The Librarian of Saint-Malo

Mario Escobar – 3/5 Stars

Read this if you:
· enjoy a story with a kick-ass heroine
· love books and would risk your life to protect them
· are a World War II historical fiction fiend

Childhood sweethearts Jocelyn and Antoine marry in Saint-Malo France in 1939. Shortly after, Antoine is drafted to fight against Germany. Jocelyn stays behind in her beloved town and continues her work as a librarian, using her position to inspire her community. She begins writing secret letters and has them smuggled to a famous Parisian author, hoping that one day he will tell her story. When France falls and Saint-Malo becomes a Nazi fortress, Jocelyn’s beloved books are burned if they are deemed unsuitable. In order to protect this knowledge, Jocelyn risks her life by hiding books that she knows will inevitably be confiscated.

My thoughts on the book: 
I always forget how much I enjoy historical fiction! This book brought a lot of the same initial feelings of fear and despair as many other World War 2 books but it didn’t feel like I was getting that from the book itself, more so from my prior knowledge. I felt as though the character development was a bit rushed in the beginning so I didn’t feel very passionate about Jocelyn and Antoine, nor did I really get Jocelyn’s willingness to risk her life for her library.
I did find Jocelyn’s resolve to be inspiring, and I felt drawn in to her story. The beginning of the book is more fast-paced and I kept wanted to read more to find out what happens next! While I always enjoy a happy ending, I felt as though this book didn’t try to tie everything up prettily which I appreciated – sometimes HEA doesn’t happen!

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