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July 5, 2023

The Forger of Marseille by Linda Joy Myers ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

This novel begins in 1938 in Berlin where nineteen-year-old Sarah, a Jewish art student lives with her mother.  Her mother had been working with a family friend Mr. Lieb to get forged papers so that Sarah can escape to Paris.  After a run-in with a Nazi officer, they know that Sarah needs to leave immediately.  She and Mr. Lieb flee to Paris where they live with a Jewish family.  Sarah is now called Rosemarie and she's thrilled to be in Paris where she can visit art galleries and where she once again feels safe.  She meets and begins to fall in love with Cesar who has escaped from Spain and is now working with the underground making forged papers for people who are trying to get out of Paris.  Sarah's feeling of freedom in Paris ends quickly when the German Army occupies the city in 1940.  Her artistic talent makes her a good forger so she begins to work with Cesar.  Once the Germans arrive, they know that they need to leave Paris.  Mr. Lieb has friends in Marseille, so they get new identities and start towards Marseille in a small car.  The trip is harrowing.  The roads are crowded with people who have farm carts, animals, and all methods of transportation as they try to get out of Paris.  Plus, German airplanes fly overhead and even shoot into the crowds of people trying to leave.  There they meet an American who is working to help people get to England and America and Sarah and Cesar start working as forgers for Varian Fry.  It's only through the trust that they have with other people and the fact that there were many good people in the resistance that they were able to stay one step ahead of the Germans and the French police.

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

book cover of WWII historical fiction novel The Forger of Marseille by Linda Myers
July 2023; She Writes Press; 978-1647422318
ebook, print (360 pages)

This debut novel was beautifully written and well-researched.  It was also exciting and a bit scary as the main characters often got close to being captured.  Also, the trip from Paris to Marseille was nail-biting as so many people filled the roads while the German pilots often shot into the groups. I had trouble putting the book down once I started reading.

The Forger of Marseille is a book about the cruelty of war and the struggles people went through to stay alive.  It's about the importance of trust and creating families out of the people who love and help take care of you.  It's also an interesting look at the importance of art in helping to save lives.  It was so well written that it was hard to believe that this was a debut novel for Linda Joy Myers.  I am looking forward to her future books. 

NOTE:  Be sure to read the Author's Notes at the end of the book to find out which of the people in the book were based on real people.  People like Varian Fry managed to save from two thousand to four thousand people. 

Susan Roberts grew up in Michigan but loves the laid-back life at her home in the Piedmont area of North Carolina where she is three hours from the beach to the east and the mountains in the west.  She reads almost anything but her favorite genres are   Southern Fiction and Historical Fiction.

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