The Postmistress of Paris: A Novel - book cover
  • Publisher : Harper
  • Published : 30 Nov 2021
  • Pages : 416
  • ISBN-10 : 0062946986
  • ISBN-13 : 9780062946980
  • Language : English

The Postmistress of Paris: A Novel


The New York Times bestselling author of The Last Train to London revisits the dark early days of the German occupation in France in this haunting novel-a love story and a tale of high-stakes danger and incomparable courage-about a young American heiress who helps artists hunted by the Nazis escape from war-torn Europe.

Wealthy, beautiful Naneé was born with a spirit of adventure. For her, learning to fly is freedom. When German tanks roll across the border and into Paris, this woman with an adorable dog and a generous heart joins the resistance. Known as the Postmistress because she delivers information to those in hiding, Naneé uses her charms and skill to house the hunted and deliver them to safety.

Photographer Edouard Moss has escaped Germany with his young daughter only to be interned in a French labor camp. His life collides with Nanée's in this sweeping tale of romance and danger set in a world aflame with personal and political passion.

Inspired by the real life Chicago heiress Mary Jayne Gold, who worked with American journalist Varian Fry to smuggle artists and intellectuals out of France, The Postmistress of Paris is the haunting story of an indomitable woman whose strength, bravery, and love is a beacon of hope in a time of terror.

Editorial Reviews

"A sweeping tale of perseverance and courage set against the backdrop of Nazi-era Europe, The Postmistress of Paris is the very best kind of historical fiction: a complex and intriguing story that both highlights a little-known moment in the past and resonates powerfully in the present, reminding us that bigotry can only be vanquished when people are willing to take a stand." -- Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train

"I loved The Postmistress of Paris, a novel of so many layers - a suspense story, a love story, and a story about the purpose of art. Meg Waite Clayton is a brilliant and deft writer, and I rooted for her strong, witty and brave heroine on her pulse-pounding mission to save Jewish painters, intellectuals, and a motherless child from Vichy France." -- Lisa Scottoline, New York Times bestselling author of Eternal

"Widely esteemed for her previous World War II novels, Meg Waite Clayton triumphantly returns with The Postmistress of Paris, a story of one woman's heroic quest to help the forgotten in Occupied France. Clayton's immaculately researched and beautifully written tale of passage and courage and heart is her best work yet." -- Pam Jenoff, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Woman With The Blue Star

"The work of an unsung heroine rises from the pages of The Postmistress of Paris. Meg Waite Clayton draws a vivid contrast between the beauty of art and the brutality of war, the power of humanity and the human cost of cruelty, greed, and prejudice. With a heart-stopping flight across war-torn Europe, this is a story readers of historical fiction and strong female characters will devour." -- Lisa Wingate, # 1 New York Times Bestselling Author of Before We Were Yours

"Clayton's lyrical, thought-provoking prose breathes life into her characters. This sterling portrait of a complex woman stands head and shoulders above most contemporary WWII fiction." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"This gripping historical love story from Clayton brings readers into the courageous lives of those struggling just to stay alive and those risking everything to help."  -- Booklist

"A true gem … and a testament to the power of good."  -- Library Journal (starred review)

Readers Top Reviews

kathleen g
A terrific read that surprised me with the depth of emotion and tension Clayton evoked. Know, though, that the title is more than a little deceptive as Nanee, the heroine, does not undertake her work in WWII Paris but rather in Marseille but no matter, it's a cracking good story based on real people and events. Nanee, a wealthy American, meets Edouard Moss, a German photographer at an event in Paris and is deeply touched by both him and one of his photos. Edouard and his little daughter Luki flee to the South of France where they live peacefully until he, along with others are rounded up by the French. He sends Luki off with his friend Berthe to keep her safe. Much of the novel is Nanee's search for Edouard and then for Luki. Nanee finds herself helping the effort to move Jews, artists, Communists, and others out of France and onward to Portugal for transit to the US. Often WWII novels, especially those involving a love story, are in your face- this is subtle and thoughtful. And Waite does a great job with the tension- she kept me on tenterhooks. There are tragic secrets and then small pieces of light such as Luki's beloved Pemmy and Dagobert. There are also cameos with real people (don't miss the afterword). Thanks to Edelweiss for the ARC. Highly recommend.
Susan Roberts
Many historical fiction books are based on real people - usually women who have been forgotten over time. Many of these woman were brave beyond words and helped to defeat the Germans in many different ways. This new book by Meg Waite Clayton is based on Mary Jayne Gold, an American heiress whose bravery inspired Naneé, the main character in this book. Naneé was an American heiress who loved Paris and had spent so much time there that she felt she was a Parisian. She's a social butterfly and very interested in the arts - painting, writing, etc. She meets Edouard at a party. He has escaped Germany and is trying to keep he and his daughter, Luki, safe in France even though the Vichy government is rounding up Jewish people and sending them to camps. She starts working with the Resistance to help artists and painters get out of the country. One part of the book that was filled with tension happened when Luki was sent to Paris with friends and her father was supposed to follow her the next day but the police took him to jail for a month. After he was released, he was unable to find his beloved daughter and he didn't know if she was safe. Naneé started working with the Resistance to send messages to people who were in hiding and to get the proper paperwork so they could get out Paris to safety in America. Her bravery helped many people escape but it put her in danger. Will she be able to get out of France when the Gestapo is looking for her? This is another fantastic book based on real people who put their lives at risk to help people escape from the danger in World War II. If you enjoy historical fiction from this time period or enjoy books about brave women who make a different in the lives of others or just want to read an exciting book- you don't want to miss this one. Once again this author gives her readers a well written and well researched story with characters that will be difficult to forget.

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