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A heart-wrenching novel that unearths generations of secrets and sacrifices -- perfect for fans of The Paris Orphan and The Lost Girls of Paris. When a woman inherits a Parisian apartment undisturbed since WWII, she discovers that it may hold the key to unraveling her cold and distant great-grandmother's secret life -- a past of sacrifice during a mission to protect those s A heart-wrenching novel that unearths generations of secrets and sacrifices -- perfect for fans of The Paris Orphan and The Lost Girls of Paris. When a woman inherits a Parisian apartment undisturbed since WWII, she discovers that it may hold the key to unraveling her cold and distant great-grandmother's secret life -- a past of sacrifice during a mission to protect those she loved.


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A heart-wrenching novel that unearths generations of secrets and sacrifices -- perfect for fans of The Paris Orphan and The Lost Girls of Paris. When a woman inherits a Parisian apartment undisturbed since WWII, she discovers that it may hold the key to unraveling her cold and distant great-grandmother's secret life -- a past of sacrifice during a mission to protect those s A heart-wrenching novel that unearths generations of secrets and sacrifices -- perfect for fans of The Paris Orphan and The Lost Girls of Paris. When a woman inherits a Parisian apartment undisturbed since WWII, she discovers that it may hold the key to unraveling her cold and distant great-grandmother's secret life -- a past of sacrifice during a mission to protect those she loved.

30 review for The Paris Apartment

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sheyla ✎

    I'm always attracted to books set during WW2. I think it's because it was such a terrible period for humanity but despite it all, there were always people fighting for freedom and justice. So much courage! As soon as I saw The Paris Apartment, I knew I wanted to read it. Lia's grandmother has passed away and she has left her an apartment in Paris. An apartment no one knew she had! When Lia opens the door to the apartment, the only way to describe it would be a time capsule from the 1940s. The wall I'm always attracted to books set during WW2. I think it's because it was such a terrible period for humanity but despite it all, there were always people fighting for freedom and justice. So much courage! As soon as I saw The Paris Apartment, I knew I wanted to read it. Lia's grandmother has passed away and she has left her an apartment in Paris. An apartment no one knew she had! When Lia opens the door to the apartment, the only way to describe it would be a time capsule from the 1940s. The walls are filled with paintings that probably cost a fortune. The closet is filled with couture garments but the most shocking thing is the nazi propaganda left behind. Lia wonders if her grandmother was a nazi collaborator. Lia is determined to find out more. She will go in search of true ownership of the paintings and she will enlist the help of Gabriel, an art appraiser. Estelle is Lia's grandmother. Her story will be told in the 1940s. During those chapters, we learned what Estelle was really doing during the Nazi occupation of France, her visits to the Ritz, and her relationship with Sophie, a woman who looks like an ice princess and whose sole purpose left in life is to help bring the nazis down. The Paris Apartment is a satisfying story of determination and strength. The dual timelines worked very well in this novel. Both were engaging although, Estelle's was way more unnerving for me despite knowing she lived a long life. Cliffhanger: No 4/5 Fangs A complimentary copy was provided by Forever via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. MrsLeif's Two Fangs About It | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nursebookie

    The Paris Apartment By Kelly Bowen The story opens in the summer of 2017 in Paris France to an apartment left empty and buried under years of dust by Aurelia 'Lia" who inherits the apartment from her great grandmother for whom it seems has a secret past, and Lia is determined to find out. Inside the apartment is a lavishly furnished home with art, couture gowns, and some memorabilia from the past she hoped her great grandmother was never a part of. The story is told in two alternate timelines one The Paris Apartment By Kelly Bowen The story opens in the summer of 2017 in Paris France to an apartment left empty and buried under years of dust by Aurelia 'Lia" who inherits the apartment from her great grandmother for whom it seems has a secret past, and Lia is determined to find out. Inside the apartment is a lavishly furnished home with art, couture gowns, and some memorabilia from the past she hoped her great grandmother was never a part of. The story is told in two alternate timelines one in 2017 with the point of views of Lia and Gabriel Seymour, and the other in the 1940's with the point of views of Estelle Allard and Sophie Seymour which was beautifully written that brought an immersive and intensely gripping back story of the courage these women have gone through against the evil of the Nazis. Though I have read many World War II stories, this was very interesting and readable that highlighted a different perspective. Adding the mystery of the art pieces was very enjoyable for me especially with Lia and Gabriel working together to discover what happened in the the past. The story culminated into a very emotional ending. I loved every bit of this well written, heart breaking and heart warming story full of hope. Well done Kelly Bowen for this masterpiece.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Milena

    I love books set in Paris but feel burnt out on WW2 books, so I went into The Paris Apartment with low expectations. I am happy to say I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. I enjoy books about missing/stolen art and that's what elevated this book for me, not to mention Kelly Bowen's beautiful and moving writing. The book has two different timelines and three main heroines. In WW2 occupied France the lives of two brave women, Estelle Allard and Sophie Seymour, collide when they are thr I love books set in Paris but feel burnt out on WW2 books, so I went into The Paris Apartment with low expectations. I am happy to say I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. I enjoy books about missing/stolen art and that's what elevated this book for me, not to mention Kelly Bowen's beautiful and moving writing. The book has two different timelines and three main heroines. In WW2 occupied France the lives of two brave women, Estelle Allard and Sophie Seymour, collide when they are thrown together on a dangerous mission against the Nazis. In the present, Aurelia Leclaire inherits an apartment in Paris when her grandmother Estelle passes away. An apartment that has been closed up since 1943 and which is full of priceless art. What Lia discovers in the apartment makes her question if she ever really knew her grandmother. With the help of an art appraiser Gabriel Seymour, she learns the provenance of the paintings and her grandmother's role in the French resistance. There is a little bit of romance between Lia and Gabriel and I would've enjoyed this book even more if the romance was more developed. The ending of the book is very emotional and it made me cry! I highly recommend The Paris Apartment to historical fiction fans and francophiles. *ARC provided by the publisher and MBC Book Tours.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Erika Robuck

    Equal parts heart-pounding, heartbreaking, and heart lifting, THE PARIS APARTMENT is an absorbing novel. Kelly Bowen has crafted a story of deep humanity and redemption, demonstrating the stunning beauty that can emerge from the darkest places. A true work of art.

  5. 5 out of 5

    MicheleReader

    In 2017, Aurelia (Lia) Leclaire inherits her grandmother’s Paris apartment – a place she was unaware existed. What she discovers in this beautiful home is a treasure trove of valuable paintings. Aurelia has no clue as to how all this museum quality artwork came into her grandmother’s possession and why it has all been hidden for so long. With the help of Gabriel Seymour, an art curator and the grandson of the artist of one a painting bequeathed to her, Lia starts to unravel the secrets that have In 2017, Aurelia (Lia) Leclaire inherits her grandmother’s Paris apartment – a place she was unaware existed. What she discovers in this beautiful home is a treasure trove of valuable paintings. Aurelia has no clue as to how all this museum quality artwork came into her grandmother’s possession and why it has all been hidden for so long. With the help of Gabriel Seymour, an art curator and the grandson of the artist of one a painting bequeathed to her, Lia starts to unravel the secrets that have been locked away all these years. The story alternates between the present and the past as we learn about the life of Estelle Allard, Lia’s grandmother, during the Nazi occupation. Estelle, spends her evenings at The Ritz Hotel mingling with German officers to gain secrets which will help the Resistance. Sophie Seymour, a grieving widow, also dedicates herself to the cause and one of her missions brings her to Estelle for help. The Paris Apartment is an absorbing book that I thoroughly enjoyed. The field of WWII books that take place in Paris has become a bit crowded but I found this story to be a particularly good one. The characters are well developed and both timelines are equally interesting. While it presents the seriousness and horrors of the war, it’s a lighter read than some of the other books of its kind, which was a welcome change for me. Many thanks to Forever Publishing / Grand Central Publishing, NetGalley, and author Kelly Bowen for the opportunity to read this appealing book in advance of its April 20, 2021 publication. Rated 4.25 stars. Review posted on MicheleReader.com.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Syrie James

    I absolutely loved THE PARIS APARTMENT. I was hooked with the first page and couldn't put the book down. It had me on the edge of my seat, so to speak, eager to find out what would happen next. The story moved seamlessly back and forth between present day and the events of the past, introducing us to a cast of characters who felt incredibly real and about whom I cared deeply. Their fears were my fears; their journey became my journey. Every revelation, every twist and turn evolved just when I ne I absolutely loved THE PARIS APARTMENT. I was hooked with the first page and couldn't put the book down. It had me on the edge of my seat, so to speak, eager to find out what would happen next. The story moved seamlessly back and forth between present day and the events of the past, introducing us to a cast of characters who felt incredibly real and about whom I cared deeply. Their fears were my fears; their journey became my journey. Every revelation, every twist and turn evolved just when I needed to know it. The arcs for the main characters in the present were well drawn. I liked the romance, mystery, adventure, thrills, heartbreak, danger -- everything. My only complaint is that it ended way too soon! Unlike some books which are overwritten and would benefit from cutting and trimming, with this one I had the opposite feeling. There were so many interesting stories and appealing characters, I wanted to hear more detail and spend more time with each one! Kudos to author Kelly Bowen. I see that she's written historical romance novels up to now. I'm so glad to see that Bowen has written historical fiction and I look forward to reading her next book in this genre!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Literary Redhead

    Lia is shocked when her grandmother bequeaths her an elegant Paris apartment in 2017, one that’s been locked since the end of WWII. In it she discovers a cache of fabulous art, couture gowns, and photos of a high ranking Nazi official. Lia wonders if her grandmother collaborated with the Germans, so seeks help from art restorer Gabriel Seymour to uncover the truth. Together, they discover a tale of courage that will long stay with you. Beautifully written and highly recommended! 5 of 5 Stars Pub Lia is shocked when her grandmother bequeaths her an elegant Paris apartment in 2017, one that’s been locked since the end of WWII. In it she discovers a cache of fabulous art, couture gowns, and photos of a high ranking Nazi official. Lia wonders if her grandmother collaborated with the Germans, so seeks help from art restorer Gabriel Seymour to uncover the truth. Together, they discover a tale of courage that will long stay with you. Beautifully written and highly recommended! 5 of 5 Stars Pub Date 20 Apr 2021 #TheParisApartment #NetGalley Thanks to the author, Forever (Grand Central Publishing), and NetGalley for the review copy. Opinions are mine.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Dorothy Schwab

    Is this an apartment or a museum? This was the question Aurelia asked in the summer of 2017, as she entered the recently inherited property that her grandmother had occupied in Paris almost seventy years ago- completely unbeknownst to her. A secret of such magnitude! After wandering through extravagantly furnished rooms filled with paintings by world renowned artists, discovering a closet packed with shoes, gowns and furs plus a wardrobe that protected exquisitely embroidered silks and satin cou Is this an apartment or a museum? This was the question Aurelia asked in the summer of 2017, as she entered the recently inherited property that her grandmother had occupied in Paris almost seventy years ago- completely unbeknownst to her. A secret of such magnitude! After wandering through extravagantly furnished rooms filled with paintings by world renowned artists, discovering a closet packed with shoes, gowns and furs plus a wardrobe that protected exquisitely embroidered silks and satin couture dresses, Lia was astounded to stumble upon photos from German officer, Hermann Goring! “Lia” comes to the nauseating conclusion that her grandmother was a Nazi collaborator. Just as artists layer paintings with texture and color, Kelly Bowen deftly builds an artistic dual timeline. Underneath the canvas of 2017, lie layers of a1940’s war landscape painted over with battle-weary soldiers and newly widowed Sophie Kowalski in the foreground. Bowen’s scene is blended with scared, hungry Jews, Rachel and three-year-old, Aviva, aside gorgeous Parisian socialite, Estelle Allard, huddling on the horizon. To complete the picture Bowen slaps a jarring slash of red and black as the Germans flaunt the Nazi flag over the Ritz Hotel. The mystery of Lia’s newly acquired apartment filled with a magnificent art collection, couture gowns, and secret identities unfolds in hidden images blurred by Bletchley Park codes and the Millbrook Hall ancestral estate, but is finally illuminated by Gabriel, an art appraiser and restoration expert. Readers and lovers of art will lament with Estelle, “How much history will a family or a country lose when they lose the things that unite them? That tell the stories of their pasts?” Kelly Bowen’s The Paris Apartment is “captivating and moving-” a dazzling chandelier for the eyes while piercing the heart.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Genevieve Graham

    A breathtaking, page-turning WW2 tale of courage, espionage, and true love. Kelly Bowen’s engaging characters will take you on an unforgettable journey of adventure and discovery. You won’t want to put the book down for even a moment! Five stars!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Anastasia Artayet Shepherd

    I am dedicated to devouring every novel about the Paris apartment that was left untouched for 70 years, and this one is by far one of my favorites! The number of times I caught myself breathless and wrapped up in the characters was astounding and by the end of the novel I was shouting, "Wait, but what about --?" Lo-and-behold, the author threw a curveball and gave me the ending I needed. This historical fiction romance reminded me that the fights against fascism are still not over and many chang I am dedicated to devouring every novel about the Paris apartment that was left untouched for 70 years, and this one is by far one of my favorites! The number of times I caught myself breathless and wrapped up in the characters was astounding and by the end of the novel I was shouting, "Wait, but what about --?" Lo-and-behold, the author threw a curveball and gave me the ending I needed. This historical fiction romance reminded me that the fights against fascism are still not over and many changes are still needed, for "If I am not fighting -- if I am not doing everything I am capable of -- then I am complicit in every atrocity that has happened and will continue to happen. This I know with every fiber of my being." I'm buying this book and reading it again and again!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Dani

    When Aurelia inherits her grandmother's secret Paris apartment, she is shocked to discover an untouched space filled with art, couture, and Nazi memorabilia. In an effort to uncover the truth of her grandmother's past, she hires art restorer Gabriel. What follows is a tale of courage that I found absolutely breathtaking. I can't remember the last time I read historical fiction and couldn't put the book down. Alternating between WW2 and present day, I was fully invested in all of the characters a When Aurelia inherits her grandmother's secret Paris apartment, she is shocked to discover an untouched space filled with art, couture, and Nazi memorabilia. In an effort to uncover the truth of her grandmother's past, she hires art restorer Gabriel. What follows is a tale of courage that I found absolutely breathtaking. I can't remember the last time I read historical fiction and couldn't put the book down. Alternating between WW2 and present day, I was fully invested in all of the characters and their storylines, but particularly the WW2 timeline. The characters were well developed and of course I loved the strong female protagonists of Estelle and Sophie. Bowen brought historical Paris to life with rich details and beautiful writing. I haven't been moved to tears by a book in a long time. This story was filled with hope and heartache and is definitely a new favorite. ... Thank you Netgalley and Forever for access to this advanced copy.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Meghan

    This book was received as an ARC from Forever (Grand Central Publishing) in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own. This book was so fascinating and filled with so much history that I could not help but be smitten throughout the book. The story of Aurelia and how she moved into an apartment right in the heart of Paris and befriends an art restorer and shows her that the contents of her apartment are linked to a Nazi event that happened This book was received as an ARC from Forever (Grand Central Publishing) in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own. This book was so fascinating and filled with so much history that I could not help but be smitten throughout the book. The story of Aurelia and how she moved into an apartment right in the heart of Paris and befriends an art restorer and shows her that the contents of her apartment are linked to a Nazi event that happened in 1947 when the previous owner was trying to save her friends from the Nazis and won't stop at nothing even if she has to go to the extreme. We always have been told that every building and every house has secrets and you will never know what you will uncover and this book could not have proved that more. This book will be a perfect addition to our Historical Fiction collection and our community will appreciate it too. We will consider adding this title to our Historical Fiction collection at our library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    When Aurelia Leclaire walks through the door of a lavish apartment she recently inherited, she is both shocked and astounded. Her grandmother has not only left Lia an apartment that no-one in the family knew about but it appears to have been deserted since 1943. This mystery home is overflowing with magnificent couture, jewelry and priceless art. One particular landscape steers her to contact Gabriel Seymour in London, a well known art restorer and appraiser. Quickly arriving in Paris, Gabriel i When Aurelia Leclaire walks through the door of a lavish apartment she recently inherited, she is both shocked and astounded. Her grandmother has not only left Lia an apartment that no-one in the family knew about but it appears to have been deserted since 1943. This mystery home is overflowing with magnificent couture, jewelry and priceless art. One particular landscape steers her to contact Gabriel Seymour in London, a well known art restorer and appraiser. Quickly arriving in Paris, Gabriel is surprisingly handsome and much younger than Lia expected, the two share instant chemistry. Some of the clues suggest the unimaginable - that grandmother was assisting the Nazi’s - but after digging deeper they discover grandmothers buried secrets and as fate would have it, the mystery draws them to Gabriel’s own family in England. Narrated by the brave women of the past and Lia’s unwavering determination to put the pieces together, we travel through war torn Europe and modern day Paris. Filled with history, art and a budding romance between delightful characters The Paris Apartment was an absolutely undputodownable read.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    Historical fiction, strong female protagonist. Alternating between WWII and present day, we are told the story of two women spies who lost much, but also did much for their country. Their secrets are uncovered when Lia, the grate-granddaughter of one of the women, receives the key to an apartment in Paris owned by her great grandmother during the war. In it are hidden rooms, paintings, and proof that her great-grandmother was more than Lia thought. With the help of an art restorer, the stories ar Historical fiction, strong female protagonist. Alternating between WWII and present day, we are told the story of two women spies who lost much, but also did much for their country. Their secrets are uncovered when Lia, the grate-granddaughter of one of the women, receives the key to an apartment in Paris owned by her great grandmother during the war. In it are hidden rooms, paintings, and proof that her great-grandmother was more than Lia thought. With the help of an art restorer, the stories are uncovered. There is action, suspense, and much history in this story. Great book for fans of historical fiction and romance. DRC from Netgalley and Forever (Grand Central Publishing)

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Pinto

    Overall I really enjoyed this book. It is a little confusing getting into it but once all of the characters and timelines are established, Kelly Bowen shines. I loved the mystery aspect as well as the strong heroines. The ending had me in tears and I didn’t want it to end. Thank you to netgalley for the arc.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Bittel

    Thanks to Netgalley and Forever publishing for this ARC in exchange for my honest review. I LOVED this book. When Lia inherits her grandmother’s apartment (that she knew nothing about) she starts to discover her grandmother’s involvement in WW2. I loved the storyline and the connections, the different perspectives and going back in time throughout this book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Haley

    The allure of a Paris apartment left locked and untouched since WWII drew me in immediately. The story is rich in historical detail and strong characters that bring occupied Paris to vivid life for the reader. The mystery is well crafted and paced, even if a few bits were slightly predictable. Sophie and Estelle are both beautifully created characters, who show great courage and determination in the face of fear and personal loss. Their parts were the most interesting and moving to read. Thank yo The allure of a Paris apartment left locked and untouched since WWII drew me in immediately. The story is rich in historical detail and strong characters that bring occupied Paris to vivid life for the reader. The mystery is well crafted and paced, even if a few bits were slightly predictable. Sophie and Estelle are both beautifully created characters, who show great courage and determination in the face of fear and personal loss. Their parts were the most interesting and moving to read. Thank you to NetGalley and Forever for access to this arc.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Bookoholiccafe

    Aurelia Leclaire inherits a Parisian apartment when Estelle, her grandmother passed away. The apartment was undisturbed since WWII and has been vacant since 1943 keeping jaw-dropping secrets and unique and priceless arts sitting in it. What Lia discovers in the apartment makes her think if she ever knew her grandmother, and she decides to get to know more about the apartment secrets and the paintings. this is when we get to know Gabrielle Seymour, an art appraiser. Gabrielle helps Lia to learn m Aurelia Leclaire inherits a Parisian apartment when Estelle, her grandmother passed away. The apartment was undisturbed since WWII and has been vacant since 1943 keeping jaw-dropping secrets and unique and priceless arts sitting in it. What Lia discovers in the apartment makes her think if she ever knew her grandmother, and she decides to get to know more about the apartment secrets and the paintings. this is when we get to know Gabrielle Seymour, an art appraiser. Gabrielle helps Lia to learn more about her grandmother and her part in the French resistance. The Paris apartment is a captivating and riveting work of historical fiction. The historical detail is brilliantly penned. I enjoyed how flawlessly the story moved between different times and how each new cast of characters where introduced. I found it very easy to connect with each one of them. The author did a great job with her choice of characters and how they were developed through the story. This was a breathtaking, heart-wrenching page-turner for me. I recommend it to all historical fiction lovers. Many Thanks to @smbc_books, for having me on this tour.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Pj Ausdenmore

    My advice to readers: If you begin Kelly Bowen's The Paris Apartment early in the day, be prepared to toss your to-do list out the window. Start it in the evening? You'll be up all night. And when I say all night, I mean all night. I tried putting this book down at midnight, at 1:00 AM, and again at 2:AM. These compelling characters absolutely refused to allow me to stop reading until they had shared their entire perilous journey. I turned the final page at 4:00 AM, in awe of the courage of thes My advice to readers: If you begin Kelly Bowen's The Paris Apartment early in the day, be prepared to toss your to-do list out the window. Start it in the evening? You'll be up all night. And when I say all night, I mean all night. I tried putting this book down at midnight, at 1:00 AM, and again at 2:AM. These compelling characters absolutely refused to allow me to stop reading until they had shared their entire perilous journey. I turned the final page at 4:00 AM, in awe of the courage of these brave souls who placed their lives on the line day after day to gather information, protect the wounded, hide the persecuted, and aid the Allies in the fight against the Nazi regime. Dual timelines don't always work for me but Bowen's transition from present to past and back to present is seamless, enhancing the overall story. Both timelines are anchored by strong, compelling, and intriguing women. I was emotionally invested in all three of them: Estelle and Sophie in the past and Lia in the present. I loved how Bowen weaved their stories together while also giving each a complete story arc of her own. By the end of the book, I felt as if I knew each of them intimately, as if they were my friends. I had shared heartbreak, fear, rage, hope, despair, love, and joy with all of them, especially Estelle and Sophie. I knew I would not soon forget them. Bowen also brings the city of Paris to life in this book, especially the Paris that was occupied by the Nazis. She creates an immersive experience that places the reader in the setting, allowing all the emotions of that dangerous time to flow through me as though I was walking those streets alongside her characters. There are so many small, but important, details that expand the reading experience. I loved all the information about art, couture fashion, architecture, and history. It's clear this book was impeccably and thoroughly researched. And then there are the secondary characters, some with minor roles, others with substantial impact, like Gabriel. I really enjoyed his storyline with Lia, how they both connected to the events - and characters - of the past and to one another, the impact those past events had on their lives today, and their potential for a shared future. The entire group of secondary characters contribute to the overall impact of this story. Even those with only a paragraph or two have significance, a purpose. Some of those characters are heartbreaking, some offer lightness and humor, some are chilling in their evil supremacy and careless disregard for human life, while others remind us not to give up hope, to keep fighting for what is right and just. Bowen's ability to create well-developed, realistic characters who elicit a vast range of emotions in readers is one of her best skills and a key facet of this novel. It isn't only the main characters that I will have a hard time forgetting. The Paris Apartment is one of the most compelling and unforgettable WWII historical fiction novels I've read. I highly recommend it. *ARC received for fair and unbiased review *Print copy purchased for my keeper shelf

  20. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    Date reviewed/posted: March 8, 2021 Publication date: April 20, 2021 When life for the entire galaxy and planet has turned on its end, you are continuing to #maskup and #lockdown to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation as the #secondwave ( #thirdwave ?)is upon us, superspeed readers like me can read 300+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange fo Date reviewed/posted: March 8, 2021 Publication date: April 20, 2021 When life for the entire galaxy and planet has turned on its end, you are continuing to #maskup and #lockdown to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation as the #secondwave ( #thirdwave ?)is upon us, superspeed readers like me can read 300+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. A remarkable novel of passion, intrigue, and bravery during the world’s darkest hours, and one woman’s fight to uncover the truth more than a half-century later. London, 2017: When Aurelia Leclaire inherits an opulent Paris apartment, she is shocked to discover her grandmother’s hidden secrets—including a treasure trove of famous art and couture gowns. One obscure painting leads her to Gabriel Seymour, a highly respected art restorer with his own mysterious past. Together they attempt to uncover the truths concealed within the apartment’s walls. Paris, 1942: The Germans may occupy the City of Lights, but glamorous Estelle Allard flourishes in a world separate from the hardships of war. Yet when the Nazis come for her dearest friends, Estelle doesn’t hesitate to help them, no matter the cost. As she works against the forces intent on destroying those she holds dear, she can’t know that her actions will have ramifications for generations to come. Set seventy-five years apart, against a perilous and prosperous Paris, both Estelle and Lia must unearth hidden courage as they navigate the dangers of a changing world, altering history—and their family’s futures—forever. What a wonderful historical fiction novel -it is a splendid mix of history and a beautiful city that has scars that will never recover. The characters were well fleshed out and the storyline just utterly readable: I will recommend it to friends, patrons, family, book clubs and strangers alike. Take this book to the beach (or your back yard, porch or balcony) and enjoy it - just wear a tonne of SPF110 as you will lose track of time as you read this. - If we are in the 3rd or 4th wave/mutation of COVID19 by then, stay inside: no tan is worth dying for. As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I simply adore emojis (outside of their incessant use by "🙏-ed Social Influencer Millennials/#BachelorNation survivors/Tik-Tok and YouTube Millionaires/snowflakes / literally-like-overusers etc. " on Instagram and Twitter... Get a real job, people!) so let's give it 🌸🌺🌹🌷🌼

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    “We have to make it count for something. It’s all any of us have left.” Hope is what keeps them going. This dual time frame, multiple POVs historical fiction hits all the spots you want in a great historical fiction. There are so many World War II focused novels but this is one of the few that I felt like tied a lot of activities together. At the same time, Bowen gives us great strong female protagonists and the story absolutely shines with all of them. The modern storyline brings us Gabriel and “We have to make it count for something. It’s all any of us have left.” Hope is what keeps them going. This dual time frame, multiple POVs historical fiction hits all the spots you want in a great historical fiction. There are so many World War II focused novels but this is one of the few that I felt like tied a lot of activities together. At the same time, Bowen gives us great strong female protagonists and the story absolutely shines with all of them. The modern storyline brings us Gabriel and Aurelia - Lia - and their discovery about the lives of their great-aunt and grandmother, respectively. Bowen begins in the Paris apartment of the title, which Lia's grandmother has left to her. Lia and Gabriel discover art, photographs, hidden rooms and closets, and try to piece together what it all means. Their discoveries take the story back to the World War II timelines, where we learn about Sophie and Estelle individually and when their paths cross. Both Sophie and Estella are strong women, trying to fight the Nazis and survive. Estelle feels like she's only doing small things for the French Resistance, "crumbs" she calls it. But her small amounts of information have huge consequences. Sophie comes from British landed gentry, with an affinity for languages that lands her in Poland at the time of the Nazi invasion. Her journey leads to Bletchley Park and code breaking and eventually Paris. There is so much emotion in this book. I can feel Lia's initial fears then wonder, Gabriel's excitement about art unless it's his own, Sophie's heartbreak and then focus, Estelle's frustration and nervousness then resolve. It made each character feel authentic in their own way. The WWII events touched on are extensive but it doesn't feel overwhelming nor that any individual one is given short shrift. Instead, I think it showed how interconnected so many phases of WWII were connected. Moving injured airmen, Bletchley Park, code breaking, hiding art from the Nazis, the movement of Jewish children from France, the Paris roundup of Jews by the Paris police - it's all here in some facet and all related. And like any good historical fiction, it left me wanting to know more about each and every bit of it. Bowen provides a long list of resources in her author notes so readers can explore further. Pacing is excellent. The higher tension moments are breathless and heart pounding. The tender emotional moments are similarly breathless, but in all the good ways. I thoroughly enjoyed this. I enjoyed Bowen's romance novels and am excited to read more from her in historical fiction. This will go on the keeper shelf after it releases. I read an e-ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Deborah E Kehoe

    In 2017 Aurelia Leclaire inherits an apartment in Paris from her recently deceased grandmother. Surprised that her grandmother ever lived in Paris, when Lia opens the door it’s as if she stepped into a time machine to 1943, the apartment was untouched, filled with artwork, beautiful cocktail dresses, and elegant antiques. When she finds Nazi paraphernalia she becomes worried that her grandmother may have been a sympathizer and that the artwork may have been stolen. In Paris 1942 Estelle Allard l In 2017 Aurelia Leclaire inherits an apartment in Paris from her recently deceased grandmother. Surprised that her grandmother ever lived in Paris, when Lia opens the door it’s as if she stepped into a time machine to 1943, the apartment was untouched, filled with artwork, beautiful cocktail dresses, and elegant antiques. When she finds Nazi paraphernalia she becomes worried that her grandmother may have been a sympathizer and that the artwork may have been stolen. In Paris 1942 Estelle Allard lives in her family’s luxurious apartment in the exclusive Sacré-Coeur neighborhood. Paris is occupied by Nazi’s and their military elite are inhabiting The Ritz. Estelle, a young, beautiful, socialite uses her looks and lifestyle to socialize with the Nazi’s, turning over everything she’s learned to their enemies. The Paris Apartment is told from two perspectives both Lia’s and her grandmother Estelle. As we read about all of LIa’s fears we are living through Estelle’s worries during WWII. The story unfolds in a way that is emotional and riveting. We live through both women’s stories and we know the answers as to why Estelle’s apartment is found untouched, what the secret apartment was used for, and why she had Nazi paraphernalia where she lived. As Lia was worried, we would find out an answer in Estelle’s storyline. Kelly Bowen did a wonderful job describing life during WWII and all of the horrors that an occupied city faced, but all with a veneer of civility. I think this is the first time where I’ve read a dual storyline novel where both of the plots were of equal interest to me. LIa had a mystery that she wanted to unravel and had the help of a handsome art restorer to help her do that. The budding love story wasn’t the main plot but it did provide her character with a bit of warmth that I think she might have lacked with out those feelings of attraction and love. As a juxtaposition, Estelle’s story was filled with emotional warmth and also darkness. Living during a time where people you knew were being killed, either in the war or in concentration camps her emotions were all hidden by this face she had to wear to both survive, and collect whatever information she could. The mystery that connected these to timelines was what moved both of their stories forward so effectively. I was drawn into this novel right from the first page. It was so easy to read I found myself reading the book late into the evening, not wanting to break away from the story. If you like historical novels, I think you’ll enjoy the characters in this book. I’ve read a lot of WWII novels lately but haven’t read one set in Paris so I thought it was unique and the stylization of the time and the ease I had reading it really set it apart from the others. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️ I received a copy of this book through NetGalley and the publisher for my honest review and it was honest.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kaley

    Originally reviewed at Books Etc. If you asked me what I like to read about in World War II era historical fiction novels I would answer: Bletchley Park, the Special Operations Executive, and stolen art being returned to the rightful owners. The Paris Apartment included ALL THREE. I was in book heaven as I read Kelly Bowen's latest novel and was completely swept up in the story she told. The synopsis doesn't fully cover all that this book is. You're drawn in at first with the mystery of the untou Originally reviewed at Books Etc. If you asked me what I like to read about in World War II era historical fiction novels I would answer: Bletchley Park, the Special Operations Executive, and stolen art being returned to the rightful owners. The Paris Apartment included ALL THREE. I was in book heaven as I read Kelly Bowen's latest novel and was completely swept up in the story she told. The synopsis doesn't fully cover all that this book is. You're drawn in at first with the mystery of the untouched apartment but there are many, many layers to that apartment and the lives it touched. It's hard to get into most of it because Bowen has weaved a story rich in history (as well as family secrets) and I don't want to give anything away. I'd rather you enjoy the reveals as I did. There were four different perspectives in this novel which, for the most part, worked really well. I was most drawn to Estelle's storyline and it seemed to me like the others were just supporting characters, even though they were all important to the overall story. Estelle's timeline features Sophie and the actions of the two women were inspiring. I'm glad novels and movies are starting to showcase more of brave acts women did during WWII because a lot seems to be unknown about the female spies and resistance fighters. Estelle's granddaughter, Lia, and Gabriel, the art restorer she contacts, both tell the "present day" storyline. I use quotes because we'll find more and more that the present day is actually a few years ago, 2017 in this instance. This is because those who were adults during WWII are dying and soon there will be no one alive who fought in the war. So much information, such as what surrounds Bletchley Park and the SOE, is only just starting to come to light and I'm sure we're never going to be able to have a full picture. There are still lots of first person accounts that a lot of novelists reference so I think I'm going to have to dive into the non-fiction realm soon to get some more information myself. I found there were a few instances where there was some Big Reveal - perhaps about a character's true intentions or how they were connected to the full storyline - that didn't have as much of an impact as I would have thought. Perhaps because I expected the revelations? Saw them coming? I didn't need them to be super obvious but sometimes it seemed like Bowen dropped in some information and then swiftly moved onto something else before fully explaining the importance of said information. For anyone keeping track, this is my third "The Paris Something" novel I've read in the last few months. First I read The Paris Secret (review here), which I adored. Then it was The Paris Library (review here). All three were set during WWII and they all had dual timelines and multiple characters. Two took place in Occupied Paris and two had SOE spies. I've never been to Paris in person but thank goodness for books like this that still capture the magic of the city even during times of war. This was Bowen's first foray into dramatic historical fiction, having written numerous historical romances in the past. I'm really looking forward to the next drama she writes and will definitely be looking into her romances, too. I was totally captivated by Kelly Bowen's novel The Paris Apartment. Not only was the historical aspect incredibly fascinating, but the characters and their motivations were incredible and awe-inspiring. This novel is a must read for historical fiction fans. *An egalley of this novels was provided by the Canadian distributor, HBG Canada, via NetGalley in exchange for review consideration. All opinions are honest and my own.*

  24. 4 out of 5

    Courtney

    I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. When Kelly Bowen announced she was writing a World War II historical novel, I was both excited to see what she’d bring to the table and a bit apprehensive, as she was essentially moving from one oversaturated subgenre (Regency romance) to another (World War II historicals). However, just like her Regencies were charming and inject her own flair to that genre(even if her more recent offer I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. When Kelly Bowen announced she was writing a World War II historical novel, I was both excited to see what she’d bring to the table and a bit apprehensive, as she was essentially moving from one oversaturated subgenre (Regency romance) to another (World War II historicals). However, just like her Regencies were charming and inject her own flair to that genre(even if her more recent offerings weren’t necessarily my cuppa), she brings her own style to the table with The Paris Apartment. I was immediately drawn into the lives of the central characters, both past and present. While it was not immediately obvious how all the threads tied together, the story was engaging enough that I was able to take it all in and soon became engrossed. The lives of both Estelle and Sophie are both deeply moving, as they both work in their own ways for the Resistance movement against the Nazis. That their stories, while fictional, are based on the lives of real women who participated in the Resistance effort, makes it all the more poignant. Meanwhile, Lia is Estelle’s granddaughter who inherits Estelle’s former apartment that played a pivotal role in her Resistance activities. She did not know much about her grandmother’s early life prior, and I enjoyed seeing her find out more about that part of her grandmother’s life. She also works with Gabriel, Sophie’s great-nephew, who is an art appraiser, in the process, and the two have a sweet romance. It’s very understated compared to the relationships in Bowen’s prior books, but it’s no less delightful. I adored this book, and while I’m not sure all of Kelly Bowen’s established romance fan base will agree, I like that she’s branching out and trying new things, while also showing she hasn’t completely forgotten her romance roots. If you love historical fiction and want a fresh take on World War II, I think you‘ll enjoy this one!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Steinberg

    Estelle Allard’s death unlocks secrets that have been kept since World War II. It’s up to her granddaughter Lia Leclaire to piece together the puzzle and bring to light the world Estelle fought so hard to keep hidden. A tale of espionage, revenge and the lengths you’d go to for love, The Paris Apartment breaks your heart and keeps you on the edge of your seat. When Estelle Allard passes away, she leaves her granddaughter Lia the key to her apartment in Paris. Having not seen the light of day sinc Estelle Allard’s death unlocks secrets that have been kept since World War II. It’s up to her granddaughter Lia Leclaire to piece together the puzzle and bring to light the world Estelle fought so hard to keep hidden. A tale of espionage, revenge and the lengths you’d go to for love, The Paris Apartment breaks your heart and keeps you on the edge of your seat. When Estelle Allard passes away, she leaves her granddaughter Lia the key to her apartment in Paris. Having not seen the light of day since 1943, once she opens the door Lia finds long lost famous works of art and Nazi propaganda. Initially concerned her grandmother was a Nazi sympathizer during WWII, she enlists the help of an art restorer, Gabriel Seymour, to help bring the paintings back to their rightful owners. Little does Lia know that her grandmother was actually known as “La Chanteuse” back in the day, as she used her singing ability to disarm soldiers and her apartment to hide infirm airman in need of safe passage back to their countries. Lia soon locates at least one piece of art and some hidden documents belonging to the great-aunt of Gabriel. It seems Sophie, long suspected to have perished early in the war, actually revamped her life and somehow found her way into the company of Estelle – further intertwining Lia and Gabriel’s lives. Told mostly through the eyes of two brave women recounting their tale of heartbreak and heroism, author Kelly Bowen weaves a beautiful tale that captivates. Following Lia’s journey into the past, with no idea what lies awaiting in her grandmother’s apartment, she opens the door to a time long ago forgotten and a world of art that opens her eyes and her heart. Whether you’re an art aficionado or a lover of WWII tales, The Paris Apartment well worth the read.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lea Ann

    The Paris Apartment by Kelly Bowen made me feel literally every emotion on the spectrum. Joy, Fear, Sadness, Love, and Hope. All within 400 pages of this lyrical and enchanting novel. The POV switches between 4 incredible people whose lives intermingle in such a way it felt like destiny. Lia, 2017: ends up in Paris to check out an apartment her Grandmere had left to her after her death. Inside the apartment, she finds all kinds of bewildering artifacts that haven't been touched in 75 years. Among The Paris Apartment by Kelly Bowen made me feel literally every emotion on the spectrum. Joy, Fear, Sadness, Love, and Hope. All within 400 pages of this lyrical and enchanting novel. The POV switches between 4 incredible people whose lives intermingle in such a way it felt like destiny. Lia, 2017: ends up in Paris to check out an apartment her Grandmere had left to her after her death. Inside the apartment, she finds all kinds of bewildering artifacts that haven't been touched in 75 years. Among these items, she finds Nazi propaganda, thank you notes from German officers, and priceless artwork. Gabriel 2017; When Lia hires him to appraise the inherited artwork, he soon discovers that his family history may have just as many ties to the apartment as Lia's. Estelle 1930-40's: A single woman living in occupied France and Lia's Gradmere. You find out the meaning behind the propaganda, and why her apartment makes her look like a Nazi colabarator. Sophie 1930-40's: my favorite character. A tough, beautiful woman who never lost hope, even after she lost everything. Her loss only made her stronger, with an iron will, with her sights set on taking down the Germans. But how does her life tie in with Estelle, Gabriel, and Lia's? This book broke me, it takes a lot for me to cry while reading a book (the Art of Racing in the Rain) but this book did me in. kudos to the author for writing such an emotionally heart wrenching book. The way Bowen ties everything up at the end.... Truly incredible. 5 Stars! Thank you to mbc books, Kelly Bowen and Amazon publishing for a giftedARC!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Allie B I Literally Booked Solid

    Thank you to Forever and NetGalley for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. A granddaughter searching for answers. An art appraiser with a discovery of a lifetime. Two women fighting to do their part for the war effort. Lives saved, but many lost. In a story spanning 70 years, The Paris Apartment alternates between WWII and the present, all while trying to solve the mystery of the precious valuables found hidden after the owner of the apartment dies. I really enjoyed this historic Thank you to Forever and NetGalley for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. A granddaughter searching for answers. An art appraiser with a discovery of a lifetime. Two women fighting to do their part for the war effort. Lives saved, but many lost. In a story spanning 70 years, The Paris Apartment alternates between WWII and the present, all while trying to solve the mystery of the precious valuables found hidden after the owner of the apartment dies. I really enjoyed this historical novel! This story is full of mystery, heartbreak and had me hanging on the edge of my seat to connect the dots. I liked how the book accurately depicted the carnage and grave aftermath left during WWII. You can feel the pain through the pages as if this happened today. Estelle and Sophie are fighters. They will do anything they can to help the war effort. I admired their bravery in the face of daily danger and how they could think on their feet at a moment's notice. But I also liked how the book showed the other side of their efforts. Despite who and what they saved, you could tell the isolation they felt living this dangerously and all they had to give up in order to survive. While the book provide closure for many of the mysteries depicted in the book, there were a few pieces that I personally felt were a tad unfinished and left open to interpretation. I am also the type of reader that wants things tied up in a bow at the end and this book didn't necessarily do that for me. I don't think that is any fault of the books and probably more of my unrealistic expectations of the story.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Maria Rose

    Three days after finishing this historical fiction novel, I still can't stop thinking about it. From the first page to the last, it's an utterly intense, captivating story of bravery, tragedy, and sacrifice. It's told from the perspective of 4 characters in two time periods -the present with Lia who is bewildered after the death of her grandmother to find herself the owner of an apartment that has lain undisturbed since the latter days of World War 2 and Gabriel, the art curator who helps Lia ma Three days after finishing this historical fiction novel, I still can't stop thinking about it. From the first page to the last, it's an utterly intense, captivating story of bravery, tragedy, and sacrifice. It's told from the perspective of 4 characters in two time periods -the present with Lia who is bewildered after the death of her grandmother to find herself the owner of an apartment that has lain undisturbed since the latter days of World War 2 and Gabriel, the art curator who helps Lia make sense of what she finds and discovers his own personal connection to the apartment - and the past with Estelle, Lia's grandmother, whose position in Parisian society makes her uniquely capable of a role she never wanted but believes she must play and Sophie, a young English widow whose hatred of the Nazis fires her determination to exact vengeance. Well researched and compelling, the switch from past to present is done seamlessly giving the reader some light-hearted moments in between the more heart-wrenching and suspenseful ones. There are a couple of romantic scenes in the novel but they are not the main focus; rather they serve to add another dimension to the characters making me care deeply about each person's fate. There is no way to read the story without feeling a range of emotions, from surprise to fear to relief to grief and thankfully, also to joy. While the author is known for her historical romances, this is her first foray into historical fiction and in my opinion, it's a resounding success. A copy of this story was provided by the publisher via NetGalley.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Maret

    Such a nice book with multiple narratives and timelines. The story alternates between the present time and time during World War II. I loved all the characters and salute them for their passion in fighting against the enemy, for their bravery, and for their sacrifices made for the sake of peace. Kelly Bowen is a master of presenting the real heroes of the war. Six years after her grandmother passed away, Lia finally went to the apartment she inherited. What a surprise it was to her when she saw d Such a nice book with multiple narratives and timelines. The story alternates between the present time and time during World War II. I loved all the characters and salute them for their passion in fighting against the enemy, for their bravery, and for their sacrifices made for the sake of peace. Kelly Bowen is a master of presenting the real heroes of the war. Six years after her grandmother passed away, Lia finally went to the apartment she inherited. What a surprise it was to her when she saw dozens of paintings hanging on the wall and numerous of pictures of her grandmother who never mentioned being in Paris. The old magazines with pro-Nazi photos and articles from the war time convinced Lia that her grandmother was a liar and a traitor. Why did she keep this as a secret? Maybe now is the chance to find out who her grandmother really was. During the World War II, Estelle Allard makes her own choice as it comes to surviving the war. She lives in the fancy Paris apartment just by herself. As others can wrongly presume that she is a Nazi collaborator, she is hiding the art collections behind her wardrobe full of expensive clothes. The secret place is used to hide the Jewish girl, wounded pilot and others who need protection. This nicely written book has it all; war heroes with beautiful souls, engaged story in a dangerous time, and a victory with a love that awaits at the end. I highly recommend this book. Happy reading! Thank you @NetGalley and @ReadForeverPub for the ARC copy.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sara K

    This book was INCREDIBLE! I stayed up all night to finish it - and then cried because it was over. Kelly Bowen’s writing had me hooked on page 1 - and it only got better as I read! After the passing of her grandmother, Lia inherits an apartment in Paris that she did not know existed. She is surprised to discover that the apartment has been untouched for 70 years and is filled with incredible paintings, couture gowns and secrets. When Lia hires Gabriel Seymour, an art restorer to help her, they fi This book was INCREDIBLE! I stayed up all night to finish it - and then cried because it was over. Kelly Bowen’s writing had me hooked on page 1 - and it only got better as I read! After the passing of her grandmother, Lia inherits an apartment in Paris that she did not know existed. She is surprised to discover that the apartment has been untouched for 70 years and is filled with incredible paintings, couture gowns and secrets. When Lia hires Gabriel Seymour, an art restorer to help her, they find themselves working together to uncover the details of their surprisingly connected past. The story switches between 2017 and World War II - from the perspectives of Lia, Gabriel, Estelle (Lia’s Grandmother) and Sophie. Estelle and Sophie both work for the resistance, fighting against the Nazi Regime. The strength, bravery and intelligence of these women is incredible. The determination of Lia and Gabriel to discover the hidden secrets of the past is heartwarming. The way the stories are so easily intermingled and written is so smooth and easy. There was no need for me to turn backwards to clear up any confusion about the perspective or timeline. Easily one of the best books I have read in 2021. Anyone who loves historical fiction, especially WWII era needs to preorder this book! Thank you Netgalley, Kelly Bowen, Forever and Grand Central Pub for my Advanced reader copy.

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