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The Siren of Paris [Kindle Edition]

David LeRoy
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Marc Tolbert, the French-born son of a prominent American Family, only dreamt of a new life in Paris as he sailed for France in 1939. Marc joins in the ex-pat scene as his new friend Dora introduces him to a circle that includes the famous Sylvia Beach, owner of the bookstore Shakespeare & Company; and he accepts a job with William Bullitt, US ambassador to France. At art school, he finds himself further enchanted by the alluring model Marie.

A year later, Marc's fiancée flees south with her family, stranded vacationing Americans scramble to escape Paris, and he is soon running with 10 Million other refugees from the advance of the German Army. After Marc is pulled from the sea on June 17th 1940, when the RMS Lancastria sinks, he decides to return to Paris in hopes of reconnecting with other trapped Americans, and his fiancée he lost in the chaos of the fall of France. His smuggling of Allied airman through the American Hospital to the Paris Resistance comes undone as a profound betrayal leads him into the hands of the Gestapo.

Rigorously researched with vibrant historical details, "The Siren of Paris" mines the human dilemma of revenge versus forgiveness. It vividly captures the conflicted state of survival and trauma of the war with details that have haunted the dreams of its readers.


Editorial Reviews

Review

"The author shows us how a person can be completely changed from this experience, how in a few short years, a few short moments, or even a split second, everything can become drastically different.  This novel brought tears to my eyes and left me with a more enlightened heart..." Boyu Huang AllBooks Review

"I've just finished reading Siren of Paris by David LeRoy and it's a story that will stay with me for a while. It has a complex, well developed plotline and presents the story in a tantalising way. I've read quite a few books set during the Second World War... this one especially gripped me." Dianne Ascroft Ascroft eh?

The soul of this book is found in LeRoy’s analysis of human nature through the main character. There really is nothing like a life-or-death situation that can split human nature so cleanly and show us what being human really means. The author shows us how a person can be completely changed from this experience, how in a few short years, in a few short moments, or even in a split second, everything can become drastically different. This book is suited for those with a love for history and those with a love for fiction alike. This novel brought tears to my eyes and left me with a more enlightened heart, so it is with absolute pleasure that I say The Siren of Paris is highly recommended by Boyu Huang, Allbooks Review Int.

About the Author

In writing his first novel, The Siren of Paris, David LeRoy drew upon his longtime interest in philosophy, the visual arts, myth, storytelling, psychology, and Ocean Liner travel. During a visit to France to study art in the fall of 2012, LeRoy became intrigued by the French Resistance, particularly when his research revealed the role of Americans in the Resistance, as well as the limited means of escape from Europe as the war escalated. LeRoy holds a bachelor of arts in philosophy and religion.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1089 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0088CA098
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #608,125 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling Novel That Brings History To Life June 20, 2012
By S. Ward
Format:Kindle Edition
Born in Paris and raised in the United States, 21-year-old Marc Tolbert enjoys the advantages of being born to a wealthy, well-connected family.. Reaching a turning point in his life, he decides to abandon his plans of going to medical school and study art in Paris. In 1939, he boards a ship and heads to France, blissfully unaware that Europe -- along with the rest of the world -- is on the brink of an especially devastating war.

However the story begins at the close of Marc's life. In the opening lines of this novel, we find ourselves at a graveside, in 1967, as Marc's spirit watches the living pay their final respects. Surrounded by the ghosts of men lost in the war, Marc sees snippets of his life flash before him. Before he can leave this world in peace, he must reconcile the sadness and guilt that burden him.

Soon we meet Marc on his carefree voyage to Paris, a place that seems far removed from the looming Nazi threat to Eastern Europe. When he arrives at l'École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts, more ominous signs surface. There are windows covered with tape, sandbags shielding the fronts of important buildings, whispers of Parisian children leaving the city, and gas masks being distributed. Distracted by a blossoming love affair, Marc isn't too worried about his future, and he certainly doesn't expect a Nazi invasion of France.

Marc has a long journey ahead of him. He witnesses, first-hand, the fall of Paris and the departure of the French government. Employed by an ambassador, he visits heads of state, including the horribly obese gray-haired Mussolini and the charismatic Hitler. He witnesses the effects of the tightening vise of occupation, first-hand, as he tries to escape the country.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping story June 17, 2012
By Auriane
Format:Kindle Edition
This is a well-written and well-researched story that takes the reader to Paris and its surroundings during WWII as viewed through the experiences of Marc Tolbert, an American who was born in France.

The characters are well-developed and we get to know many of them as well as we might know our friends. The scenery is vividly painted and one feels like they are there watching the events unfold.

This is a good, solid first novel by David LeRoy and I look forward to his future writings.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fine Blend of Imagery and Story June 18, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The Siren of Paris was truly an enjoyable book. I found the imagery of certain events during World War II (based on what had to be a lot of historical research) woven well into the underlying story of friendship, love, growth and self-actualization. I personally found it a great mixture.

The characters are engaging and you truly want to see what happens to each of them in the end. And as mentioned previously, the imagery was very well done to the point that it instilled great visuals for my imagination.

I agree with the previous reviewer that it was a good first novel by David LeRoy and I look forward to his next literary work.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good story, well thought-out plot February 11, 2013
By Mj
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This novel was well researched, and it has a good plot with excellent suspense and tension. I would have given it four stars, but I felt it sadly in need of a good professional editing. The dialogue was stiff, wording was awkward through much of the first half, the pacing was difficult to follow (especially the elapsed time element), and it just needed a good overall tightening up.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Siren of Paris December 12, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have very mixed feelings regarding David LeRoy's The Siren of Paris. I think the premise is great, but as I reader I found it a challenging piece to complete.

I'm gonna be upfront here, I had to reread several pages. I kept feeling as if I was missing something. I'm willing to admit I am somewhat distracted by the holiday season, the hustle and bustle of the festivities, but this was more than that. Though I am loath to admit it, I had genuine trouble following the plot over the intermittent timeline. It was an artistic approach, but confusing just the same. At least where this reader is concerned.

Another problem I had was the brevity in which the supporting cast appeared. Nigel and Dora for example, or even Sylvia. I wanted to see more of these individuals. LeRoy has a gift for creating believable cast members. I guess what I'm getting at is sour grapes in that I felt many of these characters were taken from me too soon.

On the other hand, I liked the material that LeRoy incorporated into the story. There is a lot here, particularly when it came to life in occupied France and the perpetual fear and danger in which the members of the resistance lived. I've seen plenty of movies and documentaries, but this is really the first fiction I've come across to incorporate these topics and I must say I was impressed by LeRoy's efforts.

I read a blurb for this book which referred to the story as thought-provoking while praising its examination of revenge versus forgiveness. The Siren of Paris wasn't the easiest of books to read, but it certainly met my expectations in terms of concept as set forth in that description. It is a toss up really, though I recommend the title, I can't say it is for every reader.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not So Much... December 5, 2012
Format:Paperback
I have a knot in my stomach as I'm writing this review because I have so many mixed feelings about this book. I feel it is my duty to reflect the strengths and flaws of this book accurately, so I'll try my best.

For starters, the premise was decent: French-born American Marc returns to Paris in 1939 to study art and subsequently gets stuck there during the German occupation. But his unique status as dual citizen allows him certain diplomatic perks, so he sticks it out for a while. When he finally gets the sense to leave, the ship he is on is bombed and sunk, thus leaving him stuck in France. So back to Paris he goes where he joins the resistance helping downed Allied airmen escape. Then he's betrayed (thus prison camp, witnessing horrible atrocities, standard WWII fare). The bones for a great story, right?

The flaws start on the back cover: "His new circle of ex-pats includes the famous Sylvia Beach, owner of the bookstore Shakespeare and Company..." Sylvia is mentioned like three times and only appears in one brief scene. It's misleading to readers like me who were hoping for a glimpse of this legendary book store during the 40's. In the first part of the book while Marc is travelling to France, we are introduced to all these characters who become his close friends in Paris. When everyone is forced to leave, we witness their various means of departure, and a good second quarter of the book is these people in transit. Then we never hear of them again. About a third of the way through the book, the author decides to change his narrative style and suddenly starts going back and forth between two different time periods. I found some of the transitions rather awkward.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars interesting
Enough history to really draw me in and make me go further by researching some of the events told in this book. I like the characters portrayed here, also. Read more
Published 1 month ago by VLP
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very touching, and thought provoking.
Published 1 month ago by Donald A Grimwood
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
At first it was a little confusing because it moved back and forth so quickly.
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing; well written; story built around historical event ...
Intriguing;well written; story built around historical event held my interest. A piece of history we should not forget.
Published 4 months ago by Marian M Wolfert
2.0 out of 5 stars the frustration of war
It was a sad commentary on war. We have little insight on what happened to civilians failing to cooperate with the Nazis.
Published 7 months ago by Clete
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful writer
This story held my interest the entire read. I did not want to stop reading. David is a wonderful writer.
Published 7 months ago by Janice L. Peterson
5.0 out of 5 stars War
this book would be for any reader that loves suspense and twists and turns only a true story can give. Read more
Published 7 months ago by googleit
5.0 out of 5 stars The Siren of Paris
My friend recommended this book to me. She knows I have recently been researching WWII. I was home schooled and history always seems to be lacking among us home schoolers. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Momto4BookLover
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting read
The flashbacks got a little frustrating toward the end, but by then I was so engrossed that I couldn't put it down.
Published 9 months ago by Janet Gilmore
4.0 out of 5 stars Not what I had thought it would be
This is a sad book chronicling the rise of the Nazis and the plight of the jews in Europe. It is an important historical reminder of what happened and how easy it is to believe... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Flamenco Romántico
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More About the Author

My first passion in life is art. I started taking photographs when I was very young, until one day, I just started drawing and painting. It was my love of art that brought me to Europe in 2010. I never suspected that my art studies would lead me to writing a novel. I consider myself more of an accidental author, and I approach the task of writing with all the same creative visual tools I have from art studies.

In writing my first novel, The Siren of Paris, I drew upon my longtime interest in philosophy, the visual arts, myth, storytelling, psychology, and Ocean Liner travel. During a visit to France to study art in the fall of 2010, I became increasingly intrigued by the French Resistance, particularly when my research revealed the role of Americans in the Resistance, as well as the limited means of escape from Europe as the war escalated. I hold a bachelor of arts in philosophy and religion.

I am drawn to stories of struggle, resistance, and overcoming incredible odds. My choice of scene creation is absolutely impacted by my visual mind. I pre-visualize the scenes in my mind first, and then use what tools I have through the written word to describe the action.


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