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Paris Echo: Book summary and reviews of Paris Echo by Sebastian Faulks

Paris Echo by Sebastian Faulks X
Paris Echo by Sebastian Faulks
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  • Published in USA  Nov 2018
    272 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

A story of resistance, complicity, and an unlikely, transformative friendship, set in Paris, from internationally bestselling novelist Sebastian Faulks.

American historian Hannah intends to immerse herself in World War II research in Paris, wary of paying much attention to the city where a youthful misadventure once left her dejected. But a chance encounter with Tariq, a Moroccan teenager whose visions of the City of Lights as a world of opportunity and rebirth starkly contrast with her own, disrupts her plan.

Hannah agrees to take Tariq in as a lodger, forming an unexpected connection with the young man. Yet as Tariq begins to assimilate into the country he risked his life to enter, he realizes that its dark past and current ills are far more complicated than he'd anticpated. And Hannah, diving deeper into her work on women's lives in Nazi-occupied Paris, uncovers a shocking piece of history that threatens to dismantle her core beliefs. Soon they each must question which sacrifices are worth their happiness and what, if anything, the tumultuous past century can teach them about the future.

From the sweltering streets of Tangier to deep beneath Paris via the Metro, from the affecting recorded accounts of women in German-occupied France and into the future through our hopes for these characters, Paris Echo offers a tough and poignant story of injustices and dreams.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Faulks offers a subtle but affecting portrait of friendship while exploring the immense difficulty of making sense of the larger world." - Booklist

"Fans of Paula McClain and Ian McEwan will enjoy Faulks's touching tale of two Parisian visitors looking to reimagine their self-identities in a changing world." - Publishers Weekly

"Most unfortunately, the novel's twists are easy to see coming. Still, this is an entertaining novel with memorable characters. A fun romp through Paris and history, one that nevertheless makes us understand that the sins of the past are not truly past." - Kirkus

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Reader Reviews

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Sue

Finding oneself
You know you have a good read when you become so invested in the characters that you find yourself yelling and talking back to them. laughing with them, embarrassed for them and wishing they would have talked more to each other.

While some readers may be off put by the bouncing back and forth between narrators, once I became more familiar with their cadence and thought process, this did not present a problem to my enjoyment of the book

I thoroughly enjoyed Echoes and hated to see it end..

Jennie R. (Highland, CA)

Loved this book!
I loved this book from start to finish. It would be a great book club book, with lots of discussion worthy topics. The characters were believable and filled out just right. I felt I got to know 'Tariq', the young man from Morocco, the best, as he narrated every other chapter. He's so naive and mostly charming, though also a bit of an opportunist. I really liked 'Hannah', too, and found her character deep and intriguing, someone I'd enjoy knowing in real life. The historical aspect of the novel was well told, too; I appreciated the look at the lives of several women who shared their stories of living through the years of the Nazi occupation. One of my very favorite bits is Tariq's description of the girl he left behind in Morocco..."There was so much more to her, so many things I'd forgotten, starting with the way she never bothered to say hello, because there was always something more important to tell me." I was sorry to arrive at the last page of this one. Well done, Mr. Faulks!

Sherilyn R. (St George, UT)

Paris Echo
I am a fan of Sebastian Faulks' novels and his Paris Echo is now a favorite.

Faulks uses an unlikely relationship between Hannah, an American historian, and Tariq, a Moroccan teenager, to tell this multi-layered story. The primary premise is Paris under German occupation and the atrocities committed in Algeria and Paris during the Algerian War of Independence. The Algerian history was unfamiliar to me and one about which I would like to know more. Faulks also has a lot to say about how the past, and our view of that past has an enormous influence on our relationships and on our lives.

I found Faulks storytelling compelling and thoroughly engrossing. I highly recommend the book.

Liz D. (East Falmouth, MA)

The Echoes of Paris
Paris Echo is another fine book by Sebastian Faulks.
There are three main characters in this novel. Hannah a researcher seeking to study the lives of women during the Nazi occupation of Paris. Tariq a young man from Tangier who is seeking adventure and an answer to the secret of his mothers life in Paris. The third character is Paris which holds untold secrets and answers for Hannah and Tariq. The wonders of Paris seen through Tariq's eyes are spellbinding showing both its glorious and dark sides. The characters are fleshed out so the reader cares a lot about them and their outcomes. Both Hannah and Tariq grow in ways which will impact and better their lives in the future. Another beautiful story by Sebastian Faulkes will keep the reader thoughtfully revisiting the characters days after the book is finished.

Mary Anne

Paris Echo
I thought this was a thought provoking novel. I needed to read it slowly to understand the complex characters and their relationship,especially between Hannah,the American historian and Tariq,the young man on a mission to learn about his deceased mother.

I liked the development of Tariq’s personality. He is emotionally young but desirous of growing. He has many great qualities. I loved his boldness and persistence.

There are many parallels in the development of Hannah and Tariq. I needed to reread parts of the novel to grasps how the author tied the lives of Tariq and Hannah together using the ghosts of the past to help them. The ghost, Clemenceau, is beautifully developed.

I liked how the novel encouraged me to learn more about Vichy France and the Algerian war. I felt so much like Tariq walking about in ignorance of so much.

Jean B. (Naples, FL)

Paris Echo
Two interesting, diverse characters make Sebastian Faulk's novel Paris Echo a really good read. Moroccan Tariq is young, confident, optimistic, and good looking and American Hannah is middle-aged, obsessed with history, intellectual and plain looking. The reader will enjoy the unlikely interactions of these two characters and will enjoy the skill of the author who makes them come alive.

...15 more reader reviews

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Author Information

Sebastian Faulks Author Biography

Sebastian Faulks was born on 20 April 1953 and was educated at Wellington College and Emmanuel College, Cambridge. He was the first literary editor of The Independent and became deputy editor of the Independent on Sunday before leaving in 1991 to concentrate on writing. He has been a columnist for The Guardian (1992-8) and the Evening Standard (1997-9). He continues to contribute articles and reviews to a number of newspapers and magazines. He wrote and presented the Channel 4 Television series 'Churchill's Secret Army', screened in 1999. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

His first novel, A Trick of the Light, was published in 1984. His other novels include The Girl at the Lion d'Or (1989), set in France between the First and Second ...

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