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The Parisians

4.42  ·  Rating details ·  640 ratings  ·  70 reviews
Paris, 1940. The Nazis have occupied the city¬—and the Ritz. The opulent old hotel, so loved by Parisians, is now full of swaggering officers, their minions and their mistresses.

For American Olivia Olsen, working as a chambermaid at the hotel means denying her nationality and living a lie, every day bringing the danger of discovery closer. When Hitler’s right-hand man move
Paperback, 368 pages
Published January 17th 2019 by Lake Union Publishing
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Jennifer Hall I don't know the answer to your question, but I just finished reading The Beantown Girls by Jean Healey, which is also set in WWII time frame. That…moreI don't know the answer to your question, but I just finished reading The Beantown Girls by Jean Healey, which is also set in WWII time frame. That was a fantastic read and I highly recommend it. (less)
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4.42  · 
Rating details
 ·  640 ratings  ·  70 reviews

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Kylie D
An interesting look at Paris during World War 2, concentrating on the guests and staff at the plush Ritz hotel. It has a mixture of real and fictional characters, including icons such as fashion designer Coco Chanel and French actress Arletty. We also follow the life of fictional character Olivia Olsen, an American chambermaid at the Ritz, hiding her identity behind a Swedish passport. We explore their stories during the Nazi occupation, and the ways each individual handles the oppressive regime ...more
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: . . . the eve of war had come as a shock. It was here suddenly, the thing they had all dreaded but not wished to look at, like the monster that lurked under the beds of children. Now, with terrifying purpose, it had clambered out and proved itself real after all.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Paris, 1940. The Nazis have occupied the city¬—and the Ritz. The opulent old hotel, so loved by Parisians, is now full of swaggering officers, their minions and their mistresses.

For American Olivia Olsen, worki
Jan 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, netgalley
3. 5 stars

Thanks to Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review

Readers choose books for all sorts of reasons and I am no exception. I chose this book specifically for its title because Paris is one of my favorite cities in the world. I may have mentioned this in other reviews, but I cried the very first time I saw that city and if the Eiffel Tower had been a person, well it most likely asked me to stop taking pictures of it. The fact that it was also sur
The Just-About-Cocky Ms M
Dec 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: WWII fans who Loathe Romance
Recommended to The Just-About-Cocky Ms M by: I took a chance
Got this from NetGalley, which is sometimes as much a crapshoot as First Reads. But I was surprised this time and delighted: a good, gritty, urbane, accurate, practical, frightening, realistic, and generally pitch-perfect novel of a little slice of Paris during the war. And no smarmy, over-the-top, twee, treacly Romance anywhere.

Review to follow.

Oh, if anyone read that horrible gossipy, inaccurate, and poorly written National Enquirer version of the Ritz Hotel during the war by an alleged histor
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
I will say this about this book, thank God for Coco Chanel and Arletty! Those two women made the book worthwhile reading. I found the beginning of the book very hard to get into thanks to Olivia Olsen, this young artist who has come to Paris to paint. She's just the kind of character I have a problem with, a young naive thing that on the very first pages of the book meets a young anarchist that will take her by storm. I was not amused, I found Olivia to be boring to be very frank. However, I kep ...more
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I very much enjoyed this trip to WW2 where real and fictional characters do a cross over in a plush hotel in Paris. From Coco Chanel to famed French actress Arletty, not to mention a bunch of other well-drawn fictional characters, all are faced with the invasion of the Nazis and all yearn to survive the best possible way. This of course is far from being simple, especially for the central heroine who longs to save her boyfriend who is at the hands of the Gestapo. One thing’s for sure, though, si ...more
Feb 16, 2019 rated it liked it
The Parisians was a solid account of how WW2 impacted Paris and the role of The Ritz hotel. The story focuses on the lives of 3 women whose paths intersect throughout the war at The Ritz. The author includes historical characters including a famous French actress named Arletty and the infamous Coco Channel. At the heart of the story is a young American artist named Olivia Olsen who clings to her Swiss roots and pretends to be from Switzerland.

Olivia gets a job as a chambermaid at The Ritz and i
Sherry Chiger
Dec 14, 2018 rated it liked it
If you're looking for an effortless read that juxtaposes the lifestyles of rich Nazi sympathizers and struggling Resistance workers in Paris during World War II, you'll enjoy this. It really made my commute zip along. If, however, you like your books with some depth and writing that rises above the workmanlike, this will disappoint. The characters never blossomed into three-dimensional. Their motivations seemed pat and superficial. For instance, did Arletty, one of the biggest French film stars ...more
Feb 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I have read a lot of WWII novels and one of the things I liked about this one is the mix of fictional characters and historical persons. The Parisians has three POV characters. Olivia Olsen is a young painter from the Midwest who moves to Paris in around 1939 to paint. Olivia is the main character and we follow her through the war as she begins to work at the Ritz and then becomes a spy for the Resistance against Goering.
The other two characters are Coco Chanel and Arletty. Now I had heard of C
Karren  Sandercock
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just finished The Parisians by Marius Gabriel and I really enjoyed it. I didn't finish his two other books The Designer and The Ocean Liner as I found them boring. But, his latest book about a struggling American artist of Swedish heritage who to pay her rent and eat ends up working as a chambermaid at the Ritz in Paris is rather good. Olivia Olsen decides to take a huge risk to help the French resistance, she learns to use a tiny camera to take pictures of documents German officers leave lyin ...more
Amy Layton
Dec 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
In the end, this book left me breathless and aching.  This is a powerful story about love, World War II, and just what it means to do your duty.  With a mixture of fictional characters and real, Gabriel depicts women's struggles during this war.  The story revolves around Olivia Olsen, an asset to the Resistance, Arletty, a Nazi sympathizer, and Coco Chanel, a Nazi.  

One thing that I really appreciated about this book is that it took women's struggles seriously, regardless of their political aff
Jan 31, 2019 rated it liked it
The Parisians is a story of WWII. The Nazi occupation of Paris includes the Ritz hotel. The story is three different perspectives of women within the Ritz. It's interesting to see how each one unfolds because of social class and station and nationality. This is a fascinating time period. Readers of historical fiction will enjoy this book. Thanks to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.
Renee Baldi
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really felt Marius Gabriel captured the spirit of Paris and The Ritz in this and even more, he was more historically accurate than most others out there. I was so impressed with this book and I read it as if I were needing air haha I couldn't put it down. I will say that at some parts Oliva's chapters were too flowery for me, but, on the whole, I went from being a bit annoyed with her character to admiring her. I wasn't sure what type of ending it would be as the novel did go quite dark, which ...more
Kymm Cummins
Feb 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-challenge
I really liked the story it centers around Olivia Olsen a chambermaid, then housekeeper at the Ritz hotel in Paris. She'd originally gone to Paris to become an artist, but couldn't sell any of her paintings, so she had to find a job elsewhere. There are two additional main characters, one an actress and one a fashion designer of notable fame. The characters were well written, the story kept me reading, I couldn't put it down. The author's research seemed to be right on, but I'm not sure about th ...more
Sherri Lewis
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
*** I received an advanced e-copy from Net Galley in exchange for my honest review

In Paris, the Ritz was the place everyone wanted to be during WWII, including the Nazi's. They took over half of the hotel at a 90% discount, and expected the same lavish treatment as everyone else. The book concentrates the story around 3 women at the Ritz, and how they all dealt with the invasion. Coco Chanel decides to put it to her advantage and gets a lover high up in the regime. Arletty is a French actress wh
Sarah MacIntyre
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
A fascinating insight into how different women handled life in occupied Paris during WW2. It is fiction but based on real characters during this period. Those unwilling to give up their privileged lives that they have worked hard to achieve so enjoy the best of the Nazi's occupation. Others who see the horrors of the Nazi's and SS and join the resistance and a German living in Paris who is gleeful in joining the Gestapo. Set with the background of the Ritz Hotel the book is full of bravery, deca ...more
Michelle (Champ)

I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway and I was thrilled because I had wanted to read this one!!

There is a lot going on in The Ritz hotel during WWII. For most of the book, the Nazis have taken over the hotel, leaving the regular residents either out of a home or in different quarters. It was odd to see a side of a famous designer, Coco Chanel that I had never seen. We also see a middle-aged actress, Arletty and her lovers. We see a chambermaid, Olivia, find love and risk everything for someth
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I do enjoy reading historical fiction and especially enjoy reading books where WW2 is concerned. This is the first time that i have read any books by Marius Gabriel and have a few more which shall be reading soon. I am not going to write what this story is about, as i prefer one to read the story for themselves. Recommended.

My thanks to Netgalley and the Publishers. This is my honest review.
Kathleen Gray
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another take on women in Paris during WWII that will appeal to fans of historical fiction where real women play a role. In this case, Gabriel has merged the stories of Olivia, who is working with the Resistance, with Leonie Bathiat aka "Arletty", a sympathizer and well, Coco Chanel, who has somehow managed to escape from her collusion. Look at them as women and this is a better read than if you think about the politics and ethics. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.
Andi Miller
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I thought that this was a great story, the book totally encapsulated me. I enjoyed the use of the Ritz Hotel.
I thought that Marius Gabriel told the history of how life was in Paris in the occupation was very good.
I felt moved, dismayed, nervous, excited and thrilled. Such use of emotion in a book makes it a fantastic book in my opinion.
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgally-read
Paris, 1940. The Nazis have occupied the city and the Ritz. The opulent old hotel, so loved by Parisians, is now full of swaggering officers, their minions and their mistresses.

For American Olivia Olsen, working as a chambermaid at the hotel means denying her nationality and living a lie, every day bringing the danger of discovery closer. When Hitler’s right-hand man moves in and makes her his pet, she sees an opportunity to help the Resistance—and draw closer to Jack, her contact, whose brusque
Jasmine Emma
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
**I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**

For the first half of this book, I was ready to give it a one-star review. I actually considered abandoning it which I never do. But it really picked up in the second half and by the end I was gripped. So I don’t really understand why the first half of the story exists – if the book had started where the plot did, with Nazi occupation underway and Olivia deciding to use her position as a Chambermaid in the Ritz to
Jan 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
The next installment in my unintentional historical-fiction journey this month brings me to Paris in the 1940s, just as Hitler and the Nazis have taken over France. The Parisians follows three women who do what it takes to survive in the city they love during the tumultuous World War II.

Olivia Olsen is a Swedish-American who moved to Paris as a young adult to become a painter and be inspired by the most beautiful city in the world. Penniless and desperate, she gets a job at the Ritz hotel as a
Jan 27, 2019 rated it liked it
The Parisians by Marius Gabriel (3 Stars)

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book in return for an honest review.

This is a book of historical fiction, yet with a lot of reality thrown into the mix. The book follows three main characters, Olivia, Arletty and Coco, all within the context of their relationship to Olivia.

Let’s start with Olivia, the fictional character. Just before World War II, Olivia is an American in Paris studying to be an artist, albeit a starvi
BranDee Wenzl
Jan 28, 2019 rated it liked it
The Parisians was a new take on looking at what happened I'm France during World War 2. Here you are seeing the war and occupation through those that work and live at the Ritz hotel. Yoi get to see how the rich we're affected by the Nazi's as well as those with less. There are characters within the story that are real people, which I found fascinating. It brought them to life for me.
I struggled a little with getting into the story. I love all things World War 2 and was really excited to read th
Beth German
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book in which of the three main female characters, two were real people who lived in France and at the Ritz during the German occupation of WWII. Historical fiction usually drives me to research more about the real-life people who are included and to research the accuracy of the story with regard to them. In this case, I did this pretty early on as there was a relationship in here with one character that immediately caused me to question if it was accurate or more of a curr ...more
Laura Lamb-susca
Feb 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy reading about WWII. I find it such an awesome way to relearn about the German and Nazi invasions of Europe. The trauma, chaos and destruction that the war brought. To learn about how people become so involved in the resistant movement and their dedication to bringing Hitler and the Germans down. This was a different novel for me to read as it had both fiction and non fiction characters. The novel was about choices that we make in order to survive, the love we endure and the sacrifices on ...more
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the 3rd book I have read by Marius Gabriel and I was not disappointed. Set in Nazi-occupied Paris and centred on the Ritz hotel, The Parisians gives a fascinating insight into how the very rich spent their time in wartime Paris. Coco Chanel features prominently (though she is not very likeable) as do other known socialites of the time.
The central character, Olivia Olsen, is American-Swedish and an aspiring artist who starts work as a chambermaid at the Ritz. This is the story of her war
Shaylee (Bookswithshayydeniece_)
Big thank you to Netgalley for the review copy of this wonderful book!

I really enjoyed this novel. It was a great book to fall asleep to every night. The ending was by far the best thing I could have imagine for this story. I was starting to wonder for awhile but everything was tied up nicely and I finally felt a connection to the characters about halfway through. The beginning was good but I didn't really care but the author really turned it around in the second half and I grew to love Olivia.
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Marius Gabriel is an international thriller and mystery writer.

Under the pseudonym Madeleine Ker, he wrote over 30 romance novels in the 1980s.

As Marius Gabriel he has written several mystery best-sellers, some of them historical novels.

He has three grown-up children and currently lives in Cairo and London. He is 59.
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