Culture

Karen Robards’ The Black Swan Of Paris Is Historical Fiction At Its Best

New York Times Best Selling author Karen Robards’ latest novel, The Black Swan of Paris, is full of intrigue and heart-pulsing suspense, while taking place in Nazi Germany. It’s both heartbreaking and touching, and will stay with you long after you finish.

The Black Swan of Paris follows the story of celebrated singer Genevieve Dumont. Genevieve is loved by the Nazis, and as such she can travel across the country, including across borders, without much hassle. Unbeknownst to the Nazis however, Genevieve is actually an ally to the resistance. When her mother is captured by the Gestapo however, she fails to tell her allies about it and heads off across Occupied France to rescue her. Along the way she is re-united with her long-lost sister, and together they attempt to save their mother’s life before she’s tortured and gives out information about the upcoming allied invasion.

Historical fiction can be tough to write, considering it needs to be a perfect blend of truth and fiction. The truth needs to be historically correct, simply because going in readers will have a picture of the time and place in their minds already. The fiction needs to logically fit into that time period, without contradicting what is already known. Robards does a great job of that. Robards also makes the characters feel real, so much so that when they go through pain and turmoil, and feel love and warmth, you feel it alongside them. The familial bond between the sisters and their mother also feels very real, which makes the reader think about what they would do if they were in a similar situation. The novel does move along at a fairly slow pace at times, but when it hits its stride you won’t be able to put it down.

The Black Swan of Paris is a remarkable novel that will keep you thinking about it long after you finish it. You’ll probably recommend it to friends and family as well, so that you have someone to talk about it with afterwards. It’s a novel perfect for summer reading lists and books clubs.



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