Dorothy Caldwell Minor, aka The Book Whisperer, discovers a fascinating story of deception in The Paris Deception by internationally bestselling author Bryn Turnbull.
A little about Dorothy:
“I am an avid reader and also enjoy Indie and foreign movies. I retired from teaching English at Tulsa Community College after teaching as an adjunct first and then twenty-four years as a full-time faculty member. I was also involved in faculty development, planning and facilitating workshops for colleagues. I like technology and using technology to enhance learning. As an adjunct, I started a book club on campus, and it is still going strong thirty-one years later! I also belong to two other book clubs.I’ve included a picture from a Chautauqua Tea at TCC, complete with hat and brooch! I enjoy collecting vintage rhinestone brooches.”
Dorothy’s book club, Circle of Readers:
“We meet twice monthly. The first of the month, we all read a book and discuss it; the second time we meet, we discuss other books we’ve read. We enjoy inviting authors to join us! We have 20 members, and we are located in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. We enjoy reading fiction, historical fiction, memoir, nonfiction, YA.”
Dorothy’s review of The Paris Deception:
Although I tell myself I need to move away, however briefly, from WWII historical fiction, I usually am unable to stick to my plan because a book will come along that demands my attention. The Paris Deception by Bryn Turnbull is just that book!
Turnbull gives readers Sophie Dix and Fabienne Brandt who work together to create masterful art forgeries to save the originals. Fabienne, now widowed, was married to Sophie’s brother. The two women have been estranged, but to save precious art, deemed degenerate by the Nazis, Sophie and Fabienne decide to work together at great risk to save the artwork by creating forgeries.
The forgeries are then passed off as the originals while Sophie and Fabienne squirrel away the originals. Clearly, the dangers to both women are real and substantial. Turnbull has created a story that challenges readers as well as the two main characters.
Sophie has much to hide besides her work on the forgeries. She and her brother had left Germany with forged papers declaring them as citizens of Switzerland. She has to pretend that she doesn’t speak German, but, of course, that skill will prove beneficial to her as she and Fabienne work to save the paintings. When Sophie is invited to return to work at the Jeu de Paume, she is surprised. Her friend Rose will serve as curator under the Nazi guidance, and Rose is rehiring some of her previous staff, including Sophie.
Rose tells Sophie, “I know I am asking something very difficult of you, but this is an opportunity. Can’t you see that?” Little does Sophie know what an opportunity working at Jeu de Paume will provide, especially once she brings Fabienne into her plan of creating the forgeries.
As Turnbull notes in her “Author Note” at the end of The Paris Deception, Sophie and Fabienne are fictional characters. Still, Turnbull has told an important story through the historical fiction about saving art during WWII. Turnbull’s research is evident throughout the story as she also creates a moving picture of people’s lives during the war and the resistance.
For book clubs, The Paris Deception will provide members with much to discuss: relationships, danger, the artwork itself, and art theft by the Nazis. For me personally, I found the story fascinating and difficult to put down.
Buy the book now.