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June 14, 2021

The Librarian of Saint-Malo by Mario Escobar ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

"My hope is that someday when humanity regains its sanity, people will know that the only way to be saved from barbarianism is by love:  loving books, loving people and, though you may call me crazy, loving our enemies.  There's no doubt that love is the most revolutionary choice and, therefore, the most persecuted  and reviled." (p xii)

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

The Librarian of Saint-Malo
June 2021; Thomas Nelson; 978-0785239918
audio, ebook, print (384 pages); historical fiction
The Librarian of Saint-Malo
is a beautifully written novel about one woman's goal of protecting the books in her library from the Germans who wanted to destroy the books by authors they don't approve of or confiscate the rare older books to send back to Germany.

 Jocelyn and Antoine get married in August 1939  Right after their marriage, Antoine is drafted to fight against Germany and ends up in a prisoner of war camp.  Jocelyn is the town librarian and after the Germans move into town, she realizes that she must work to save the books from their hands.  She puts her life in danger by joining the resistance and by her attitude towards the oppressors.  During this time, she decides to put her thoughts into words and writes letters to send to the famous author Marcel Zola.  In these letters she tells him about her quest to save the library and how important books are to her life.  As the plans for her future become more unreachable, she puts herself in danger to save what she feels is most important.

Jocelyn is a wonderful character.  She is full of love for her husband, her town, her library, her books and many of the people that she comes in contact with.  She was a strong woman throughout the novel and did what had to be done to save her beloved books.  

This is a book about bravery when faced with impossible obstacles. The writing is both sweeping and romantic, Mario Escobar brings to life the occupied city and re-creates the history of those who sacrificed all to care for the people they loved.

Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina with her husband of over 50 years.  She grew up in Michigan but now calls North Carolina home. Since her travel plans had to be canceled for this year, she is starting to make plans for travel in 2021. She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and historical fiction. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on FacebookGoodreads, or Twitter.

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  1. As a former librarian and enjoyer of WWII historical fiction, this sounds like a good one!

  2. Thank you for hosting the tour!

    HF Virtual Book Tours