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The Paris Architect

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The Paris Architect Cover

ISBN13: 9781402284311
ISBN10: 1402284314
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A thrilling debut novel of World War II Paris, from an author who's been called "an up and coming Ken Follett." (Booklist)

In 1942 Paris, gifted architect Lucien Bernard accepts a commission that will bring him a great deal of money — and maybe get him killed. But if he's clever enough, he'll avoid any trouble. All he has to do is design a secret hiding place for a wealthy Jewish man, a space so invisible that even the most determined German officer won't find it. He sorely needs the money, and outwitting the Nazis who have occupied his beloved city is a challenge he can't resist.

But when one of his hiding spaces fails horribly, and the problem of where to hide a Jew becomes terribly personal, Lucien can no longer ignore what's at stake. The Paris Architect asks us to consider what we owe each other, and just how far we'll go to make things right.

Review:

"How far would you go to help a stranger? What would you risk? Would you trade your life for another's in the name of what is right? Belfoure explores these questions and others in this debut novel set in Paris during the Nazi occupation. Lucien Bernard — who, like the book's author, is an architect — is offered a large sum of money to outsmart the Gestapo by devising unique hiding places for Jews, though he knows that anyone caught helping them will be tortured and killed by the Germans. Danger is everywhere: Lucien's mistress, Adele, a successful fashion designer, has an affair with a Gestapo colonel. Lucien's new assistant will betray him in a heartbeat. Offered a juicy German factory commission that involves working with a Nazi officer who admires architecture and art, Lucien's web weaves more complexly. And when he falls in love with Adele's assistant, rescues a child, and contacts some of the individuals he's saved, the stakes grow higher and Lucien's thoughts turn from money to vengeance. Seamlessly integrated architectural details add to the excitement. Belfoure's characters are well-rounded and intricate. Heart, reluctant heroism, and art blend together in this spine-chilling page-turner. Agent: Susan Ginsburg, Writers House." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

"I love that in The Paris Architect, a mercenary, talented man's passion for his creative work leads him down moral roads he never could have envisioned. The ingenious hiding spaces and the people in them infiltrated my imagination for weeks. I dreamed about this novel." Jenna Blum, New York Times bestselling author of Those Who Save Us and The Stormchasers

Review:

"Belfoure writes like an up-and-coming Ken Follett....There's plenty of detail to interest architecture buffs, too." Booklist

Review:

"A vivid, suspenseful story which keeps you gripped to the very last page. Charles Belfoure writes with great warmth, conjuring up an intriguing cast of characters, and painting a fascinating picture of Paris under the Occupation, with all its contradictions — the opulence, and the fear." Margaret Leroy, author of The Soldier's Wife

Review:

"In architect Belfoure's fiction debut, the architectural and historical details are closely rendered....A satisfyingly streamlined World War II thriller." Kirkus

Review:

"All novelists are architects. But are all architects novelists? Charles Belfoure in his impressive debut seems to have brought us the best of both worlds. Here is a novel to read alongside the latest Alan Furst. I hope there will be more." Alan Cheuse, Novelist and NPR book commentator

Review:

"Architect and debut author Belfoure's portrayal of Vichy France is both disturbing and captivating, and his beautiful tale demonstrates that while human beings are capable of great atrocities, they have a capacity for tremendous acts of courage as well." Library Journal

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Librarianbyday, October 21, 2013 (view all comments by Librarianbyday)
Charles Belfoure's The Paris Architect is an amazing and wonderful historical novel that takes the author's knowledge of architecture (he is an architect) and turns in a beautiful WWII page-turner. The novel is an engaging work with great insights and research lines to Vichy Paris, Nazism, Jewish attempts at survival through the heroism of ordinary citizen and so much more. The details are incredible - the author even indirectly points to the premise of another fabulous book - The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman -- when describing other ingenious places Jews were hidden in WWII. The protagonist Lucien Bernard is a great well rounded character - as are so many of the others in the novel. I am so sad I finished reading the book - and yet so grateful I stumbled across it - I am hoping it gets more positive press - it is one of the best books I have read all year long - and perhaps one of the most creative works as well in that the author ties his knowledge of architecture into the prose without losing the flow of the narrative -- a must read! As someone who had read a lot (non-fiction and fiction) on Vichy France and WWII and the Holocaust - I can promise historical fiction fans will not be let down at all if they read this unique novel.
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Silvers Reviews, September 26, 2013 (view all comments by Silvers Reviews)
Can you trust the people you used to trust? Can your life be normal? That question was asked every single day of Lucien's life and every single day of any French citizen living in Paris during the Nazi occupation.

Life definitely was not the same as before. You had to watch everything you said and did. Lucien had to make a decision about doing something he knew was very dangerous. Lucien was an architect and was asked to design hiding places for Jewish friends of Auguste Manet, a well-known businessman in Paris.

Lucien feared for his life but couldn't pass up this offer. Lucien agreed only because he had no money, and because he would be paid a large sum.

You will feel Lucien's fear as he is doing something he loves, but also considering whether it is worth the cost of his life if he gets caught. You will grow to love Lucien as his truly caring side comes out in the uncaring society of this era.

You will become immersed in Paris's new way of life that had to be endured, and you will share the fear of the citizens as they waited for the dreaded knock on the door looking for Jewish residents or for a French citizen who was hiding a Jewish citizen.

The horrors of occupation will be with you as you read as well as become involved with the authentic characters and marvelous writing style. The characters were perfectly portrayed from the deviousness and cruelty of the Gestapo to the cowering citizens. The author has an easy style and draws you right into the story.

THE PARIS ARCHITECT is another WWII tale but with a different twist and one where the tension builds and your fear for Lucien increases as you rapidly turn the pages.

This is an excellent historical fiction book with some graphic scenes that depict the atrocities of WWII, but will hold your interest until the last word because of the characters and their stories. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781402284311
Author:
Belfoure, Charles
Publisher:
Sourcebooks Landmark
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Publication Date:
20131031
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English

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Related Subjects

Children's » General
Children's » Middle Readers » General
Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Jewish

The Paris Architect New Hardcover
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Product details pages Sourcebooks Landmark - English 9781402284311 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "How far would you go to help a stranger? What would you risk? Would you trade your life for another's in the name of what is right? Belfoure explores these questions and others in this debut novel set in Paris during the Nazi occupation. Lucien Bernard — who, like the book's author, is an architect — is offered a large sum of money to outsmart the Gestapo by devising unique hiding places for Jews, though he knows that anyone caught helping them will be tortured and killed by the Germans. Danger is everywhere: Lucien's mistress, Adele, a successful fashion designer, has an affair with a Gestapo colonel. Lucien's new assistant will betray him in a heartbeat. Offered a juicy German factory commission that involves working with a Nazi officer who admires architecture and art, Lucien's web weaves more complexly. And when he falls in love with Adele's assistant, rescues a child, and contacts some of the individuals he's saved, the stakes grow higher and Lucien's thoughts turn from money to vengeance. Seamlessly integrated architectural details add to the excitement. Belfoure's characters are well-rounded and intricate. Heart, reluctant heroism, and art blend together in this spine-chilling page-turner. Agent: Susan Ginsburg, Writers House." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "I love that in The Paris Architect, a mercenary, talented man's passion for his creative work leads him down moral roads he never could have envisioned. The ingenious hiding spaces and the people in them infiltrated my imagination for weeks. I dreamed about this novel."
"Review" by , "Belfoure writes like an up-and-coming Ken Follett....There's plenty of detail to interest architecture buffs, too."
"Review" by , "A vivid, suspenseful story which keeps you gripped to the very last page. Charles Belfoure writes with great warmth, conjuring up an intriguing cast of characters, and painting a fascinating picture of Paris under the Occupation, with all its contradictions — the opulence, and the fear."
"Review" by , "In architect Belfoure's fiction debut, the architectural and historical details are closely rendered....A satisfyingly streamlined World War II thriller."
"Review" by , "All novelists are architects. But are all architects novelists? Charles Belfoure in his impressive debut seems to have brought us the best of both worlds. Here is a novel to read alongside the latest Alan Furst. I hope there will be more."
"Review" by , "Architect and debut author Belfoure's portrayal of Vichy France is both disturbing and captivating, and his beautiful tale demonstrates that while human beings are capable of great atrocities, they have a capacity for tremendous acts of courage as well."
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