Lynn Sheene’s debut novel, The Last Time I Saw Paris gives us an in depth look at the changes one woman must endure while trying to survive during the Nazi occupation of WWII. The author has created a character whose instinct for survival is honed like a finely sharpened instrument, and that aspect of her character reminded me of Scarlett O’Hara – you know – “I’ll never go hungry again” viewpoint. But Claire has Scarlett beat by a mile, taking it to a level where her only desire is to live a carefree existence drinking champagne and eating caviar. I say, nice work if you can get it – and she had it for a while, but when she finds herself in the nightmare that is WWII, Claire’s tunnel vision of being the grand dame of Paris begins to unravel. Her wit and her charm are necessary to survive but how and who she uses them on is where the story takes a very intriguing turn making this heroine go from poison to champion.
Yes, there’s a love story, but a very surprising one and you’re never sure how it will turn out or in fact if Claire deserves it. Either way, you’re compelled to find out how she maneuvers through precarious and dangerous situations to come out victorious, changed, and a woman you would want to befriend. Claire goes through quite a metamorphous and I don’t think it would be as believable if it weren’t set against the backdrop of war.
I enjoyed this book and I certainly recommend it – it engaged all my senses and I look forward to seeing more from Lynn Sheene.
Maria Lokken is an avid romance reader and an award winning television producer