The Room on Rue Amélie by Kristin HarmelThe Room on Rue Amélie by Kristin Harmel

The Room on Rue Amélie

byKristin Harmel

Paperback | March 27, 2018

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For fans of Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale and Martha Hall Kelly’s Lilac Girls, this powerful novel of fate, resistance, and family—by the international bestselling author of The Sweetness of Forgetting and When We Meet Again—tells the tale of an American woman, a British RAF pilot, and a young Jewish teenager whose lives intersect in occupied Paris during the tumultuous days of World War II.

When newlywed Ruby Henderson Benoit arrives in Paris in 1939 with her French husband Marcel, she imagines strolling arm in arm along the grand boulevards, awash in the golden afternoon light. But war is looming on the horizon, and as France falls to the Nazis, her marriage begins to splinter, too.

Charlotte Dacher is eleven when the Germans roll into the French capital, their sinister swastika flags snapping in the breeze. After the Jewish restrictions take effect and Jews are ordered to wear the yellow star, Charlotte can’t imagine things getting much worse. But then the mass deportations begin, and her life is ripped forever apart.

Thomas Clarke joins the British Royal Air Force to protect his country, but when his beloved mother dies in a German bombing during the waning days of the Blitz, he wonders if he’s really making a difference. Then he finds himself in Paris, in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, and he discovers a new reason to keep fighting—and an unexpected road home.

When fate brings them together, Ruby, Charlotte, and Thomas must summon the courage to defy the Nazis—and to open their own broken hearts—as they fight to survive. Rich with historical drama and emotional depth, this is an unforgettable story that will stay with you long after the final page is turned.
Title:The Room on Rue AmélieFormat:PaperbackDimensions:400 pages, 9 × 6.12 × 1 inPublished:March 27, 2018Publisher:Gallery BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1501193023

ISBN - 13:9781501193026

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Engaging read! Similar feel to The Alice Network and The Nightingale, with more focus on romance. easy to read, enjoyable!
Date published: 2018-07-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fabulous! Great read. Highly recommend this book. Very well written.
Date published: 2018-06-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good for historical fiction fans Similar to the Nightingale and Alice Network. Enjoyed it.
Date published: 2018-06-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Emotional Rollercoaster Just...WOW! I don't tend to find myself at a loss for words all too often, but Kristin has managed to leave me speechless. Let me start by saying: If you weren't wiping dampness from your eyes by the end of Chapter One, you may very well be the strongest human being. Ever. I won't go too far into details to avoid Spoilers, but the love, devotion and heartache our first introduced character portrays in a mere four pages is magnetic. You're so drawn to his pain and his love, and there is no way that the story about to unfold is going to be anything but raw, hard and emotional. Of course, from the synopsis I knew more or less exactly what I was getting. Which I'll be honest, I'm not too big a fan of longer synopsis such as these - I prefer a bit of intrigue leaving room for the element of surprise. I felt I knew more or less the direction the story was going to take about half way through, though of course I couldn't be certain, which left the twists of the story line to remain being captivating. When you're involving an array of different "main" characters, there's something normally found further into the story than what may be apparent. This was of course just that. Needless to say - synopsis aside, the writing was incredible, the plot sad but sweet, and overall an absolutely beautiful story of fear, heartache, trauma, friendship, love, family, courage and unexpected peace in all the right ways to pull at every heart string. I personally am an avid historical fiction reader, and with that, I don't think this story brought as much to the table as a historical novel as I normally would have liked. This doesn't in anyway change my feelings for the book by any means, but this story felt more like a heart-wrenching love story placed in the middle of war. So if you're picking up this book as a historical fan, this may not be your preferred read. While there is some fascinating and heart breaking history - of course, we are talking about Nazi occupied Paris, - you may feel something lacks, which I feel won't give the story as much credit as it truly deserves. All in all, this one is without doubt worth the read, and sure to keep you turning page after page as it did with me, as well. Be forewarned: Box of tissue should be a prerequisite to reading The Room On Rue Amelie. I wish in tears and holding breath as I turned the very last page.
Date published: 2018-06-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Love this one! This is a great story of family, friendship, love and courage. I loved the the characters and the plot was was interesting with twists and turns. I actually loved the prologue - it was so full of love and devotion. Be warned, I was in tears at the end of this novel. Definitely recommend it for lovers of Historical Fiction!
Date published: 2018-05-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved this! I just loved every inch of this book. I couldn't get enough of it. I feel in love with the characters.
Date published: 2018-05-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful! Such a beautiful story about love, courage and the power to do the right thing during such a dark time WW2. Loved It!!
Date published: 2018-04-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved It Anyone who loves WW2 novels will want to read this book. I found it sad and sweet all at the same time.Read it in one afternoon it had me turning pages that fast.
Date published: 2018-04-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved It! A page turner for me. A beautiful story and I recommend it to anyone who loves WW2 novels.
Date published: 2018-04-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved it This book was really enjoyable and beautiful to read. However, there were some parts of it that I felt could have been developed better. The author has definitely done her research and her writing was capturing.
Date published: 2018-04-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved it This book was really enjoyable and beautiful to read. However, there were some parts of it that I felt could have been developed better. The author has definitely done her research and her writing was capturing.
Date published: 2018-04-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A solid story. This book had me at 'for fans of The Nightingale and The Lilac Girls', everything after that was a blur - I loved both of those books. With that kind of endorsement my expectation level was elevated. The synopsis above doesn’t hold back much telling what this book is about, I'll confess to not being a huge fan of long synopsis's like that, there is too much of a risk of spoilers and the unveiling of storylines I would rather discover for myself. The Room on Rue Amelie felt like more of a love story with the war as the backdrop. Well I enjoyed this book I felt that it was lacking the depth it needed to complete on the scale with The Nightingale. With so many glowing reviews I wondered what I was missing, but rather struggled to connect with the characters and found some situations hard to swallow. It was still an interesting read and I could tell that the author did a lot of research here. World War 2 in Paris is always heartbreaking to read about and I love to hear about those who did all they could to be part of the resistance.
Date published: 2018-04-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A great read! I really enjoyed this story and didn’t want to put it down.
Date published: 2018-04-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An emotionally charged historical novel Just before the start of World War II, Ruby, a young American graduate of Barnard College, falls in love with Marcel, a Frenchman, marries him and moves into his family's apartment on Rue Amelie in Paris. The plot of this book deals with Ruby's experiences throughout the war, during which time she helps provide safe haven to downed allied pilots and deals courageously with personal tragedy. I read this book, cover to cover, in one day. It is an excellent read, and I recommend it highly.
Date published: 2018-03-30

Read from the Book

The Room on Rue Amélie CHAPTER ONE March 2002 She sleeps beside me, her narrow chest rising and falling, and already I miss her. The sand in the hourglass is running out, flowing relentlessly toward the end. There’s never enough time, not when a person has become a part of you. We were lucky to survive the war, my wife and I, and not a day passes that I don’t think of those we lost. I know it’s greedy to want just one more week, one more month, one more year with her when we were already given so much time. The last half century has been a gift we never expected, perhaps a gift we never deserved. Still, I can’t let go. I can’t imagine my world without her, for my life didn’t really begin until the day we met. But I’m as powerless to protect her in this moment as I was all those years ago in Paris, though both then and now I tried to fool myself into believing I had some control. I rise quietly, careful not to disturb her. When she awakens, the pain will return, so while I yearn for her company, I’m grateful that for now, she’s at peace. I shuffle into the kitchen, boil water in our electric kettle, steep some Earl Grey tea, and make my way to the front porch. It’s March, so the air is crisp, as crisp as it gets here in Antelope Valley, some sixty miles north of Los Angeles. I stare into the misty morning, and my breath catches in my throat when I see it: the first bloom of the season. In the coming weeks, the fields will turn brilliant shades of yellow, orange, and red. My wife will almost certainly be gone by then, but at least she’ll have this, one last dawn to the poppy season. “Thank you,” I say, looking upward to where I imagine God must be. “Thank you for this.” I’ve been talking to God a lot lately, which is strange because during the war I might have argued that He didn’t exist. But in the years since, I’ve surprised myself by slowly wending my way back to faith. It began with our daughter, Nadia, for there’s no denying that she was a miracle. And when she had three healthy children of her own, I believed a little more. When our grandchildren gave us great-grandchildren, and my wife and I were still here, I had no choice but to acknowledge a higher power. Then again, perhaps I’d known on some level that He was there all along, because what other explanation could there have been for my wife and me finding each other in the midst of such chaos all those years ago? As I gaze out at the rolling fields, I can see our lives unfolding here, our daughter twirling in the sunlight, our grandchildren chasing each other through the blooms. I sip my tea and blink a few times to clear my vision. It’s embarrassing how emotional I’ve grown lately. Men aren’t supposed to cry, especially men of my generation. But when it comes to the love of my life, I’m powerless against the tide. I finish my tea and head back into the house to check on her. She should still be sleeping, but I find her in bed with her eyes open, her head tilted toward the door. She’s still beautiful, even in old age, even as she succumbs to the cancer we caught too late. “Good morning, my love,” she says. “Good morning, my darling girl.” I force a smile. “Have the poppies bloomed yet?” I nod, and her eyes fill with tears. I know they’re tears of happiness, and I share her joy. “Just one for now,” I reply. “But the others won’t be far behind.” “What color, my love? What color is the first one?” “Red. The first poppy of the season is red.” “Of course.” She lies back and smiles. “Of course it is.” When she focuses on me again, we gaze at each other for a long time. Looking into her eyes always washes the decades away and takes me back to the day I first saw her. “I must ask something of you,” she says softly. “Yes.” I know what it is before she says the words. “I want to go to the top of the hill just once more. Please.” “I will take you.” My strength has waned with time; I had a heart attack last year, and I haven’t felt like myself since. But I knew this would be my darling girl’s last wish, and I will make it come true, whatever it takes. “We can go when you’re ready. But let’s wait a few more days until the poppies are fully in bloom.” Of course, the request is partially a selfish one; I want to give her a reason to hang on a little longer, to stay with me. She smiles. “Yes, you’re right.” She’s already fading, her eyelids heavy, her gaze growing unfocused. “She should be here, though, not me,” she whispers after a moment. “It always should have been her.” I know exactly who she’s talking about: her best friend, the one who was like a sister to her, the one we lost so senselessly all those years ago. “God had a plan, my darling.” I can’t say what I really want to, which is that I’m grateful it was my wife who survived. That’s a selfish, terrible thing to think, isn’t it? No one should have died at all. But fate doesn’t always play fair. “I’ll see her again soon.” Her voice is so faint I can hardly hear her as she adds, “On the other side. Don’t you think I will?” “Don’t go yet,” I say. “Please.” And as she drifts back to sleep, I sink down into the chair beside her and begin to cry. I don’t know how I’ll live without her. The truth is, since the day I met her, it’s all been for her. My whole life. My whole existence. I don’t know how I’ll say good-bye.