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I have to go back and link the review.
This sounds a bit disappointing. The German cover does also look as if it was a love story.
It was an impulse buy on my side, I haven't seen any German reviews, I'm not even sure if he has written many other books and whether this is a first novel.
I'll still read it.

Liz F

I've just finished this and I agree with you that it is more a thriller than a tragic love story - I'm not sure of the love story at all in fact as it struck me that the relationship was simply infatuation on Roth's part.

I got the feeling that Chantal quite liked him but had her own reasons for her involvement and love didn't really come into it.

Having said that it was interesting seeing the occupation of Paris from the perspective of an ordinary member of the Wehrmacht, but if I had read it looking for a tragic love story I would have been disappointed. (If you are in the mood for something like that Elizabeth Buchan's By the Light of the Moon is far better)


It's difficult, isn't it, when a book comes so strongly from one character's perspective, to know what the others characters are thinking and feeling. Some love stories (like Lolita) make a virtue of that, by hinting at all sorts of other interpretations. But for a more straightforward story, as this one sounds, it probably leaves a lot of unanswered questions! But six books for German Literature month is amazing!


So sorry this didn't live up to your expectations, Danielle. It seems such a letdown when that happens. I read a WWII book this fall that did the same to me (of course, I can't remember the name of the book). It was set in England just before the US entered the war, but, airmen and the first of the army nurses were there. It ended up being a rather trite love story, which was too bad as parts of it were so interesting about the times, the planes and missions, and all that the women did in their capacity as nurses and then, later, nurses on the aircraft. While I wouldn't want to read the book again, it made me want to learn more about this time.

April in Paris, or at least your review, spurs me on to learn more about the French Resistance. This is really a wonderful review, Danielle; honest and informative, even if the book wasn't your favorite.

What a nice surprise there was in my mailbox yesterday afternoon. Best wishes for the holidays and beyond to you! Penny


Too bad you expected one kind of story and got another. Whenever that happens I always have a hard time making the adjustment to what I'm actually getting. At least it was well written.

Buried In Print

Six books towards the challenge is not too shabby at all, not in the least!


Caroline--I do believe this is a first novel and he has since come out with another book, which I might actually look for. Even if I feel a little ambivalent about it, it was by no means a bad book! I did like it, only there were a few things that caught my attention in an otherwise smoothly done story. I'll be curious to see what you think of it (maybe my perception was off, too). I like the German cover, but it still doesn't quite capture the true tone of the story--there is no dancing in it! :)

Liz--I'm glad you've read it, too, so we can compare notes. I liked the book, but the relationship seemed a false one. Maybe if we could have seen it all from Chantal's perspective as well it might have been more convincing? She was totally dedicated to her cause, and while I think she was attracted to him and maybe even cared for him--she could still easily walk away. I think he was infatuated with her and with life in France and the fact he could simply blend in. I do think Wallner did lots of other things really well in the book, though. Like you I think he gave a very convincing look into Occupied Paris--wouldn't have minded if there was more of that! And I have duly added the Buchan to my wishlist--unfortunately my library doesn't have it, but I think I might buy a cheap used copy!...Thanks.

Litlove--Yes, there were a few unanswered questions. I think you are right--only getting Roth's point of view means it's hard to tell just what Chantal was really thinking/feeling. Still, it was an enjoyable read. And I did very well with my German books!

Penny--I enjoyed the book, but maybe didn't love it as much as I was hoping I would. Still--he was very good at giving a picture of Paris under German rule--I'm also interested in learning more. The book you read sounds interesting--though maybe it would have been better to find a good NF book. I liked that it was written by a German author--so it gives a slightly different perspective. I think there are some really good books out on the Resistance--I'd like to read more, too. Happy holidays to you, as well!

Stefanie--It was well written and well translated. I never wanted to put the book aside--always a good thing, only I think I was expecting something a little different than what I got. Still, I'm happy I finally read it.

Buried in Print--I was pleased to get through them all. It's rare I actually read the books I set out to read in challenges! And I still have three more books by the same authors I read for this--hopefully will get to them over my break!


I wanted to add this too, 6 books is far from shabby but 9 for the readalong is even less shabby.


As usual a great review. How well you voice the reservations I have too. As a love affair the relationship between Chantal and Roth seemed too unpredictable to be true for me and I found the ending a bit too much.


Caroline--Too many good books to choose from! Nine is a great number--you did really well considering you were also organizing it and posting so often!

Catharina--The ending was a surprise--I wasn't expecting that, though I suppose I did expect something tragic. Maybe if there had been (or it had been conveyed more strongly) a passion between the two (on both sides), I would have felt more convinced. I think Roth didn't quite know what *he* wanted, but Chantal seemed so focused on her resistance activities--it really did seem more likely that she was stringing him along and setting him up than that she was passionately in love with him. Not a bad read, but there were some issues with the story for me as well. I still may look for his second book--I think otherwise he does has potential.

Liz F

I didn't have a problem with Michael Wallner's writing style at all so I will keep an eye out for other books by him - I just wasn't convinced by the 'tragic love story' bit.
Oh and I got the title of the Elizabeth Buchan slightly wrong Danielle, it is actually Light of the Moon - I know that can make a difference sometimes if you are searching databases!


Liz--I think he does have a new one that I should add to my wish list--I think it might still be in hardcover though. No problem with the Buchan--I found it and very shamelessly ordered a cheap used copy (actually it seems to be OOP here). I also pulled a copy of Consider the Lily (the only book by her I own) from my own shelves to start reading...that wasn't on my reading list, but oh well.

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