people have to find different ways to resist and be heroic

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lea

    1/5 stars. I received this book in a Goodreads giveaway. I really really wanted to like this. For a WW2 story, it read really slow. This book is not The Nightingale, All the Light We Cannot See, The Alice Network, etc. The writing is not moving, descriptive, or engaging, and overall it fell flat. There were moments that were obviously supposed to be intense or shocking but they were all either extremely unbelievable or didn't leave the impact that they were supposed to. I really struggled with t 1/5 stars. I received this book in a Goodreads giveaway. I really really wanted to like this. For a WW2 story, it read really slow. This book is not The Nightingale, All the Light We Cannot See, The Alice Network, etc. The writing is not moving, descriptive, or engaging, and overall it fell flat. There were moments that were obviously supposed to be intense or shocking but they were all either extremely unbelievable or didn't leave the impact that they were supposed to. I really struggled with the naivete of the characters. Capu was too painfully unaware in the beginning. Being raised by and still having a close relationship with her very communist father, I cannot understand how she knew so little of what was happening. Also, how the Nazi's responded so casually to the way Capucine spoke to them was completely unrealistic and Capucine's banter and snappy comments with them were pointless, and about nothing of substance. Capucine was repeatedly described in the book as so brave and interesting but that was not shown and pretty disappointing. This may be as a way to show how much this war beat her spirit down but it wasn't done well. My issue with Mathilde is how little she seemed to care about her mother in the beginning and how long it took for her to show more of a concern even with the glaringly obvious signs (and multiple people telling her directly) that everything was much worse than she knew. The inaccuracies about Judaism made me really annoyed, I can't understand why those parts would have been included without solid research. I'm going to stop here before I get too harsh but this wasn't it.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    Thanks to Berkley for this copy of The Paris Showroom by Juliet Blackwell! I'm pretty picky about my World War II Historical Fiction. I read a lot of it since Historical Fiction is my favorite genre and it feels like every other Historical Fiction is WWII related. Unfortunately this one was a bit of a flop for me. I learned more about the 3 Parisian work camps especially the one within the Lévitan department store. This to me was the most interesting part of the book and I read a little bit more Thanks to Berkley for this copy of The Paris Showroom by Juliet Blackwell! I'm pretty picky about my World War II Historical Fiction. I read a lot of it since Historical Fiction is my favorite genre and it feels like every other Historical Fiction is WWII related. Unfortunately this one was a bit of a flop for me. I learned more about the 3 Parisian work camps especially the one within the Lévitan department store. This to me was the most interesting part of the book and I read a little bit more about this. Both main characters seemed too naive about everything happening and overall this book was just flat. I was never super invested in the characters either.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    This is not a mystery, but an historical novel by the talented Juliet Blackwell, who has two cozy series to her credit as well as several novels. This novel is set in a now very familiar time period: WWII. Blackwell’s story takes place in occupied France, and she has a slightly different and original twist to her story. The main characters are Capucine, a fan maker, and her estranged daughter, Mathilde. The two live lives that haven’t intersected much, but this is not only the story of Mathilde’ This is not a mystery, but an historical novel by the talented Juliet Blackwell, who has two cozy series to her credit as well as several novels. This novel is set in a now very familiar time period: WWII. Blackwell’s story takes place in occupied France, and she has a slightly different and original twist to her story. The main characters are Capucine, a fan maker, and her estranged daughter, Mathilde. The two live lives that haven’t intersected much, but this is not only the story of Mathilde’s growth from a callow, privileged young woman into something much more, but the story of Capucine, a true flapper in every way, who is now being held prisoner by the Nazis on the top floor of a Paris department store. Mathilde, who has been raised by her conservative grandparents, is starting to chafe a bit under their house rules, which include marriage to a man she finds exceedingly dull. Early on she discovers that her mother and her grandfather have both been arrested, and she starts to take an interest in her mother’s life and to try and understand what drove them apart. Her grandfather, arrested as a Communist, is unfortunately deported to somewhere called Auschwitz. Because Capucine was mostly guilty by association, she’s kept captive in France. I had never heard of the camps the Nazis set up in Paris itself. The men and women in the store have the heartbreaking work of sorting through the crates and crates of belongings delivered by German soldiers, belongings confiscated from Parisian Jews. The Nazis seize everything, down to the lightbulbs. All the items are carried into the store by the men, and the women sort them to be sent on to Germany. Some of the higher end items, furniture and art, are kept in the store for higher up Nazi officers to use in their Paris apartments. One of them lives with a woman Capucine had known (and not liked too much), and she ends up being their decorator, by virtue of her work in her father’s high end fan shop and her connection with design and fashion. This gets Capucine out of the store and into the homes of Nazi wives around Paris where she selects items for them to use. It’s a very strange and uncomfortable half-life, but she also realizes she is lucky because unlike most of the people she lives and works with, she is allowed to see daylight and Paris itself, which all of them miss. Meanwhile, Mathilde is discovering her two best childhood friends have taken very different paths – one is dating a Nazi officer, and one is apparently a part of the resistance. While Mathilde is sorting through her feelings, she’s also sorting through the wreck of her grandfather’s fan store and, discovering love letters written to her mother, discovering more about her mother as well. The language of fans and the feathers used to make them are a fascinating part of the book. Mathilde is slowly becoming, as we would say today, woke. I liked the characters in the book, I loved the joyous and chaotic liberation of Paris scenes, and I was interested to learn more about the occupation of Paris. But I have a bit of a caveat – the book is slightly wander-y and lacks any real drive. There are many interesting bits and details but ultimately the story was a little flat, though I was happy enough at the end as the characters find some resolution in their lives.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lorin (paperbackbish)

    In 1944, Capucine is arrested by the Nazis as a communist, then put to work sorting stolen goods in a requisitioned department store. Her estranged daughter, Mathilde, searches for her, and both become embroiled with the Résistance as the occupation of Paris comes to a dangerous conclusion. There are so many WWII historical fiction novels available, so I thought I had read about all of the specifics of what went on in Paris during that time. This novel, however, brought to light another kind of “ In 1944, Capucine is arrested by the Nazis as a communist, then put to work sorting stolen goods in a requisitioned department store. Her estranged daughter, Mathilde, searches for her, and both become embroiled with the Résistance as the occupation of Paris comes to a dangerous conclusion. There are so many WWII historical fiction novels available, so I thought I had read about all of the specifics of what went on in Paris during that time. This novel, however, brought to light another kind of “camp” utilized by the Germans throughout the war. Specific types of prisoners (including wives of POWs, antisocials, Jewish spouses of Aryans) were housed in large buildings, where their task was to sort through and clean looted items brought in by the truckload. These items were then displayed in a mockery of a retail store, made available to German officers and their wives or mistresses. This story is told from Capucine’s first-person POV and Mathilda’s second-person POV. Both women experience so much growth in the short time spanned by this narrative, something Juliet Blackwell excels at, in my opinion! All the characters are relatable in some way, and I especially loved Ezra and Antoinette. Even the “bad” characters are just flawed people that you hope will grow and learn from their mistakes. I very much enjoyed the inclusion of the beautiful fans and the bits of information about their language, something I had no idea existed! This story is beautiful, heartbreaking, and uplifting all at once. I thought I knew what I was getting with a WWII Paris novel, but I learned many new things and found it an extremely enjoyable bit of literature. The Paris Showroom has a publishing date of April 19, and I highly recommend it! Many thanks to Berkley, Juliet Blackwell, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this ARC.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Larissa

    Two stories of a mother and a daughter. Both beautiful and both journeys to grow and find where they fit within the new world. Capucine Benoit has worked alongside her father for years creating beautiful fans. Yet when his beliefs cause him to be taken under the Nazi agenda, Capucine is taken as well. Some quick thinking allows her to stay in Paris and work within a department store as a poisoner of war. Mathilde has next to zero ties to her mother. All she knows is that her mother was a wild ar Two stories of a mother and a daughter. Both beautiful and both journeys to grow and find where they fit within the new world. Capucine Benoit has worked alongside her father for years creating beautiful fans. Yet when his beliefs cause him to be taken under the Nazi agenda, Capucine is taken as well. Some quick thinking allows her to stay in Paris and work within a department store as a poisoner of war. Mathilde has next to zero ties to her mother. All she knows is that her mother was a wild artist and that at a young age she left her with her grandparents to be raised. Luckily for her her grandparents have maintained their status during the German occupation so unlike others in Paris she wants for very little. Together mother and daughter work towards finding out who they are and what do they truly believe in a world where everything is at stake and a tomorrow is not always promised. Can they both keep themselves safe and reunite? And what type of paths might they take in order to survive? This is just a lovely book. I really enjoyed being able to go back and forth between both mother and daughter. I also loved that this was a new look at the German occupation. I have not come across many books that deal with people who were not placed in concentration camps and instead were forced to help the German agenda. I have already started talking up this book with patrons who love historical fiction. Thank you so very much to Berkley Publishing Group and Netgalley for allowing me to read an advance copy of this title.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Anna Cabrera

    Beautiful historical novel based in World War II work camp in Paris. Blackwell provides a compelling story about detainees working in Paris in occupied France. It is a unique perspective on the way wars impact people who are not on the front lines. I couldn't help but think of Ukraine. The story weaves the contemporary perspectives of a detained mother and her estranged daughter. We see through their eyes how the war has drawn hard lines between friends and families - those who oppose occupation Beautiful historical novel based in World War II work camp in Paris. Blackwell provides a compelling story about detainees working in Paris in occupied France. It is a unique perspective on the way wars impact people who are not on the front lines. I couldn't help but think of Ukraine. The story weaves the contemporary perspectives of a detained mother and her estranged daughter. We see through their eyes how the war has drawn hard lines between friends and families - those who oppose occupation and those who profit from it. We watch Mathilde mature from a very sheltered girl of 21 to a young woman who learns to depend on her own instincts and cultivate her own views. I love to learn about pieces of history through a moving and captivating story. If you are looking for a non-fiction work, this will not be for you. But if you want to learn about a piece of WWII that is not often discussed, you will love this book. If you don't really care about history, but love a great story, you will enjoy meeting Capucine and Mathilde.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Diane Rapport

    This is Juliet Blackwell’s best stand-alone novel to date. Mainly set in Nazi occupied Paris during WWII, it follows the lives of Capucine Benoit and her estranged daughter Mathilde. Capucine is a prisoner working in a Nazi camp within Paris. Her daughter was raised by her wealthy grandparents, who have chosen to turn a blind eye to events taking place around them. We watch the past and present unfold through their eyes and see the ways it changes each of them. I’ve read many thrillers, and hist This is Juliet Blackwell’s best stand-alone novel to date. Mainly set in Nazi occupied Paris during WWII, it follows the lives of Capucine Benoit and her estranged daughter Mathilde. Capucine is a prisoner working in a Nazi camp within Paris. Her daughter was raised by her wealthy grandparents, who have chosen to turn a blind eye to events taking place around them. We watch the past and present unfold through their eyes and see the ways it changes each of them. I’ve read many thrillers, and histories concerning WWII. This is the first that helped me see what it must have been like to live during those times. Ms Blackwell has created a tale where bravery is found in everyday people trying - and sometimes failing - to do the right thing. In this world villainy is sometimes stumbled into while trying to take the easy path, courage means staying true to your beliefs no matter the cost, and where looking the other way can bring about consequences far greater than one can envision. I highly recommend this book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Gray

    A WWII story of a mother and daughter finding one another. Capucine has been arrested and imprisoned, along with her father Bruno, because he is a Communist. She finds herself working in the Levitan Department store cleaning and sorting the belongings of Jewish families that have been looted by the Nazis. She had sent her beloved daughter Mathilde to live with her husband's wealthy family years before because the girl suffers from asthma and the feathers in the family fan shop (I know) exacerbat A WWII story of a mother and daughter finding one another. Capucine has been arrested and imprisoned, along with her father Bruno, because he is a Communist. She finds herself working in the Levitan Department store cleaning and sorting the belongings of Jewish families that have been looted by the Nazis. She had sent her beloved daughter Mathilde to live with her husband's wealthy family years before because the girl suffers from asthma and the feathers in the family fan shop (I know) exacerbated the condition. Mathilde has lived a privileged life, with the privations of war hardly touching her but the delivery of a fan for her 18th birthday opens up her eyes. This isn't as tough a WWII novel as many but it does touch on a lesser covered aspect of how the Nazis behaved in Paris. I liked Capucine (who might be described as spunky) and was pleased to see growth in Mathilde. Thanks to edelweiss for the ARC. For fans of historical fiction.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mary Marshall

    Capucine Benoit works with her father to produce fans of exotic feathers, rare beads, and intricate pleating for haute couture dashing houses. After the Germans invade Paris in June 1940, Capucine and her father must focus on mere survival, and they are betrayed to the secret police and arrested for their political beliefs. Capucine saves herself from deportation to Auschwitz buy highlighting her connections to Parisian design houses. She is sent to a little known prison camp within the Levitan Capucine Benoit works with her father to produce fans of exotic feathers, rare beads, and intricate pleating for haute couture dashing houses. After the Germans invade Paris in June 1940, Capucine and her father must focus on mere survival, and they are betrayed to the secret police and arrested for their political beliefs. Capucine saves herself from deportation to Auschwitz buy highlighting her connections to Parisian design houses. She is sent to a little known prison camp within the Levitan department store in Paris. Hundreds of prisoners work there to sort through, repair and display the massive quantities of art, furniture, and household goods looted from Jewish homes and businesses. Forced to wait on German officials and their wives and mistresses, Capucine struggles to hold her tongue in order to survive @ remembers happier days spent in the art salons and jazz clubs in the 1920's,

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lizanne Johnson

    In 1944 Paris, Capucine is a POW in the work camp situated in the attic of the Levitan Department Store. She is a single mother who had been living and working at her father’s haute couture fan shop. She had given her daughter Mathilde into the care of her well-to-do paternal grandparents believing they would give her a better life. They disdain Capucine. Told in two points of view, the reader learns of Capucine’s past and Mathilde’s present. Mathilde has been sheltered by her grandparents who a In 1944 Paris, Capucine is a POW in the work camp situated in the attic of the Levitan Department Store. She is a single mother who had been living and working at her father’s haute couture fan shop. She had given her daughter Mathilde into the care of her well-to-do paternal grandparents believing they would give her a better life. They disdain Capucine. Told in two points of view, the reader learns of Capucine’s past and Mathilde’s present. Mathilde has been sheltered by her grandparents who ally themselves with Germany. She has two very different girlfriends- one with a German officer as a beau, the other whose family is struggling under the German occupation. As Capucine survives in the Levitan, Mathilde is coming of age, asking questions, and making choices that will affect her future. This is a welcome addition to the WWII historical fiction canon as it relates a little known story of the work camps located in the heart of Paris. I will definitely be recommending this title. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the chance to read this arc in exchange for an honest review.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sherry Arp

    WWII historical fictions are one of my favorite genres, so it is always a nice surprise to get a different storyline, away from the typical survivor stories or those that take place in Germany. This story takes place in Paris and is a back and forth telling of two different yet connected experiences between an estranged mother and daughter. One who is in a work camp and one who is living a life of "luxury". Throughout the story both characters learn who they are and who they want to be at the en WWII historical fictions are one of my favorite genres, so it is always a nice surprise to get a different storyline, away from the typical survivor stories or those that take place in Germany. This story takes place in Paris and is a back and forth telling of two different yet connected experiences between an estranged mother and daughter. One who is in a work camp and one who is living a life of "luxury". Throughout the story both characters learn who they are and who they want to be at the end of the war. I really enjoyed this different look on survival during WWII and how other countries in Europe were affected.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Haugsjaa

    well that made me bawl Juliet Blackwell is able to write such emotion into my head. Does that make sense? I can feel the feelings of the characters, I can put myself into the scene. Paired with personal knowledge and similarities and I couldn’t stop crying towards the end. I was happy, sad, distraught for humanity, then at end, left with hope. Those who ignore the past are doomed to repeat it. We cannot stand by as others are persecuted. The fact that a novel based on event from WWII can trigger well that made me bawl Juliet Blackwell is able to write such emotion into my head. Does that make sense? I can feel the feelings of the characters, I can put myself into the scene. Paired with personal knowledge and similarities and I couldn’t stop crying towards the end. I was happy, sad, distraught for humanity, then at end, left with hope. Those who ignore the past are doomed to repeat it. We cannot stand by as others are persecuted. The fact that a novel based on event from WWII can trigger current memories is a reminder that humanity has a lot of work to do to protect instead of hurt each other.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    I was able to receive an ARC for Juliet Blackwell's novel "The Paris Showroom" which is set for release on April 19th. It talks of a mother and daughter torn apart by circumstances. Set against the backdrop of Nazi-occupied France, they are able to find their way back as they learn to let go of the past and embrace a future after the war. It would make a good Mother's Day book gift! #MothersDay #books #bookreviews #historicalfiction #adultfiction Please click on the link for the full review. https I was able to receive an ARC for Juliet Blackwell's novel "The Paris Showroom" which is set for release on April 19th. It talks of a mother and daughter torn apart by circumstances. Set against the backdrop of Nazi-occupied France, they are able to find their way back as they learn to let go of the past and embrace a future after the war. It would make a good Mother's Day book gift! #MothersDay #books #bookreviews #historicalfiction #adultfiction Please click on the link for the full review. https://themamatravels.wordpress.com/...

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tam Wallace

    Well researched and written. An interesting read on one of the little known Nazi work camps during WWII. Imprisoned people who were forced to sift through the stolen artwork, furnishings, and other belongings from Jewish, Communist, and other enemies of the Reich who were sent to the death camps. The stolen look would then be "selected" to party members and friends. If you like reading about the monuments men and the search for the stolen treasures of those killed in the camps, you will like thi Well researched and written. An interesting read on one of the little known Nazi work camps during WWII. Imprisoned people who were forced to sift through the stolen artwork, furnishings, and other belongings from Jewish, Communist, and other enemies of the Reich who were sent to the death camps. The stolen look would then be "selected" to party members and friends. If you like reading about the monuments men and the search for the stolen treasures of those killed in the camps, you will like this book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    I’m a big historical fiction fan and a fan of this author but I found this book to be just kind of meh. For the most part, o really enjoyed the storyline of the daughter more so than that of the mother. I would have enjoyed a solo story involving the daughter and have had it go more in depth with her activities during the war. All in all not a horrible book but not my favorite one about this time period.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lovely Loveday

    Two stories of a mother and a daughter. Both are beautiful, and both journeys to grow and find where they fit within the new world. I have read many historical fiction books that take place during World War II, so much so that the premise really has to offer something different for me to have an interest. The Paris Showroom pulled me in from the beginning and held my attention until the end. 

  26. 4 out of 5

    JeanneK

    The Paris Showroom by Juliet Blackwell is an historical fiction novel about Capucine, her father and her estranged daughter, Mathilde in German occupied Paris. It is well written and the author did a good job in creating and crafting the characters who fit perfectly with the storyline. I rated it a four.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    Audiobook. Very well done! This is a story of a mother and estranged daughter during the last part of WWll in Paris. The mother is imprisoned in the top floor of a department store for her father’s Communist beliefs. The adult daughter is living with her conservation paternal grandparents. This story is about the daughter’s search for her mother during the frightful days of war.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Susan Willis

    Told in alternating chapters, this is the story of Capucine, a prisoner of war in Paris during World WR II and her daughter Mathilde who has been raised by her grandparents, collaborators with the Nazi. Not always easy to read but always a fascinating story of survival and growth.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Toni

    Blackwell’s is a different take on Paris during WWII and well worth the read. I was fascinated by the cultural touchstones as well as the look at the social mores of the day. A must read for Paris and WWII fans. 4.5 Stars

  30. 5 out of 5

    Virginia

    Really enjoyed this story, I learned a lot. Prisoners were not just in death camps! The determination of the daughter of the main character is what keeps things so interesting . I think history is much better than fiction.

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