Henderson, an American, married Marcel Benoit and lives with
him in Paris. Unbeknownst to Ruby, Marcel has joined an underground
group that helps downed RAF pilots return to England so they
can continue to fight the Nazi invasion of France. When Ruby
learns of Marcel’s death, she remains in Paris, hoping
to carry on his work.
Charlotte Dacher, Ruby’s neighbor, is nearing her teens
when the threat of the Nazis’ arrival looms. After restrictions
against the Jews are instituted, Charlotte’s parents
realize it’s only a matter of time before they are deported
and ask Ruby to watch over Charlotte, to which Ruby agrees.
Charlotte eventually sees Ruby lead RAF pilot Thomas Clarke
into her apartment, the reason Charlotte becomes aware of
Ruby’s involvement in the resistance. He is just the
first of many pilots Ruby and the resistance group help escape,
but he’s the only one Ruby can’t forget.
As more resistance participants are killed, and pilots are
taken prisoner, Ruby and Charlotte realize the dangers they
face, but show their courage on a daily basis as they work
to protect Paris and its occupants from complete Nazi takeover,
even though it means risking their lives.
Kristin Harmel has written a spellbinding novel of bravery
and compassion, one providing us with insights into characters
who represent many affected by the war in Paris. Harmel has
based this novel partially on the experiences of Virginia
d’Albert-Lake, who worked on the Comet escape line in
1943 and 1944 before her arrest and imprisonment, and additional
research Harmel conducted on the lives of people and the tense
situation in Paris during the German occupation. As a result,
fast-paced action and high tension is woven throughout Room
on Rue Amélie, making it a story of passion and courage,
and one of the best books I’ve read this year.
of other titles by the author