The Paris Daughter - Kristin Harmel

The Paris Daughter

By Kristin Harmel

  • Release Date: 2023-06-06
  • Genre: Historical
Score: 4.5
From 321 Ratings


Instant New York Times bestseller!

From the bestselling author of the “heart-stopping tale of survival and heroism” (People) The Book of Lost Names comes a gripping historical novel about two mothers who must make unthinkable choices in the face of the Nazi occupation.

Paris, 1939: Young mothers Elise and Juliette become fast friends the day they meet in the beautiful Bois de Boulogne. Though there is a shadow of war creeping across Europe, neither woman suspects that their lives are about to irrevocably change.

When Elise becomes a target of the German occupation, she entrusts Juliette with the most precious thing in her life—her young daughter, playmate to Juliette’s own little girl. But nowhere is safe in war, not even a quiet little bookshop like Juliette’s Librairie des Rêves, and, when a bomb falls on their neighborhood, Juliette’s world is destroyed along with it.

More than a year later, with the war finally ending, Elise returns to reunite with her daughter, only to find her friend’s bookstore reduced to rubble—and Juliette nowhere to be found. What happened to her daughter in those last, terrible moments? Juliette has seemingly vanished without a trace, taking all the answers with her. Elise’s desperate search leads her to New York—and to Juliette—one final, fateful time.

An “exquisite and gut-wrenching novel” (Lisa Barr, New York Times bestselling author) you won’t soon forget, The Paris Daughter is also a sweeping celebration of resilience, motherhood, and love.


  • Really hit home!

    By Bannieoak
    I was born November 3rd 1945 so reading the history of France during World War 2 was so touching and As a youngster I lived in Park Slope, Sterling Place and 6th Ave when that plane crashed. It just missed our school and Church, St. Augustine’s and we lived right across the street. I remember my mother running out to see if she could help!
  • The Paris Daughter

    Liked the book very much. We’ll written. Even though the course of the book was inevitable, it was an interesting journey to get there. It is so true, if we don’t know our history, it’s bound to be repeated, which is why I love historical fiction. Thank you to the author for enlightening us.

    By LGHudson
    Kristin Harmel has written one of the most moving novels about the depth of a mother’s love. It is set in Paris during WWII and explores in detail what sacrifices mothers are willing to make to try and ensure their child’s or children’s freedom. It is heartbreaking and gut-wrenching to read this meticulously researched novel knowing how many times real-life incidences such as those described in these pages took place. While Harmel’s characters are fictional, they, too, are based on a lot of factual happenings. As you read this novel, you will notice these vital points: the forces of good vs. evil, contempt, people helping one another for the greater good, mothers sacrificing everything so their children might live, depravity, cruelty, insanity, and, in the end seeing that love does conquer all and a mother’s love is so deep and something that no one can ever forget.
  • Highly Recommend

    By akbaird
    From the writing to the characters to the story, this book will captivate you from the start! Elise LeClair felt so invisible to her very successful artist husband, Oliver. Elise was an artist in woodworking, while her husband was a painter. She was 4 months pregnant with their first child. But the outside world didn’t know Oliver’s dark side, which didn’t make their marriage easy. Juliette is an American who is married to a Frenchman and helps run her husband’s family’s bookstore. She had a devastating past of losing a child. Juliette Foulan first met Elise when Elise fell down while on her walk due to false contractions. Juliette came to her rescue. They became fast friends as they had a lot in common, including both being due in January. When war rages in Paris, Elise is forced to leave her daughter behind with Juliette and to leave Paris because of her husband’s involvement. Elise ends up in Aurignon at a farmhouse where they take care of children who were sent away in order to protect them. Will her job of taking care of the children make the time go by or will it cause Elise to miss her daughter more? Will she be able to reunite with her daughter after the war? What will life bring for Elise and Juliette? Kristin Harmel writes a well researched book that doesn’t sugar coat the horrors, heartbreaks and realities of what life was like before, during, and after World War II. This story gave insights into how hard life really was during the war, the difficult decisions that were made, and the risks that were taken. A heart wrenching story of the hardships of motherhood, marriage, and family life during this time period. It’s a story that will leave a lasting impression! If you love Historical Fiction, then definitely add this book to your TBR list!