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by Donna Huber For the A to Z Challenge, I discussed different book genres/categories. Each day, I gave a few details about the genre/catego...

August 31, 2023

The Paris Assignment by Rhys Bowen ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

Madelaine is in Paris doing her semester abroad at The Sorbonne when she meets the charismatic Giles. He warns her when they first meet that she shouldn't fall in love with her. But of course, they fall in love. While it isn't without its rocky moments, they live a good life until Hitler invades France.

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

book cover of historical fiction novel The Paris Assignment by Rhys Bowen
August 2023; Lake Union Publishing; 978-1662504242
audio, ebook, print (383 pages); historical fiction

I discovered Rhys Bowen a few years ago when I started reading her Royal Spyness cozy mystery series. It's my favorite, but I do enjoy her stand-alone historical fiction stories. 

The Paris Assignment is an entertaining read. I read quite a bit of WWII fiction and I would place this novel more on the end of historical romance rather than the historical/biographical fiction end. But there is some historically accurate information that was somewhat new to me. 

I really liked seeing the spy training. If you've read any of the novels based on real-life female spies such as Code Name Helene. You saw a little bit of the training. In that book, it was mostly the physical training. In The Paris Assignment, we see more extensive training in radio operations and at least mentions of munitions training.

I liked Madelaine, but I don't think there was enough depth to her character. Also, it bothered me how easily she told people about who she was and what she did in the war. The Official Secrets Act was only lifted in recent years which is why we are starting to hear more stories about the important (and dangerous) roles women played during WWII. These women never said a word about their works - many of them dying with their families never knowing their true heroism. But for Madelaine it was like if she fancied a man and he was sort of in her line of work then it was okay to tell them her true identity (during the war) and that she was a spy. 

A few books have come out recently that focused on the evacuation of children but they usually stay in the countryside of England even though there were ships of children sent to Canada and Australia. I liked getting to see what happened to the children who were shipped to Australia in The Paris Assignment.

I don't know if it was because I read so much WWII fiction, but I found some of the plot predictable and a little too coincidental. Some of the plot points were wrapped up a little too neatly. But the story isn't without its tragic moments - there is a war after all. But I didn't feel the devastation of these losses.

If you are looking for a lighter WWII novel, then you should pick up this book.

Buy The Paris Assignment at Amazon

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour

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