Jocelyn Ferrec’s happily ever after was just about to begin. Marrying the love of her life with nothing but a bright, long future ahead of them, her dreams were quickly squandered when World War II reached their doorstep in August 1938. As her beloved, Antoine, is called to arms, Jocelyn is left to survive through countless horrors, determined to protect the books she has spent her life sharing with the people of Saint-Malo, while life only grows more dangerous as the war escalates. A world without books is a world Jocelyn refuses to live in; however, when the Nazis occupy her city, bringing their propaganda and destruction with them, she will be forced to shield each title with her life. Will Jocelyn be able to save her library, or will the war steal everything from her?
Mario Escobar is a sensational author. Bringing history to life, his novels combine fiction and non-fiction into an elegant yet devastating tale of life, love, trust, and redemption. With gripping one-liners, I was captivated by the words and often had to pause to jot down the quotes so I wouldn’t forget. While The Librarian of Saint-Malo didn’t pull me in the same way as Children of the Stars, Escobar’s previous release, Jocelyn’s perseverance and passion for literature compelled me to continue. A woman after my own heart, her bravery and tenacity were inspiring.
Though I had not heard of Saint-Malo before reading this novel, I will not soon forget about the events that took place during the war. We don’t often talk about how the countrymen and women of occupied territories suffered during the Nazi’s push for global control, so it’s books like The Librarian of Saint-Malo that tell us of the history we should never forget while also initiating new conversations that educate us on how to prevent these things from happening again!
*Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a pre-release copy of this book. My thoughts and opinions are entirely my own!*