cover image The Postmistress of Paris

The Postmistress of Paris

Meg Waite Clayton. Harper, $27.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-06-294698-0

Clayton (The Last Train to London) expertly renders the story of a courageous American woman’s role in the French Resistance during WWII. In 1938, Naneé Gold lives in the company of Parisian writers and artists. When the Germans invade France, Naneé flees Paris with T, the wife of her “French brother,” Danny Bénédite, whom she had lived with while studying at the Sorbonne, and the Bénédites’ young son, Peterkin. Determined to help thwart the Nazi occupation, Naneé begins working with Varian Fry, who provides aid to refugees while secretly helping artists escape, and she later embarks on a mission to free photographer and artist Edouard Moss from an internment camp. As the war rages on, Naneé takes up residence at a villa in Marseilles with Danny, T, and Peterkin following Danny’s French military service. Naneé helps Edouard search for his daughter Luki, whom he sent to Paris before his internment. As Naneé and Edouard become lovers, the intensity of their romance is heightened by the ever-present dangers from the Germans. Clayton’s lyrical, thought-provoking prose breathes life into her characters. This sterling portrait of a complex woman stands head and shoulders above most contemporary WWII fiction. Agent: Marly Rusoff, Marly Rusoff & Assoc. (Nov.)