Profile Picture

  • ADMIN AREA MY BOOKSHELF MY DASHBOARD MY PROFILE SIGN OUT SIGN IN

avatar

THE PAPER GIRL OF PARIS

by Jordyn Taylor ‧ RELEASE DATE: May 26, 2020

Passionate, impulsive Chloe and her popular older sister, Adalyn, were inseparable—until the Nazis invaded France in 1940 and Adalyn started keeping secrets.

Over half a century later, Alice, Chloe’s 16-year-old American granddaughter, has just inherited her childhood home in Paris. The fully furnished apartment has clearly been neglected for decades and raises more questions than it answers: Why didn’t Gram talk about her childhood? Who is the second girl in the photos throughout the apartment? Why didn’t Gram’s family return there after the war? Alice’s father is reluctant to discuss anything that might upset Alice’s mother, who’s still reeling from her mother’s death, so Alice decides to find answers on her own. What she eventually learns both shocks and heals her family. Chapters alternate between Alice’s and Adalyn’s voices, narrating Adalyn’s experience as a French Christian of the Nazi occupation and Alice’s attempts to understand what happened after the war. The girls’ stories parallel one another in significant ways: Each has a romance with a young Frenchman, each has a parent struggling with depression, and each must consider the lengths she would go to protect those she loves. Though at times feeling a bit rushed, Alice’s engaging contemporary perspective neatly frames Adalyn’s immersive, heartbreaking story as it slowly unfolds—providing an important history lesson as well as a framework for discussing depression. Alice and her family are white.

Pub Date: May 26, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-293662-2

Page Count: 368

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: Feb. 8, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

TEENS & YOUNG ADULT HISTORICAL FICTION | TEENS & YOUNG ADULT ROMANCE

Share your opinion of this book

More by Jordyn Taylor

THE REVENGE GAME

BOOK REVIEW

by Jordyn Taylor

DON'T BREATHE A WORD

IF HE HAD BEEN WITH ME

by Laura Nowlin ‧ RELEASE DATE: April 1, 2013

There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.

The finely drawn characters capture readers’ attention in this debut.

Autumn and Phineas, nicknamed Finny, were born a week apart; their mothers are still best friends. Growing up, Autumn and Finny were like peas in a pod despite their differences: Autumn is “quirky and odd,” while Finny is “sweet and shy and everyone like[s] him.” But in eighth grade, Autumn and Finny stop being friends due to an unexpected kiss. They drift apart and find new friends, but their friendship keeps asserting itself at parties, shared holiday gatherings and random encounters. In the summer after graduation, Autumn and Finny reconnect and are finally ready to be more than friends. But on August 8, everything changes, and Autumn has to rely on all her strength to move on. Autumn’s coming-of-age is sensitively chronicled, with a wide range of experiences and events shaping her character. Even secondary characters are well-rounded, with their own histories and motivations.

Pub Date: April 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4022-7782-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Feb. 12, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013

TEENS & YOUNG ADULT ROMANCE | TEENS & YOUNG ADULT SOCIAL THEMES

More by Laura Nowlin

IF ONLY I HAD TOLD HER

by Laura Nowlin

More About This Book

Sales of Print Books Fall in First Three Quarters

SEEN & HEARD

IF ONLY I HAD TOLD HER

IF ONLY I HAD TOLD HER

by Laura Nowlin ‧ RELEASE DATE: Feb. 6, 2024

A heavy read about the harsh realities of tragedy and their effects on those left behind.

In this companion novel to 2013’s If He Had Been With Me , three characters tell their sides of the story.

Finn’s narrative starts three days before his death. He explores the progress of his unrequited love for best friend Autumn up until the day he finally expresses his feelings. Finn’s story ends with his tragic death, which leaves his close friends devastated, unmoored, and uncertain how to go on. Jack’s section follows, offering a heartbreaking look at what it’s like to live with grief. Jack works to overcome the anger he feels toward Sylvie, the girlfriend Finn was breaking up with when he died, and Autumn, the girl he was preparing to build his life around (but whom Jack believed wasn’t good enough for Finn). But when Jack sees how Autumn’s grief matches his own, it changes their understanding of one another. Autumn’s chapters trace her life without Finn as readers follow her struggles with mental health and balancing love and loss. Those who have read the earlier book will better connect with and feel for these characters, particularly since they’ll have a more well-rounded impression of Finn. The pain and anger is well written, and the novel highlights the most troublesome aspects of young adulthood: overconfidence sprinkled with heavy insecurities, fear-fueled decisions, bad communication, and brash judgments. Characters are cued white.

Pub Date: Feb. 6, 2024

ISBN: 9781728276229

Page Count: 416

Review Posted Online: Jan. 5, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2024

TEENS & YOUNG ADULT SOCIAL THEMES | TEENS & YOUNG ADULT FICTION | TEENS & YOUNG ADULT ROMANCE

IF HE HAD BEEN WITH ME

  • Discover Books Fiction Thriller & Suspense Mystery & Detective Romance Science Fiction & Fantasy Nonfiction Biography & Memoir Teens & Young Adult Children's
  • News & Features Bestsellers Book Lists Profiles Perspectives Awards Seen & Heard Book to Screen Kirkus TV videos In the News
  • Kirkus Prize Winners & Finalists About the Kirkus Prize Kirkus Prize Judges
  • Magazine Current Issue All Issues Manage My Subscription Subscribe
  • Writers’ Center Hire a Professional Book Editor Get Your Book Reviewed Advertise Your Book Launch a Pro Connect Author Page Learn About The Book Industry
  • More Kirkus Diversity Collections Kirkus Pro Connect My Account/Login
  • About Kirkus History Our Team Contest FAQ Press Center Info For Publishers
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms & Conditions
  • Reprints, Permission & Excerpting Policy

© Copyright 2024 Kirkus Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Go To Top

Popular in this Genre

Close Quickview

Hey there, book lover.

We’re glad you found a book that interests you!

Please select an existing bookshelf

Create a new bookshelf.

We can’t wait for you to join Kirkus!

Please sign up to continue.

It’s free and takes less than 10 seconds!

Already have an account? Log in.

Sign in with Google

Trouble signing in? Retrieve credentials.

Almost there!

  • Industry Professional

Welcome Back!

Sign in using your Kirkus account

Contact us: 1-800-316-9361 or email [email protected].

Don’t fret. We’ll find you.

Magazine Subscribers ( How to Find Your Reader Number )

If You’ve Purchased Author Services

Don’t have an account yet? Sign Up.

the paper girl of paris book review

“The Paper Girl of Paris” Will Transport You Straight to the City of Lights

By Marilyn La Jeunesse

paper girl of paris book

All products are independently selected by our editors. If you buy something, we may earn an affiliate commission.

It’s not often that a young adult book comes along that makes you laugh, cry, and simultaneously teach you about the war crimes and atrocities that occurred during the deadliest war in history . Yet, Jordyn Taylor’s debut historical fiction novel The Paper Girl of Paris does exactly that with a finesse that can only be read, rather than explained.

In Taylor’s novel, a duel-perspective narration follows the lives of two sixteen-year-old girls: Alice, who is visiting present-day Paris during the summer, and Adalyn, who lives in Nazi-occupied Paris during the 1940s. While their two stories may seem wholly unrelated, the two girls have an undeniable connection based on a singular family secret.

A quick read that history lovers will easily devour, The Paper Girl of Paris is a delightfully refreshing addition to the world of historical YA fiction — even if it’s ending will have you sobbing uncontrollably into a pile of tissues. Below, the author gives Teen Vogue a deeper look at what went into writing her expertly-crafted novel. Plus, read an exclusive excerpt from the first chapter.

Teen Vogue: Can you tell me a little about what inspired you to write this story?

Jordyn Taylor: Growing up as a Jewish kid who loved history, I was constantly reading about people resisting the Nazis in World War II. My parents actually had to put a temporary ban on me taking out Holocaust books from our local library, because I’d read them, get sad and scared, and not be able to sleep at night. At the same time, I was so inspired by these stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things to fight evil, and I wanted to keep learning about it. I studied WWII history throughout high school and college, where I wrote my undergrad thesis on Soviet citizens oppressed by Hitler and Stalin. In the summer of 2018, my agent heard HarperTeen was looking for an author to write a YA novel about the French resistance in WWII. It was my dream project!

TV: What went into the research for this book? It’s so detailed and, when you write from Adalyn’s perspective, feels so authentic—especially when you’re describing the secret anti-occupation club and their struggle to stand up against the Nazis.

JT: As a history lover, it was important to me to get every detail right. I had a tight timeline to research and write this book: around five months, total. The diaries of women in Nazi-occupied France were especially helpful and inspiring to me. The three I turned to most often were the diaries of Agnès Humbert, a member of one of the first organized resistance groups, Victoria D’Albert-Lake, an American woman who helped transport downed Allied airmen out of France, and Hélène Berr, a young Jewish woman who documented the horrors of anti-Semitism in France before she was murdered in the Holocaust.

TV: Grief, mental health, and family communication are all at the forefront of your novel — why was it so important to include this as a dual-dynamic between your two characters who are living very different lives at very different times in history?

JT: I’m a huge advocate for mental health awareness, both as the deputy editor of content at Men’s Health magazine, and as a person with obsessive-compulsive disorder . (In the spirit of destigmatizing mental illness, I realize I haven’t been as open as I could be about my OCD. So here goes: I have it; sometimes it’s NBD and other times it’s really freaking hard; and I’m grateful for cognitive behavioral therapy!)

I’ve come across so many instances of people experiencing mental illness and the well-meaning folks around them just not knowing the right things to do or say. When I was writing PGoP , I took the opportunity to give readers a framework for handling that kind of situation in their own lives.

TV: Could you talk a bit more about the message of the book, especially as it pertains to the current situation in the United States today? How do Alice and Adalyn show the different ways you can stand up for what’s right, despite your circumstances?

JT: When I started working on this book in 2018, I had no idea it would eventually come out in the midst of nationwide Black Lives Matter protests—and I’m so happy it did, because the message of the book is about standing up for what’s right, even when it’s hard to do. For Alice, the challenge is initiating a difficult conversation her family would rather avoid; for Adalyn, it’s risking her life to fight back against France’s Nazi occupiers. With regard to the current situation in the United States, we all have to summon the courage to fight for equality. For people (like me) who benefit from white privilege, it might be temptingly easy to say, “This doesn’t apply to me, so I’m not going to get involved.” But the truth is, staying silent means you’re complicit with oppression and injustice. As anti-racist allies, we must actively take steps to combat racism.

TV: How do Alice and Adalyn show the different ways you can stand up for what’s right, despite your circumstances?

JT: Alice and Adalyn are both ordinary teenagers who go above and beyond what’s expected of them, albeit in different ways. I hope it shows readers that anyone can be an advocate for change, whether you’re risking your personal safety (like Adalyn) or having difficult conversations with loved ones (like Alice). Speaking to my fellow anti-racist allies today, there are so many ways we can stand up for what’s right: amplifying marginalized voices ; donating our money to social justice causes ; attending a protest ; listening to others and educating ourselves ; volunteering our time; and more .

TV: Can we take a moment to talk about that ending? A book hasn’t made me openly cry for a while now and the ending blew me away. What was it like when you were writing that particular scene and why end it this way?

Megan Thee Stallion's See-Through Fringe Pants Are Super On-Brand

By Kara Nesvig

Hailey Bieber Bares Baby Bump in Butterfly Crop Top

By Donya Momenian

214 Fun Questions to Ask Friends, From Your BFF to New Pals

By Kristi Kellogg

JT: You and me both! As I was writing the ending, I unexpectedly burst into tears at my writing desk in the corner of the living room. I’d always known how I was going to end the book, but having to actually type those heart-wrenching scenes was really tough! I think I was also emotional because I knew I’d have to say goodbye to all my characters soon—my time living in their world was coming to an end.

For everyone else who openly cries at the ending: Please know there was an even sadder version I once proposed to my editor, and she said something along the lines of, “You can’t do that to people, Jordyn.” She was right—this ending is way better. I know it’s sad, and parts of it might feel unfair, but that seemed more true to me. How often do real-world problems get tied up in a neat bow? Almost never. Reality is messy and complicated and we do the best we can.

Below, read an excerpt from chapter one of The Paper Girl of Paris .

My heart thumps harder the higher we climb, until I’m sure everyone can hear it reverberating off the walls. I’m still in shock that Gram left the apartment to me instead of Mom, although it’s true that we were very close, and I saw her a lot more than Mom did, because her condo was close to the high school; I could see it from the windows in the third-floor science lab. I would stop in to visit her all the time on my walk home; she would put out coffee and banana bread and we’d talk about whatever was on our minds, from my nonexistent love life to the latest drama in her Saturday-afternoon bridge club. And then, of course, there was that stretch of time in the first grade, back when Mom had all those doctor’s appointments, that Gram would pick me up from school and make me dinner every night. We had a special bond from the

I remember a cold, rainy day back in February, when I was sitting at her dining room table and tracing my finger around the rim of the polka-dot coffee mug she always reserved for me. “Gram,” I asked sullenly, “what does it mean if I still don’t have a date for the spring semiformal?”

Gram raised one of her wispy white eyebrows. “What does it mean ?”

She snorted. “It means you haven’t gotten around to asking anybody yet.”

My neck and forehead are damp by the time we reach the door with the rusty number five on it.

There doesn’t seem to be any air-conditioning in the building, and it’s late June.

Dad comes up next, with Mom bringing up the rear. We all take a moment to catch our breath. And then it’s time.

“Do you want to do it?” I offer to Mom. I want her to feel like the apartment belongs to both of us.

“No thanks,” she says. “You go ahead.”

With trembling fingers, I take out the key. It fits into the hole and turns with a satisfying click, and I gently push open the door.

My first impression is that it smells like an old book: moldy and musty but nevertheless inviting, like it’s happy that someone has finally cracked its spine. We’re standing on the threshold of a foyer with paneled walls and high ceilings, but it’s too dark to get a sense of any of the rooms beyond.

I don’t know why I just said that. It’s clear that no one is here, and that no one has been here for quite some time. When I step into the room, the floor feels strangely soft underfoot, and I look down to find a thick layer of dust creeping up over the laces of the purple Converse sneakers I bought with my tutoring money. The dust is everywhere: on the wooden bench next to the door, on the coatrack in the corner, probably in the stale air I’m breathing.

Mom coughs into the sleeve of her cardigan.

“I think I’ll stay outside, you guys.”

“You don’t want to explore just a little bit?” I gesture brightly into the shadows.

“We can stay here while you go look around,” says Dad, taking Mom by the hand. Mom doesn’t object to this plan, so the only thing left for me to do is press deeper into the darkness.

“It’s hard to see where— Ow.”

After feeling my way through an archway, I bang my knee into something sturdy. A table. Carefully, I feel my way around it, until a thin strip of light tells me I’ve made it to a window. The curtains are stiff, but with a little effort, I manage to pull them aside, and the bright summer sunlight floods into the apartment like a tidal wave. I hear Dad gasp, and not in a fake-enthusiastic Realtor way. I turn around, and my jaw drops.

“Oh . . . my . . . god.”

There’s only one way to put it: We’ve traveled back in time. We’re standing in the middle of a fully furnished apartment that hasn’t been touched in . . . in who knows how long. I’m in the dining room, staring down the length of an elegant wooden table. To my right, there’s a buffet with silver candlesticks and serving ware on top. Large paintings in ornate gilded frames cover the walls from end to end. The place reminds me of a movie set, only it’s real—and it must have

been pretty fancy back in its day, which makes me wonder how Gram could have ever lived here. She always said she was penniless when she arrived in America with Gramps, the

two of them making do on one square meal a day.

Over at the door, Dad convinces Mom to venture into the apartment. On her first step, she slips on the dust and nearly falls over, but Dad steadies her just in time.

“Look at the dining room, Diane!”

“I see it, Mark.”

“This isn’t so bad, right?”

“Speak for yourself.”

I wish there were something I could say to make it better, but I know there isn’t, so I open a set of double doors and walk through to another darkened room. I follow a second strip of light to a set of curtains, drag them open, and take in the sight of a lavish living room. There’s even more expensive-looking artwork in here, and an upright wooden piano that must be extremely out of key by now. I take a lap of the room, marveling at the massive fireplace and the mirror resting on the mantel. I poke one of the upholstered armchairs by the window, and a cloud of dust dances into the air. The apartment is definitely pleased to see me.

Careful not to disturb the carpet of dust on every surface, I tiptoe from room to room, wishing my eyes could look in ten different directions at once. My parents are moving at a fraction of the pace, still peering around the foyer. I explore the kitchen and a small square room with a desk and floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. In the hallway branching off from the other side of the foyer, I open a closet door to find an eerie sight: a dozen coats still hanging neatly from the racks, like ghosts standing in single file. The back of my neck prickles.

The apartment isn’t just ancient furniture anymore; now there’s something human about it. What would make a family abandon this luxurious apartment without taking any of their stuff? And could it really have been Gram’s family?

“Hey, Alice, come take a look at this!” It’s Dad.

They’re still near the door, standing by a table against the wall. There are framed photos lined up all along it, and Dad is almost done using the bottom of his T-shirt to clean the dust off them. Mom stares at the ones he’s cleaned already. Her face could be made of stone, if not for the muscle twitching in her jaw.

“D-did you guys find something cool?”

“I don’t get it,” Mom says.

The photos are all in black and white. The one farthest to the left shows a young girl sitting on a boardwalk. She’s gripping the edge of the bench and twisting slightly in her seat, like she wants you to know she’d rather be on the sand than posing in a dress for the camera. She has shiny blond hair and freckles on her nose, and she looks incredibly familiar.

“Mom, is that you?”

But it can’t be. This was taken decades before she was born. In the background of the photo, there are men in highwaisted swimsuits and women in structured one-pieces that look like dresses. People are carrying parasols, for god’s sake.

So that means—

“It’s Gram,” Dad says.

It hits me out of nowhere: the tightening in my throat, the tears welling in my eyes and fogging up my glasses. I busy myself with wiping them off so Mom doesn’t see me like this. I want to be strong for her right now, but I miss Gram, too. I miss coffee and banana bread. I miss laughing at Gram’s stories about Ethel from bridge club, who always fell asleep in the middle of the game. I miss showing Gram photos of my crushes on Instagram and having her rate them without mercy. But most of all, I miss having a family member I could open up to. I talk and laugh and get along with my parents, but I never talk about feelings with them. They’re too reserved—I needed Gram for that. I swallow hard. I feel guilty every time I have those kinds of thoughts, because I know how much Mom is suffering, and I love her. I love Dad, too. By the time I put my glasses back on, the tears are gone.

I turn back to the photographs. Little Gram is in all of them. There she is sitting cross-legged in the grass beside a picnic spread, and there she is in knee socks and a tunic, posing in front of a school.

“So do you think this apartment is . . .”

The next photo answers my question. It’s Gram again, sitting at what is unmistakably the long wooden table in the other room. I recognize the paintings on the wall behind her. Gram lived here. This was her childhood home—her very fancy childhood home. I don’t know what else I expected it to be, but the truth is so bizarre, I can hardly wrap my head around it. Maybe the family abandoned it to escape the war. But if that was the case, why didn’t they ever come back? What happened to them?

I’m mulling over dozens of new questions when I notice the girl. In the photo from the picnic, she’s lying on her stomach and flipping through a book. In the one by the school, she’s posing next to Gram in a matching outfit. She doesn’t look familiar to me, but she has dark eyes and dark curls just like mine, only she’s much more beautiful. It’s an objective fact. She looks like a movie star; I look like a dork who’s maybe kind of cute, if you squint your eyes and tilt your head to the left.

“Mom,” I ask gently, “did Gram ever say she had a sister?”

“No,” she says. “Apparently there’s a lot your grandmother never told me.”

But there’s no doubt about it. They have to be sisters. Farther on down the line, there’s a professional portrait of Gram, the girl, and two people who must be their parents. The woman looks immaculate in diamond earrings and a necklace with a big gemstone hanging at the base of her neck. The man is rougher around the edges, his suit a few sizes too big for his thin frame, and I notice that he’s missing the last three fingers on his left hand.

Dad squeezes Mom’s shoulder. “Have you ever seen a photo of your grandparents?”

“No,” she snaps, wriggling away from his touch. “All I knew is they died before I was born.”

I have an idea. I find an opening in the top of the frame, slide out the photo, and flip it over. Sure enough, there’s writing on the back: Maman, Papa, Chloe, et Adalyn. 1938. Chloe was Gram’s name, which means her sister had to be . . . Adalyn.

I haven’t heard that name before. In my grade at school, there are five Emilys, four Hannahs, three Ashleys, and three Samanthas, but nobody named Adalyn. I like it—more than I like Alice, which sounds so mousy and uptight. There’s something about the dark-haired girl that makes it hard to look away, and it isn’t just that she’s prettier than any other human I’ve seen in my life. There’s a strange sort of look in her eyes, like she’s analyzing the person taking her picture.

“Her name was Adalyn,” I tell Mom as I hand her the photograph.

She slots it back into the picture frame without so much as a passing glance. Dad runs his palm over what’s left of his thinning hair. He does it whenever he’s in over his head and contemplating what to say next.

“Maybe we should go get some lunch,” he suggests.

“Diane, what do you think?”

“That’s fine with me.”

My heart sinks. I’m not ready to leave yet. I want to keep exploring—I haven’t even seen any of the bedrooms yet. But at the same time, I know Dad is right. This is a lot for Mom to absorb all at once, and it’s better for her if we don’t stick around for too long. I don’t want to be selfish. With one last sweeping look at the apartment, I make a silent promise to Gram that I’ll be back as soon as I can. It’s probably best that I come alone next time so I can stay for as long as I want.

I follow my parents into the stairwell and close the door behind us. I left the curtains open so the light will shine in.

Let us slide into your DMs. Sign up for the Teen Vogue daily email .

Want more from Teen Vogue ? Check this out: 73 Books By Black Authors We're Reading in 2020

What It Means to Be Part of “The Baby-Sitters Club” Generation

By De Elizabeth

“Ghosts of Harvard” Is a Hauntingly Beautiful Summer Read

By Charlotte Collins

Ella Rubin Was Destined to Play Anne Hathaway’s Daughter in The Idea of You

By Ilana Kaplan

Pine Reads Review

The Paper Girl of Paris | Piecing Together the Past

the paper girl of paris book review

Warning: This blog contains spoilers for The Paper Girl of Paris by Jordyn Taylor (HarperTeen, 2020).

When I was sixteen, I visited Paris and fell in love.

I know what you’re thinking, but no, I (unfortunately) did not fall in love with a handsome stranger who swept me off my feet and made me the heroine of what would become a love story for the ages.

No, I fell in love with the city. So much so, in fact, that I swore I wanted to make Paris my home one day. While that hasn’t happened (yet), that week spent in Paris created an Eiffel Tower-shaped spot in my heart for all things French…including novels. 

And The Paper Girl of Paris by Jordyn Taylor is no exception.

But when Alice Prewitt, one of the protagonists of this novel, was sixteen and visited Paris, her intentions were quite different than mine. Whereas I longed to experience the magic and find out exactly what has captivated so many people about the City of Light, Alice wanted to solve a mystery about her family—and maybe fall in love along the way. 

A few months before Alice’s half of the book takes place, Alice’s grandmother passes away and leaves Alice an abandoned apartment in Paris that hasn’t been touched in over seventy years. Like any curious person who’s been left with something strange from a family member’s will, Alice and her parents decide to spend the summer in Paris. While her parents spend most of the time in their Airbnb, Alice discovers the diary of her grandmother’s sister, Adalyn Bonhomme, and embarks on a quest to learn as much about her family as she can.

In a clever twist, the other half of the book is narrated by Alice’s great-aunt: Adalyn. In 1940, sixteen-year-old Adalyn is living in the midst of the Nazi Occupation of France. Everything she’s ever known about her city is changing, and Adalyn is determined to fight back. She joins a resistance group and begins to fall in love herself, but Adalyn soon discovers that the fight for freedom comes with costly repercussions to those she most loves. 

The dual-narration of Alice and Adalyn presented this book with the opportunity to have one foot in contemporary and the other in historical fiction. It was a fresh and unique method to explore the past…and my personal favorite element of the book. While Alice dives into Adalyn’s diary and breaks down the pieces of the past into modern ideas, Adalyn’s chapters bring the past into the present and make it compelling and immediate. The novel brushes the dust off this chapter of history, but Adalyn’s story would not have felt complete without Alice’s and vice versa. 

The two young women live in extremely different times, but many parts of their characters felt similar. Both girls have an immense love for their families, but they both also struggle with them. Adalyn’s close relationship with her sister (Alice’s future grandmother) bends precariously throughout the book. And while Alice loves her mother dearly, a large part of Alice’s narration includes frustrated descriptions of her mother’s mental illness and how she longs to help her. Both girls begin serious romantic relationships in the story as well, and as Adalyn becomes more confident in herself, so too does Alice. The parallelism of family struggles and romance connects Alice and Adalyn despite the decades that stretch between them. 

But that’s where the novel falls just a bit short, in my opinion. While I did enjoy reading about Alice’s discovery of this long-lost great-aunt, once Adalyn’s narration began, Alice’s sections did not feel as powerful as Adalyn’s fight against an oppressive regime. I found myself skimming Alice’s narration in an effort to return to Adalyn’s sections faster. Alice’s complaints about her life and her irresponsible actions seemed petty and immature in comparison to Adalyn’s valiant resistance work. To me, this negative juxtaposition that is only revealed when the two narratives are placed directly next to each other is the downside of the past/present dual-narration. 

But for the most part, the exploration of the past through the perspectives of one living through it and one discovering it seventy years later was enjoyable and refreshing. There is a very real satisfaction to be had when the past and the present fuse together at the end, and that satisfaction is only possible because of the unique narrative. 

The fascinating narrative also makes possible an exploration of Paris that spans both streets and years. Watching Alice and Adalyn walk the same paths with seventy years between them took me back to my own visit to Paris. This story not only reminded me of a city that I love, but also intertwined Alice and Adalyn’s stories while piecing together the past. 

PRR Writer, Wendy Waltrip

Pick up your own copy today!

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.org

  • Pine Reads Review

Copyright © Pine Reads Review, 2018. All Rights Reserved.

the paper girl of paris book review

The Paper Girl of Paris

Jordyn taylor. harperteen, $17.99 (368p) isbn 978-0-06-293662-2.

the paper girl of paris book review

Reviewed on: 04/16/2020

Genre: Children's

Compact Disc - 978-1-0941-5989-8

MP3 CD - 978-1-0941-5990-4

Other - 384 pages - 978-0-06-293665-3

Paperback - 384 pages - 978-0-06-293664-6

  • Apple Books
  • Barnes & Noble

More By and About this Author chevron_right

the paper girl of paris book review

Featured Children's Reviews

the paper girl of paris book review

the paper girl of paris book review

  • Teen & Young Adult
  • Literature & Fiction

Audible Logo

Download the free Kindle app and start reading Kindle books instantly on your smartphone, tablet or computer – no Kindle device required .

Read instantly on your browser with Kindle for Web.

Using your mobile phone camera, scan the code below and download the Kindle app.

QR code to download the Kindle app

Follow the authors

Jordyn Taylor

Image Unavailable

The Paper Girl of Paris

  • To view this video, download Flash Player

The Paper Girl of Paris Paperback – April 20 2021

Purchase options and add-ons.

"A quick read that history lovers will easily devour."— Teen Vogue

"Get ready to be transported to Paris in Taylor's incredible debut novel."— Seventeen , Editor's Choice

Code Name Verity meets Jennifer Donnelly’s Revolution in this gripping debut novel, now in paperback with a teaser to Jordyn Taylor's next fast-paced historical YA novel, Don't Breathe a Word

Sixteen-year-old Alice is spending the summer in Paris, but she isn’t there for pastries and walks along the Seine. When her grandmother passed away two months ago, she left Alice an apartment in France that no one knew existed. An apartment that has been locked for more than seventy years.

Alice is determined to find out why the apartment was abandoned and why her grandmother never once mentioned the family she left behind when she moved to America after World War II. With the help of Paul, a charming Parisian student, she sets out to uncover the truth. However, the more time she spends digging through the mysteries of the past, the more she realizes there are secrets in the present that her family is still refusing to talk about.

Sixteen-year-old Adalyn doesn’t recognize Paris anymore. Everywhere she looks, there are Nazis, and every day brings a new horror of life under the Occupation. When she meets Luc, the dashing and enigmatic leader of a resistance group, Adalyn feels she finally has a chance to fight back.

But keeping up the appearance of being a much-admired socialite while working to undermine the Nazis is more complicated than she could have imagined. As the war goes on, Adalyn finds herself having to make more and more compromises—to her safety, to her reputation, and to her relationships with the people she loves the most.

  • Print length 384 pages
  • Language English
  • Publisher HarperTeen
  • Publication date April 20 2021
  • Reading age 13 - 17 years
  • Dimensions 13.49 x 2.18 x 20.32 cm
  • ISBN-10 0062936646
  • ISBN-13 978-0062936646
  • See all details

Frequently bought together

The Paper Girl of Paris

What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?

Shadow Jumper: A mystery adventure book for children and teens aged 10-14

Product description

"A beautiful story of two girls' courage and commitment seven decades apart. THE PAPER GIRL OF PARIS takes us into the very heart of Paris, in both the darkest hours of the German occupation and of one modern family's deep grief, and invites us to fall in love. A finely crafted historical fiction debut." — —Caroline Leech, author of Wait for Me and In Another Time

"Gripping" — Kirkus Reviews

“Jordyn Taylor has written a book with all the gems you hope for in a story to treasure: mystery, romance, fi erce heroines doing brave things in the face of everything from familial trauma to historical tragedy. The way these parallel stories converge is brilliant and satisfying. I had to read this book all at once.” — —Florence Gonsalves, author of Love & Other Carnivorous Plants and Dear Universe

“A must-read for fans of Code Name Verity, Taylor’s debut aptly blends mystery, romance, history, and complicated family dynamics into a compulsively readable story.” — —Liz Lawson, author of The Lucky Ones

"If historical fiction is your jam, then we've got a treat for you with this debut novel."  — CNN Underscored 

"Get ready to be transported to Paris in Taylor's incredible debut novel." — Seventeen, Editor's Choice

"A quick read that history lovers will easily devour" — Teen Vogue

About the Author

Jordyn Taylor is a New York City–based writer and journalist, currently the deputy editor at Men’s Health magazine; her work has appeared in the New York Observer , Mic, and Glamour.com .

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ HarperTeen; Reprint edition (April 20 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 384 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0062936646
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0062936646
  • Item weight ‏ : ‎ 1.05 kg
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 13.49 x 2.18 x 20.32 cm
  • #2 in Historical Mysteries & Thrillers for Young Adults
  • #3 in Military History for Young Adults
  • #24 in Historical Romance for Young Adults

About the authors

Jordyn taylor.

Jordyn Taylor is a New York City–based writer and journalist, currently the deputy editor at Men’s Health magazine; her work has appeared in the New York Observer, Mic, and Glamour.com.

Jordyn Taylor is a New York City–based writer and journalist, currently the executive digital editor at Men’s Health magazine; her work has appeared in the New York Observer, Mic, and Glamour.

Customer reviews

Reviews with images.

Customer Image

  • Sort reviews by Top reviews Most recent Top reviews

Top reviews from Canada

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. please try again later..

the paper girl of paris book review

Top reviews from other countries

the paper girl of paris book review

  • Amazon and Our Planet
  • Investor Relations
  • Press Releases
  • Amazon Science
  • Sell on Amazon
  • Supply to Amazon
  • Become an Affiliate
  • Protect & Build Your Brand
  • Sell on Amazon Handmade
  • Advertise Your Products
  • Independently Publish with Us
  • Host an Amazon Hub
  • Amazon.ca Rewards Mastercard
  • Shop with Points
  • Reload Your Balance
  • Amazon Currency Converter
  • Amazon Cash
  • Shipping Rates & Policies
  • Amazon Prime
  • Returns Are Easy
  • Manage your Content and Devices
  • Recalls and Product Safety Alerts
  • Customer Service
  • Conditions of Use
  • Privacy Notice
  • Interest-Based Ads
  • Amazon.com.ca ULC | 40 King Street W 47th Floor, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5H 3Y2 |1-877-586-3230

the paper girl of paris book review

  • Young Adult
  • Literature & Fiction
  • Social & Family Issues

Audible Logo

Download the free Kindle app and start reading Kindle books instantly on your smartphone, tablet or computer – no Kindle device required .

Read instantly on your browser with Kindle for Web.

Using your mobile phone camera - scan the code below and download the Kindle app.

QR code to download the Kindle App

Follow the authors

Jordyn Taylor

Image Unavailable

The Paper Girl of Paris

  • To view this video download Flash Player

The Paper Girl of Paris Hardcover – 9 July 2020

"A quick read that history lovers will easily devour."— Teen Vogue

"Get ready to be transported to Paris in Taylor's incredible debut novel."— Seventeen , Editor's Choice

Code Name Verity meets Jennifer Donnelly’s Revolution in this gripping debut novel .

Sixteen-year-old Alice is spending the summer in Paris, but she isn’t there for pastries and walks along the Seine. When her grandmother passed away two months ago, she left Alice an apartment in France that no one knew existed. An apartment that has been locked for more than seventy years.

Alice is determined to find out why the apartment was abandoned and why her grandmother never once mentioned the family she left behind when she moved to America after World War II. With the help of Paul, a charming Parisian student, she sets out to uncover the truth. However, the more time she spends digging through the mysteries of the past, the more she realizes there are secrets in the present that her family is still refusing to talk about.

Sixteen-year-old Adalyn doesn’t recognize Paris anymore. Everywhere she looks, there are Nazis, and every day brings a new horror of life under the Occupation. When she meets Luc, the dashing and enigmatic leader of a resistance group, Adalyn feels she finally has a chance to fight back.

But keeping up the appearance of being a much-admired socialite while working to undermine the Nazis is more complicated than she could have imagined. As the war goes on, Adalyn finds herself having to make more and more compromises—to her safety, to her reputation, and to her relationships with the people she loves the most.

  • Print length 368 pages
  • Language English
  • Publisher HarperTeen
  • Publication date 9 July 2020
  • Grade level 8 - 9
  • Reading age 13 years and up
  • Dimensions 15.24 x 1.27 x 20.32 cm
  • ISBN-10 006293662X
  • ISBN-13 978-0062936622
  • See all details

Customers who viewed this item also viewed

Nineteen Steps: The Sunday Times bestselling debut novel inspired by the true events of her family’s history, from global sta

From the Publisher

test

At HarperCollins, authors and their work are at the center of everything we do. We are proud to provide our authors with unprecedented editorial excellence, marketing reach, long-standing connections with booksellers, and insight into reader and consumer behavior. Consistently at the forefront of innovation and technological advancement, HarperCollins also uses digital technology to create unique reading experiences and expand the reach of our authors.

HarperCollins was founded by brothers James and John Harper in New York City in 1817 as J. and J. Harper, later Harper & Brothers. In 1987, as Harper & Row, it was acquired by News Corporation. The worldwide book group was formed following News Corporation's 1990 acquisition of the British publisher William Collins & Sons. Founded in 1819, William Collins & Sons published a range of Bibles, atlases, dictionaries, and reissued classics, expanding over the years to include legendary authors such as H. G. Wells, Agatha Christie, J. R. R. Tolkien, and C. S. Lewis.

The house of Mark Twain, the Brontë sisters, Thackeray, Dickens, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., Maurice Sendak, Shel Silverstein, and Margaret Wise Brown, HarperCollins has a long and rich history that reaches back to the early nineteenth century and offers our publishing team a depth of experience.

Product description

"A beautiful story of two girls' courage and commitment seven decades apart. THE PAPER GIRL OF PARIS takes us into the very heart of Paris, in both the darkest hours of the German occupation and of one modern family's deep grief, and invites us to fall in love. A finely crafted historical fiction debut." — —Caroline Leech, author of Wait for Me and In Another Time

"Gripping" — Kirkus Reviews

“Jordyn Taylor has written a book with all the gems you hope for in a story to treasure: mystery, romance, fi erce heroines doing brave things in the face of everything from familial trauma to historical tragedy. The way these parallel stories converge is brilliant and satisfying. I had to read this book all at once.” — —Florence Gonsalves, author of Love & Other Carnivorous Plants and Dear Universe

“A must-read for fans of Code Name Verity, Taylor’s debut aptly blends mystery, romance, history, and complicated family dynamics into a compulsively readable story.” — —Liz Lawson, author of The Lucky Ones

"If historical fiction is your jam, then we've got a treat for you with this debut novel."  — CNN Underscored 

"Get ready to be transported to Paris in Taylor's incredible debut novel." — Seventeen, Editor's Choice

"A quick read that history lovers will easily devour" — Teen Vogue

About the Author

Jordyn Taylor is a New York City–based writer and journalist, currently the deputy editor at Men’s Health magazine; her work has appeared in the New York Observer , Mic, and Glamour.com .

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ HarperTeen (9 July 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 368 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 006293662X
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0062936622
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 13 years and up
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 15.24 x 1.27 x 20.32 cm
  • 176 in Fiction About Multigenerational Families for Young Adults
  • 216 in Military & War Historical Fiction for Young Adults
  • 310 in Military History for Young Adults

About the authors

Jordyn taylor.

Jordyn Taylor is a New York City–based writer and journalist, currently the executive digital editor at Men’s Health magazine; her work has appeared in the New York Observer, Mic, and Glamour.

Jordyn Taylor is a New York City–based writer and journalist, currently the deputy editor at Men’s Health magazine; her work has appeared in the New York Observer, Mic, and Glamour.com.

Customer reviews

Customer Reviews, including Product Star Ratings, help customers to learn more about the product and decide whether it is the right product for them.

To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyses reviews to verify trustworthiness.

Reviews with images

Customer Image

  • Sort reviews by Top reviews Most recent Top reviews

Top reviews from United Kingdom

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. please try again later..

the paper girl of paris book review

Top reviews from other countries

the paper girl of paris book review

  • UK Modern Slavery Statement
  • Sustainability
  • Amazon Science
  • Sell on Amazon
  • Sell on Amazon Business
  • Sell on Amazon Handmade
  • Sell on Amazon Launchpad
  • Supply to Amazon
  • Protect and build your brand
  • Associates Programme
  • Fulfilment by Amazon
  • Seller Fulfilled Prime
  • Advertise Your Products
  • Independently Publish with Us
  • Host an Amazon Hub
  • › See More Make Money with Us
  • Instalments by Barclays
  • Amazon Platinum Mastercard
  • Amazon Classic Mastercard
  • Amazon Currency Converter
  • Payment Methods Help
  • Shop with Points
  • Top Up Your Account
  • Top Up Your Account in Store
  • COVID-19 and Amazon
  • Track Packages or View Orders
  • Delivery Rates & Policies
  • Amazon Prime
  • Returns & Replacements
  • Manage Your Content and Devices
  • Recalls and Product Safety Alerts
  • Amazon Mobile App
  • Customer Service
  • Accessibility
  • Conditions of Use & Sale
  • Privacy Notice
  • Cookies Notice
  • Interest-Based Ads Notice

Advertisement

Supported by

Alice Munro, Nobel Laureate and Master of the Short Story, Dies at 92

Her stories were widely considered to be without equal, a mixture of ordinary people and extraordinary themes.

  • Share full article

Alice Munro, a white-haired woman wearing a brown top and brown pants, sits on a railroad track. Her hands are clasped over her right knee, and she is smiling.

By Anthony DePalma

Alice Munro, the revered Canadian author who started writing short stories because she did not think she had the time or the talent to master novels, then stubbornly dedicated her long career to churning out psychologically dense stories that dazzled the literary world and earned her the Nobel Prize in Literature, died on Monday night in Port Hope, Ontario, east of Toronto. She was 92.

A spokesman for her publisher, Penguin Random House Canada, confirmed the death, at a nursing home. Ms. Munro’s health had declined since at least 2009, when she said she’d had heart bypass surgery and had been treated for cancer, though she continued to write.

Ms. Munro was a member of the rare breed of writer, like Katherine Anne Porter and Raymond Carver, who made their reputations in the notoriously difficult literary arena of the short story, and did so with great success. Her tales — many of them focused on women at different stages of their lives coping with complex desires — were so eagerly received and gratefully read that she attracted a whole new generation of readers.

Ms. Munro’s stories were widely considered to be without equal, a mixture of ordinary people and extraordinary themes. She portrayed small-town folks, often in rural southwestern Ontario, facing situations that made the fantastic seem an everyday occurrence. Some of her characters were fleshed out so completely through generations and across continents that readers reached a level of intimacy with them that usually comes only with a full-length novel.

She achieved such compactness through exquisite craftsmanship and a degree of precision that did not waste words. Other writers declared some of her stories to be near-perfect — a heavy burden for a writer of modest personal character who had struggled to overcome a lack of self-confidence at the beginning of her career, when she left the protective embrace of her quiet hometown and ventured into the competitive literary scene.

Her insecurity, however powerfully she felt it, was never noticed by her fellow writers, who celebrated her craftsmanship and freely lent her their highest praise.

The Irish novelist Edna O’Brien ranked Ms. Munro with William Faulkner and James Joyce as writers who had influenced her work. Joyce Carol Oates said Munro stories “have the density — moral, emotional, sometimes historical — of other writers’ novels.” And the novelist Richard Ford once made it clear that questioning Ms. Munro’s mastery over the short story would be akin to doubting the hardness of a diamond or the bouquet of a ripened peach.

“With Alice it’s like a shorthand,” Mr. Ford said. “You’ll just mention her, and everybody just kind of generally nods that she’s just sort of as good as it gets.”

In awarding her the Nobel in 2013 , when she was 82, the Swedish Academy cited her 14 collections of stories and referred to her as “a master of the contemporary short story,” praising her ability to “accommodate the entire epic complexity of the novel in just a few short pages.”

As famous for the refined exuberance of her prose as for the modesty of her personal life, Ms. Munro declined to travel to Sweden to accept her Nobel, saying she was too frail. In place of the formal lecture that winners traditionally give, she taped a long interview in Victoria, British Columbia, where she had been visiting when her award was announced. When asked if the process of writing her stories had consumed her entirely, she responded that it did, then added, “But you know, I always got lunch for my children.”

During the presentation of the taped interview at the Swedish Academy, the Swedish actress Pernilla August read an excerpt from Ms. Munro’s story “Carried Away,” a multi-decade tale of dashed expectations that typified the complicated, often disappointing, world of her stories.

“She had a picture taken. She knew how she wanted it to be,” the excerpt read. “She would have liked to wear a simple white blouse, a peasant girl’s smock with the string open at the neck. She did not own a blouse of that description and in fact had only seen them in pictures. And she would have liked to let her hair down. Or if it had to be up, she would have liked it piled very loosely and bound with strings of pearls.

“Instead she wore her blue silk shirtwaist and bound her hair as usual. She thought the picture made her look rather pale, hollow-eyed. Her expression was sterner and more foreboding than she had intended. She sent it anyway.”

‘Our Chekhov’

Ms. Munro’s early success in Canada, where her first collection of stories, “Dance of the Happy Shades” (1968), won the Governor General’s Literary Award, the equivalent of a Pulitzer Prize for fiction, spread to the United States after her stories began to be published in The New Yorker in 1977. She was an important member of a generation of Canadian writers, along with Margaret Atwood and Michael Ondaatje, whose celebrity reached far beyond the country’s borders.

Ms. Munro went on to win the Governor General’s award twice more, along with two Giller Prizes, another important national award in Canada, and many other honors. In 2009, she withdrew her collection “Too Much Happiness” from consideration for yet another Giller because she believed that a younger writer should have a chance to win it.

That same year she was awarded the Man Booker International Prize for her lifelong body of work, which the judges claimed was “practically perfect.” The awards committee commented that although she was known mostly as a short-story writer, “she brings as much depth, wisdom and precision to every story as most novelists bring to a lifetime of novels.”

“To read Alice Munro is to learn something every time that you never thought of before,” the judges said.

As her many-layered style developed, her short stories came to be neither short nor simply stories — she included 15 stories in her first book, but only eight or nine longer ones in some of her most recent collections. The greater length of each story gave her room to explore the psychological profiles of her characters more fully, and the resulting works are tightly woven tapestries of great tension, lasting resonance and stunning breadth that combine the emotional thrust of a novel with the pinpoint power of a masterful poem.

Over the years, her stories seemed to grow darker and more paradoxical, even though she often described her own life as ordinary and generally upbeat. Often her characters were simple people confronting unusual circumstances. But those situations could be odd, even bizarre, such as an accident in which a soldier who returned from war is decapitated after his sleeve is caught in a factory machine, or the actions of an unattractive girl who steals so much money from her parents’ store to pay boys for sex that her parents are forced to declare bankruptcy. The women in her stories tended to be emotionally pierced — divorced women, adulteresses and noble victims of life’s vicissitudes.

Like Faulkner, Eudora Welty and the other Southern writers she admired, Ms. Munro was capable of breathing life into an entire world — for her, the importunate countryside of southwestern Ontario and the placid, occasionally threatening presence of Lake Huron.

Cynthia Ozick called her “our Chekhov,” and the description stuck.

In a 2009 review of “Too Much Happiness,” Michiko Kakutani of The New York Times described the collection’s title story as “a brilliant distillation of her Chekhovian art.”

Never a Novel

Ms. Munro was able to live a life remarkable for its normalcy. Her days, like her characters’, were filled with quotidian routines punctuated by the explosive mystery of happenstance and accident.

Outside of a decade spent on the west coast of Canada during her first marriage, she lived with a great deal of satisfaction in the Ontario bramble she celebrated in her stories, quietly composing them in the house where her second husband was raised, not far from the place where she was born.

Perhaps the question that most dogged her throughout her long career was why, with her abundant talents and perceptive eye, she restricted herself to what is generally seen as the limited world of the short story rather than launch into the glittery universe of the novel.

“I don’t really understand a novel,” Ms. Munro confessed to Mervyn Rothstein of The Times in a 1986 interview. “I don’t understand where the excitement is supposed to come in a novel, and I do in a story. There’s a kind of tension that if I’m getting a story right I can feel right away.”

While one of her early collections, “Lives of Girls and Women,” is sometimes called a novel, Ms. Munro and her longtime editor at Alfred A. Knopf, Ann Close, considered it a collection of linked stories.

“Once I started to write that, I was off,” she told The Paris Review. “Then I made a big mistake. I tried to make it a regular novel, an ordinary sort of childhood adolescence novel. About March I saw it wasn’t working. It didn’t feel right to me, and I thought I would have to abandon it. I was very depressed. Then it came to me that what I had to do was pull it apart and put it in the story form. Then I could handle it.”

At times she swore she would never write a novel — almost dismissing the challenge as too great for her to even attempt. But at other times she seemed to wistfully wonder, as one of her characters might, how different her life might have been had she written a blockbuster novel.

“I’m thinking of something now, how it might be a novel, but I bet you it won’t be,” she said in a 1998 interview, just after publication of her widely acclaimed collection “The Love of a Good Woman.” She confessed that on occasion she had experimented with stretching her stories into novels but said she found that the stories “start to sag” when she did so, as though being taken beyond their natural limits. Still, the lure never completely evaporated. “My ambition is to write a novel before I die,” she said, also in 1998.

She never did.

Shortly before receiving her Nobel in 2013, Ms. Munro told several interviewers that she had decided to stop writing. As far back as 2009, she had disclosed her cancer diagnosis and that she’d undergone heart bypass surgery. Her declining health had robbed her of strength, but she also remarked that she’d been writing since she was 20 and had grown weary of what Del, a character in “Lives of Girls and Women” who is generally taken to be Ms. Munro’s proxy, says is a writer’s only duty, which is “to produce a masterpiece.”

“That’s a long time to be working,” Ms. Munro said, “and I thought maybe it’s time to take it easy.”

Rural Beginnings

Alice Ann Laidlaw was born on July 10, 1931, in the village of Wingham, Ontario, hard by the banks of Lake Huron. She was the first of three children of Robert Eric Laidlaw and Anne Clarke (Chamney) Laidlaw. Her father had tried his luck at the rather exotic undertaking of raising silver foxes and mink, but when that failed he went through a number of professions, including stints as foundry watchman and turkey farmer.

When Anne Laidlaw developed Parkinson’s disease, it fell to Alice, not yet a teenager but the oldest of the three children, to care for her mother, an experience that she wove through her writing. She was able to attend college after winning a two-year scholarship to the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, about 65 miles south of Wingham.

She majored in English but initially kept her ambition to write fiction to herself. She dropped out before completing her studies and married a fellow student, James Munro. She sold her first short work of fiction, a story, to the radio service of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

The Munros settled in Vancouver and had two children; a third died at birth. Ms. Munro said the domestic demands of those years — balancing parenthood with her dream of writing, “getting apple juice, answering the phone and letting the cat in” — left her no time or energy for ambitious projects like writing novels. Instead, she dedicated herself to mastering the short story, a form that she felt she could manage in between raising her children and taking care of her house.

In 1963, Ms. Munro and her husband moved to Victoria, where she helped him found a bookstore, Munro’s, and gave birth to another daughter. The marriage ended in 1973, and she moved back to Ontario.

By then, her literary reputation in Canada was established. In 1968, her first book, “Dance of the Happy Shades,” a collection of short stories compiled over a dozen years, introduced readers to what would later be widely recognized as “Alice Munro Country” — the rigidly introspective landscape of solitary country roads and stolid houses of yellow brick within which shy lives and solemn secrets unfolded.

“Everybody knows what a house does, how it encloses space and makes connections between one enclosed space and another and presents what is outside in a new way,” she wrote in a 1982 essay. “That is the nearest I can come to explaining what a story is for me.”

Her stories are blanketed with countless small but sharp observations that animate Munro Country. For instance, in “Spaceships Have Landed,” a story in the collection “Open Secrets” (1994), the main character drunkenly flirts with her boyfriend’s friend, only to be grossly insulted by him. The next day, she calls him to the porch of her house and confronts him while using a piece of steel wool to clean freshly laid eggs.

Such details evoke a sense of the semirural Canadian backcountry, a quiet land where people never deliberately call attention to themselves and the ordinariness of life can be suddenly disrupted by accidents, arrivals and unanticipated departures.

Although Ms. Munro was most often described as a Canadian writer, her stories evoked not Canada itself but the bittersweet triumphs, mishaps and humiliations of small town life. And in the end, every landscape served as backdrop for her central themes, which were the unpredictability of life and the betrayals that women suffer or commit — scenes redolent with autobiography.

In “The Albanian Virgin,” a celebrated story featuring a rare exotic setting as well as the familiar Canadian landscape, the female protagonist runs a bookstore in Victoria and dreamily contemplates the errant directions taken by her life: “But I was not despondent. I had made a desperate change in my life, and in spite of the regrets that I suffered every day, I was proud of that. I felt as if I had finally come out into the world in a new, true, skin.”

A Publicity-Shy ‘Plodder’

Ms. Munro shunned much of the publicity usually associated with literary success and limited her book tour appearances and readings. She often referred to herself in a self-deprecating way; she said she had not “come out of the closet” as a professional writer until she was 40, and she called herself a “plodder” because of the slow and deliberate way she worked, often writing in her nightclothes for several hours in the morning and then extensively revising her stories before sending them off.

But to critics, there was nothing plodding about her stories, which were put together so seamlessly that the many flashbacks, flash-forwards and shifts in time and place that she employed happened without notice. She often started her stories at a point where other authors might end theirs, and continued them well past the climax or denouement that would have satisfied others less driven by the twists of fate. Inevitably, this left readers to work out who exactly the narrator was and how one character was related to another.

Eventually, though, every piece would fit together. “It’s like a child’s puzzle,” the novelist Anne Tyler once said of Ms. Munro’s work. “In the most successful of the stories, the end result is a satisfying click as everything settles precisely into place.”

After the turbulence and dislocation she went through before Ms. Munro turned 40, her life and career clicked satisfyingly into place when she returned to southern Ontario. She started seeing Gerald Fremlin, a geographer, and after a brief romance married him and moved into the house in Clinton, Ontario, where he was raised.

She is survived by her daughters, Sheila, Jenny and Andrea. Sheila Munro is the author of the 2001 memoir “Lives of Mothers and Daughters: Growing Up With Alice Munro.”

She embarked on an ambitious schedule of publishing a collection of short stories every three or four years, winning praise and admiration across Canada, where she comes close to being a household literary saint. After receiving her first Governor General’s award, she won it twice more, for “Who Do You Think You Are?” in 1978 and for “The Progress of Love” in 1986.

In 1998, she received the Giller Prize for “The Love of a Good Woman,” and in 2004 she picked up another for “Runaway.” After the National Book Critics Circle agreed for the first time to consider authors from outside the United States for its award, Ms. Munro won in 1998 for “The Love of a Good Woman.”

As if she were a character in one of her stories, plagued by bad timing and unlucky happenstance, Ms. Munro was not at home when the Swedish Academy called to tell her that she had won; it had to leave a telephone message. She was in Victoria visiting her daughter, who heard the news and woke her mother at 4 a.m. Still groggy when interviewed by the CBC, Ms. Munro admitted that she’d forgotten that the prize was to be awarded that day, calling it “a splendid thing to happen,” adding, “more than I can say.”

Struggling to control her emotions, she reflected on her success and what it might mean for literature. “My stories have gotten around quite remarkably for short stories,” she told the interviewer. “I would really hope that this would make people see the short story as an important art, not something you play around with until you got a novel written.”

Lisa D. Awano and Sofia Poznansky contributed reporting.

An earlier version of this obituary misspelled the given name of an author who praised Ms. Munro’s writing. She is Anne Tyler, not Ann.

How we handle corrections

the paper girl of paris book review

Press Herald

Account Subscription: ACTIVE

Questions about your account? Our customer service team can be reached at [email protected] during business hours at (207) 791-6000 .

9 places to nosh on bagels in southern Maine

From old-school spots to foodie favorites, there's a 'hole' lot to try.

the paper girl of paris book review

You are able to gift 5 more articles this month.

Anyone can access the link you share with no account required. Learn more .

With a Press Herald subscription, you can gift 5 articles each month.

It looks like you do not have any active subscriptions. To get one, go to the subscriptions page .

Loading....

the paper girl of paris book review

Bread and bagels at The Works Cafe in downtown Portland. Photo by Aimsel Ponti

From New York-style boiled bagels to Montreal-inspired wood-fired ones, there’s lots of great bagels in southern Maine and several shops have the accolades to back that up.

In 2023, Bon Appetit named bagels from Rose Foods and Rover Bagel among the best in the country.

Two years before that,  Food & Wine Magazine put Rover, Forage and Scratch Baking Co. on its list of best bagels in the U.S.

Whether you like yours toasted with cream cheese or as the bread for your breakfast sandwich, you can find plenty of styles and flavors from Biddeford to Brunswick.

BEACH BAGELS

The offerings at Beach Bagels include a French toast and marble bagel, and the cream cheese menu comprises spreads like strawberry, olive and honey walnut. Along with breakfast sandwiches, Beach Bagels has hearty breakfast options like omelets and pancakes. Best of all, you’re steps away from a beach stroll. Just don’t let the seagulls steal your bagel. Advertisement

WHEN: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily WHERE: 34 Old Orchard St., Old Orchard Beach. beachbagels.yolasite.com ______________

Dutchman’s opened in 2022 as a pop-up housed at Nomad pizza in Brunswick’s Fort Andross building. It’s since become a permanent fixture there and uses the pizzeria’s wood-fired ovens to bake its bagels. The hand-shaped, honey-boiled bagels come in plain, roasted garlic, poppy and a bagel-of-the-day flavor.

WHEN: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday to Sunday WHERE: Fort Andross, 14 Maine St., Brunswick. dutchmans.me ______________

FORAGE MARKET

Making bagels at Forage Market involves a two-day aging process. The bagels are naturally leavened with wild yeast starter and baked next to a hardwood fire. There are usually five flavors available, including sesame and garlic. Breakfast sandwiches (including vegan options) are available. Forage also has a location in Lewiston. Advertisement

WHEN: 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday WHERE: 123 Washington Ave., Portland. foragemarket.com _____________

MISTER BAGEL

There are 10 or so Mister Bagel locations in Maine, including South Portland and Falmouth. It all began with the Portland location, which was the first bagel shop to open in Maine. The late Rick Hartglass started Mister Bagel in 1977, and it is still a family business. Music fans will appreciate the breakfast sandwich menu, which includes The David Bowie (bacon, egg and American cheese), the Jimmy Buffett (egg with roast beef and cheddar) and The Lady Gaga (avocado, salt and pepper, with or without egg).

WHEN: 6:30 a.m. to noon Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to noon Saturday and Sunday WHERE: 599 Forest Ave., Portland. misterbagelforestave.com ______________

At Rose Foods, the menu varies depending on the day, but there are usually six to eight flavors available. For example, should you pop in on a Friday, you’ll find a poppy and onion bialy (a cousin of the bagel that is not boiled). Rose Foods also makes a number of bagel sandwiches, including the Classic Nova with Nova lox and the Classic Whitefish. Advertisement

WHEN: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily WHERE: 428 Forest Ave., Portland. rosefoods.me

______________

ROVER BAGEL

At Rover Bagel, you’ll find wood-fired plain, poppy, sea salt, sesame and everything bagels available most of the time, and the spread game here is strong with cream cheese options like lemon-thyme-honey cream and chili-garlic.

WHEN: 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon Sunday WHERE: 10 West Point Lane Suite 10-204, Biddeford (Pepperell Mill). roverbagel.com

______________ Advertisement

SCRATCH BAKING CO.

You haven’t lived until you’ve experienced the line of devoted fans waiting for Scratch Baking Co. to open, especially on weekend mornings. Along with the popular Maine sea salt, plain and other everyday flavors, Scratch has a daily special bagel. There’s honeyed rosemary on Wednesday and jalapeno cheddar on Thursday. Scratch is also famous, at least to locals, for its P-Cheese spread. It’s a pimento cheese recipe made with cheddar, mayo, roasted red peppers and seasoning and was passed down to co-owner and head baker Allison Reid by her grandmother, Mern.

WHEN: 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday, 7 a.m. to noon Sunday WHERE: 416 Preble St., South Portland. scratchbakingco.com ___________

THE MAINE BAGEL

The Maine Bagel is a drive-thru with several breakfast and other kinds of sandwiches available. With a bagel list that features egg and bialy among the standards, the family-owned spot is the perfect place to stop on your way to Pine Point Beach. The Maine Bagel really shines with a dozen kinds of cream cheese spreads, including raisin-walnut, lox, strawberry, cranberry-nut and bacon-chive.

WHEN: 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. WHERE: 117 Route 1, Scarborough. themainebagel.com Advertisement

THE WORKS CAFE

The Works Cafe is an institution on the edge of the Portland’s Old Port. It opened in 1990 as Bagel Works before it changed its name in 2002. The original shop in this regional chain opened in Manchester, Vermont, in 1988, and there are 11 locations around New England, though just the one in Maine. Gone are the ’90s-era banana-walnut bagels and cold pizza cream cheese, but The Works Cafe is still a reliable place to grab a salt, multigrain or cinnamon raisin bagel, among others. The menu also has bowls, sandwiches and smoothies.

WHEN: 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily WHERE: 15 Temple St., Portland. workscafe.com

Success. Please wait for the page to reload. If the page does not reload within 5 seconds, please refresh the page.

Enter your email and password to access comments.

Forgot Password?

Don't have a commenting profile? Create one.

Hi, to comment on stories you must create a commenting profile . This profile is in addition to your subscription and website login. Already have a commenting profile? Login .

Invalid username/password.

Please check your email to confirm and complete your registration.

Create a commenting profile by providing an email address, password and display name. You will receive an email to complete the registration. Please note the display name will appear on screen when you participate.

Already registered? Log in to join the discussion.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why .

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

Send questions/comments to the editors.

Member Log In

Please enter your username and password below. Already a subscriber but don't have one? Click here .

Not a subscriber? Click here to see your options

IMAGES

  1. Review: The Paper Girl of Paris by Jordyn Taylor

    the paper girl of paris book review

  2. The Paper Girl of Paris

    the paper girl of paris book review

  3. Review: The Paper Girl of Paris

    the paper girl of paris book review

  4. The Paper Girl of Paris by Jordyn Taylor

    the paper girl of paris book review

  5. The Paper Girl of Paris

    the paper girl of paris book review

  6. The Paper Girl of Paris by Jordyn Taylor

    the paper girl of paris book review

VIDEO

  1. Daughter of Paris: Book Review

  2. [Paper Diy] Gacha Life // The Amazing Digital Circus Boy And Girl Versions // ASMR by CIM #paperdiy

  3. New Project! Royal Romantic Regency! Lunch bag pocketbooks & news! #craftwithme

  4. Book #277 Review

  5. The Paper Bag Girl, EP 5

  6. Girls of paper and fire by Natasha Ngan book review |Charlotte Blickle

COMMENTS

  1. The Paper Girl of Paris by Jordyn Taylor

    Jordyn Taylor. 4.04. 8,983 ratings1,252 reviews. Now: Sixteen-year-old Alice is spending the summer in Paris, but she isn't there for pastries and walks along the Seine. When her grandmother passed away two months ago, she left Alice an apartment in France that no one knew existed. An apartment that has been locked for more than seventy years.

  2. THE PAPER GIRL OF PARIS

    Passionate, impulsive Chloe and her popular older sister, Adalyn, were inseparable—until the Nazis invaded France in 1940 and Adalyn started keeping secrets. Over half a century later, Alice, Chloe's 16-year-old American granddaughter, has just inherited her childhood home in Paris. The fully furnished apartment has clearly been neglected ...

  3. Book Review: The Paper Girl of Paris by Jordyn Taylor

    Reviewed By: Kim. Kim's Rating: 4 stars. Book Description: Now: Sixteen-year-old Alice is spending the summer in Paris, but she isn't there for pastries and walks along the Seine. When her grandmother passed away two months ago, she left Alice an apartment in France that no one knew existed. An apartment that has been locked for more than ...

  4. Jordyn Taylor's "The Paper Girl of Paris" Author Interview and

    Jordyn Taylor: Growing up as a Jewish kid who loved history, I was constantly reading about people resisting the Nazis in World War II. My parents actually had to put a temporary ban on me taking ...

  5. Amazon.com: Customer reviews: The Paper Girl of Paris

    Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for The Paper Girl of Paris at Amazon.com. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. ... I first read about this abandoned Paris apartment in the book, "The Paris Time Capsule" which was based on the true story of a Parisian woman who was being persecuted by the Nazis during WWII ...

  6. Review: The Paper Girl of Paris by Jordyn Taylor

    The Paper Girl of Paris by Jordyn Taylor is set in Paris during World War II and follows both a member of a resistance group and a girl in the present day who discovers her diary. The historical elements of the book are very well done, and I learned a lot about women in the resistance. However, I didn't think that the modern storyline was as necessary, and I found the main character's ...

  7. The Paper Girl of Paris

    The Paper Girl of Paris. Code Name Verity meets Jennifer Donnelly's Revolution in this gripping debut novel. Sixteen-year-old Alice is spending the summer in Paris, but she isn't there for pastries and walks along the Seine. When her grandmother passed away two months ago, she left Alice an apartment in France that no one knew existed.

  8. Amazon.com: The Paper Girl of Paris: 9780062936646: Taylor, Jordyn: Books

    THE PAPER GIRL OF PARIS takes us into the very heart of Paris, in both the darkest hours of the German occupation and of one modern family's deep grief, and invites us to fall in love. ... "Gripping" — Kirkus Reviews "Jordyn Taylor has written a book with all the gems you hope for in a story to treasure: mystery, romance, fi erce heroines ...

  9. The Paper Girl of Paris

    It was a fresh and unique method to explore the past…and my personal favorite element of the book. While Alice dives into Adalyn's diary and breaks down the pieces of the past into modern ideas, Adalyn's chapters bring the past into the present and make it compelling and immediate. The novel brushes the dust off this chapter of history ...

  10. The Paper Girl of Paris by Jordyn Taylor

    The Paper Girl of Paris. Jordyn Taylor. HarperTeen, $17.99 (368p) ISBN 978--06-293662-2. Taylor's suspenseful debut tells the story of Adalyn Bonhomme, a teenage French Resistance worker in ...

  11. Amazon.com: The Paper Girl of Paris: 9780062936622: Taylor, Jordyn: Books

    The Paper Girl of Paris. Hardcover - May 26, 2020. by Jordyn Taylor (Author) 4.5 831 ratings. See all formats and editions. "A quick read that history lovers will easily devour."—Teen Vogue. "Get ready to be transported to Paris in Taylor's incredible debut novel."—Seventeen, Editor's Choice. Code Name Verity meets Jennifer Donnelly's ...

  12. The Paper Girl of Paris : Taylor, Jordyn: Amazon.com.au: Books

    The Paper Girl of Paris. Paperback - 20 October 2021. "A quick read that history lovers will easily devour."—Teen Vogue. "Get ready to be transported to Paris in Taylor's incredible debut novel."—Seventeen, Editor's Choice. Code Name Verity meets Jennifer Donnelly's Revolution in this gripping debut novel, now in paperback with a teaser ...

  13. The Paper Girl of Paris

    Sixteen-year-old Adalyn doesn't recognize Paris anymore. Everywhere she looks, there are Nazis, and every day brings a new horror of life under the Occupation. When she meets Luc, the dashing and enigmatic leader of a resistance group, Adalyn feels she finally has a chance to fight back. But keeping up the appearance of being a much-admired ...

  14. The Paper Girl of Paris

    Sixteen-year-old Adalyn doesn't recognize Paris anymore. Everywhere she looks, there are Nazis, and every day brings a new horror of life under the Occupation. When she meets Luc, the dashing and enigmatic leader of a resistance group, Adalyn feels she finally has a chance to fight back. But keeping up the appearance of being a much-admired ...

  15. The Paper Girl of Paris : Taylor, Jordyn: Amazon.ca: Books

    "A beautiful story of two girls' courage and commitment seven decades apart. THE PAPER GIRL OF PARIS takes us into the very heart of Paris, in both the darkest hours of the German occupation and of one modern family's deep grief, and invites us to fall in love. A finely crafted historical fiction debut."

  16. The Paper Girl of Paris : Taylor, Jordyn: Amazon.co.uk: Books

    THE PAPER GIRL OF PARIS takes us into the very heart of Paris, in both the darkest hours of the German occupation and of one modern family's deep grief, and invites us to fall in love. ... "Gripping" — Kirkus Reviews "Jordyn Taylor has written a book with all the gems you hope for in a story to treasure: mystery, romance, fi erce heroines ...

  17. The Paper Girl of Paris

    "A quick read that history lovers will easily devour."--Teen Vogue "Get ready to be transported to Paris in Taylor's incredible debut novel."--Seventeen, Editor's Choice Code Name Verity meets Jennifer Donnelly's Revolution in this gripping debut novel. NOW: Sixteen-year-old Alice is spending the summer in Paris, but she isn't there for pastries and walks along the Seine.

  18. The Paper Girl of Paris|Paperback

    THE PAPER GIRL OF PARIS takes us into the very heart of Paris, in both the darkest hours of the German occupation and of one modern family's deep grief, and invites us to fall in love. ... "Gripping" — Kirkus Reviews "Jordyn Taylor has written a book with all the gems you hope for in a story to treasure: mystery, romance, fi erce heroines ...

  19. The Paper Girl of Paris Kindle Edition

    THE PAPER GIRL OF PARIS takes us into the very heart of Paris, in both the darkest hours of the German occupation and of one modern family's deep grief, and invites us to fall in love. ... "Gripping" — Kirkus Reviews "Jordyn Taylor has written a book with all the gems you hope for in a story to treasure: mystery, romance, fi erce heroines ...

  20. Amazon.com: The Paper Girl of Paris: 9781094159898: Jordyn Taylor: Books

    The Paper Girl of Paris. Audio CD - Audiobook, May 26, 2020. by Jordyn Taylor (Author) 4.5 800 ratings. See all formats and editions. Code Name Verity meets Jennifer Donnelly s Revolution in this gripping debut novel. NOW: Sixteen-year-old Alice is spending the summer in Paris, but she isn t there for pastries and walks along the Seine.

  21. The Paper Girl of Paris by Jordyn Taylor Book Reviews

    9. 10. You are here: The Paper Girl of Paris. Now: Sixteen-year-old Alice is spending the summer in Paris, but she isn't there for pastries and walks along the Seine. When her grandmother passed away two months ago, she left Alice an apartment in France that no one knew existed. An apartment that has been locked for more than seventy years.

  22. Alice Munro, Nobel Laureate and Master of the Short Story, Dies at 92

    She was 92. A spokesman for her publisher, Penguin Random House Canada, confirmed the death, at a nursing home. Ms. Munro's health had declined since at least 2009, when she said she'd had ...

  23. 9 places to nosh on bagels in southern Maine

    Gone are the '90s-era banana-walnut bagels and cold pizza cream cheese, but The Works Cafe is still a reliable place to grab a salt, multigrain or cinnamon raisin bagel, among others. The menu ...

  24. The Paper Girl of Paris

    The Paper Girl of Paris Audible Audiobook - Unabridged Jordyn Taylor (Author), Liza Seneca (Narrator), HarperAudio (Publisher) & 0 more 4.5 4.5 out of 5 stars 800 ratings

  25. Amazon.com: The Paper Girl of Paris: 9781094159904: Jordyn Taylor: Books

    The Paper Girl of Paris. Audio CD - Unabridged, May 26, 2020. MP3 CD Format. Code Name Verity meets Jennifer Donnelly s Revolution in this gripping debut novel. NOW: Sixteen-year-old Alice is spending the summer in Paris, but she isn t there for pastries and walks along the Seine. When her grandmother passed away two months ago, she left ...