All the Flowers in Paris by Sarah Jio

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Two women. Two heartbreaking stories.

Caroline, an American living in Paris, wakes up in the hospital after a bicycle accident and suffers from a memory loss. She rents an apartment on the Seine that is rumored to be haunted and looks for clues that can help her understand what kind of life she had before the accident. She meets Victor, a handsome chef in a local bistro who wins her over with his charm and kindness. However, Caroline is concerned about her past life; what if she likes her life as it is now and doesn’t want to remember? Somehow she feels that she might not like her past. In the search for her identity, she discovers a pack of old letters written by a French woman named Celine to Luc. She begins to untangle the tragic story of a French woman Celine who lived in her apartment during World War II. Celine’s life is full of tragic events and secrets. She was happily running a flower shop with her father, raising a daughter and planning to marry her childhood beau Luc. Her life changes when the Nazis occupy Paris, Luc joins the French Resistance and she catches the eye of a vicious Nazi officer.

No matter the state of the world, or how dark the shadow that has fallen on our city, I find it curiously comforting to know that if you plant a seed and give it sunlight and water, it will grow.

Both Celine and Caroline are wonderful characters and they wouldn’t leave you indifferent. They both went through a lot of difficult situations and had to deal with the most challenging and heartbreaking events. Although, they face different circumstances, they equally strong and courageous women. One is trying to survive and protect her loved once during a horrible war-time and the other faces devastating personal tragedies.

This was the saddest and tragic book out all of Sarah Jio’s. Both timelines entwined with one another perfectly and were very fascinating, emotional and tear-jerking. Also, I wasn’t expecting the plot twist at all! There is still so much I want to know about this story. For example, Luc’s work at the Resistance and what happened to Celine’s father. I find it way too short. I think even an 800-page book wouldn’t be enough to fully tell everything I want to know about Celine and her family. Sarah Jio has done it again, she made me weep at least throughout half of this book.

Rating: 5/5

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