The Room on Rue Amélie

The Room on Rue Amélie

For fans of Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale and Martha Hall Kelly’s Lilac Girls, this powerful novel of fate, resistance, and family—by the international bestselling author of The Sweetness of Forgetting and When We Meet Again—tells the tale of an American woman, a British RAF pilot, and a young Jewish teenager whose lives intersect in occupied Paris during the tumultuous...

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Title:The Room on Rue Amélie
Author:Kristin Harmel
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Room on Rue Amélie Reviews

  • Brandi Hodges

    This book broke my heart into little, tiny pieces.

    That being said, "The Room on Rue Amélie" is one of the best books I have read this year. You know you have found something special when you find an author who can make you cry and yearn to continue reading within a few short paragraphs. When I read my first book by author Kristin Harmel a few years ago, my heart was broken and put back together so many times I lost count - and that was in one book! The characters and the worlds built by Harmel

    This book broke my heart into little, tiny pieces.

    That being said, "The Room on Rue Amélie" is one of the best books I have read this year. You know you have found something special when you find an author who can make you cry and yearn to continue reading within a few short paragraphs. When I read my first book by author Kristin Harmel a few years ago, my heart was broken and put back together so many times I lost count - and that was in one book! The characters and the worlds built by Harmel are transporting. And really, that’s what I look for in a book. I want to be sitting in one spot reading while being taken elsewhere, living lives alongside the beautifully real people I meet through Harmel’s words.

    In her latest book, "The Room on Rue Amélie" which will be published in March of 2018, We meet a couple in 2002. A pair who have been married for five decades of love, laughter and family. Now, it seems, the failing health of one half of this couple is looming to separate them forever.

    A literary device that Harmel has used in her books that I really enjoy are flashbacks. In this book, readers travel from 2002 to the late 1930’s where the book moves forward in time. Throughout the book you don’t know who the man and woman we meet in the first chapter grow up to be.

    As you read, you “meet” the other characters of the story. I grew to love each and every one of them and, as I read, hoped they would survive.

    Young college student Ruby Henderson is living in New York City in 1938. She has moved from her childhood home in California to broaden her horizons. A whirlwind relationship with a frenchman named Marcel Benoit finds her married and living in Paris by the next year. Europe is on the cusp of World War II, and in the beginning, that does not bother Marcel. He believes France will hold strong against Germany - a belief that later proves false.

    Ten year old Charlotte Dacher and her family live in the same apartment building as the Benoit’s. Young Charlotte is teased and mocked by classmates because her family is Jewish. On a cold December night, she meets Ruby who is standing on the neighboring terrace.

    Thomas Clarke is a member of the Royal Air Force. He is ready to take to the skies and into the war. As the war rages on, Ruby stays in Paris, much to the chagrin of her husband who all but ordered her to leave for her safety. Ruby, in her words, is stubborn. She refuses to leave her home or her husband. Also, still in Paris, is the Dacher family. As the year progresses and war and fear is all around, Ruby and Charlotte become closer. Ruby becomes pregnant and loses her baby all while her husband is sneaking around and keeping secrets.

    After finding an injured allied soldier in her hallway, and helping hide him while he recovers, Ruby discovers that her husband has been helping downed soldiers escape Paris and find their way back home and back into the battle. Marcel is found out and executed and his wife takes his place in the escape line.

    Countless soldiers and pilots come and go but one sticks with her heart long after he is back in the skies. As the Germans crack down on Jewish families, Charlotte is taken in by Ruby just before they are taken by the Germans. Doing her part to help, Charlotte meets a young forger -Lucien - who teaches her his trade and offers her his friendship and affection at a time when she needs it the most.

    This is a story of heartbreak and survival, of rebirth and resolve. Who is this couple we met at the beginning of the story? One thing I both love and greatly mourn is that Harmel's characters do not all survived. They do not all have happy endings. Life does not have happy endings all the time either.

    I feel like I learn more about myself when I read Harmel's stories. I can ask myself if I would ever be brave enough to do the things that these characters do. What I have that kind of strength of character? You can read this book in March of 2018.

    For anyone who likes history, especially history told from a different point of view than the view you get out of a history book, this is a book for you.

  • Ashley (5171MilesBooks)

    By now many of you may know how much I love World War II Historical Fiction. There's something about this period in history I find incredibly captivating. Each story is so immersive in the human experience, offering some form of tragedy I've never before been able to imagine. After having made my way through countless WWII novels, I still find myself du

    By now many of you may know how much I love World War II Historical Fiction. There's something about this period in history I find incredibly captivating. Each story is so immersive in the human experience, offering some form of tragedy I've never before been able to imagine. After having made my way through countless WWII novels, I still find myself dumbfounded at the horrors humans inflicted upon one another. The suffering is unimaginable, no matter how many books I read. However, the constant that keeps me coming back to these horrifying stories shrouded in truth remains the same - the persistence of good. The people who fight for strangers above themselves, the stories of people offering food to someone weaker, those who harbored strangers in their homes for the sake of the cause, and countless other good deeds that may never find their way into the pages of a book. Every story, even if fictional, holds truth.

    The Room on Rue Amélie hooked me from the very first page and was no exception to everything mentioned above. Though I've read several books in this genre, often from the same settings, each story is new and unique. Kristin Harmel did an exquisite job of capturing this dismal time in history through multiple characters, though mainly from the perspective of Ruby, an American woman living in Paris. Shortly before the war, Ruby moves to Paris with her French husband to start a life of love and independence. Quickly, life becomes less than she imagines as her marriage starts to crumble with the start of the war. Given the chance and urged to leave the country multiple times, Ruby is determined to be part of the Resistance against the Germans instead, helping in any way she can. Finally, she is trusted with the chance to be part of the escape line for downed airmen in the enemy territory. Ruby is constantly put to the test, but her faith and perseverance never waver.

    I prefer to go into stories as blind as possible. I simply requested this novel through Netgalley for the beautiful cover and the first few lines of the blurb (mentioned above). I was pleasantly surprised with the unexpected additions of romance during this wartime setting. I was completely engulfed in the emotions of the characters and could not stop reading this beautiful book. The story begins with an elderly couple recounting their past as one of the character's final days approach. As the story continues, readers are taken through the expanse of the war, from start to finish. I have to give high praise on this aspect, as a lot of ground was covered in surprisingly minimal pages. Some authors struggle to fit this impressive length of time into one novel, but Kristin Harmel was able to do the effortlessly, without making the story feel rushed or as if the reader has missed important events in the gaps of time. Readers are able to feel the characters growing and changing as the war makes them weary, allowing them to feel a personal connection to the people in the story.

    As I got closer to the conclusion, I was nervous all of the ends would not be able to be tied up in the few remaining pages. Luckily, my fears were completely unfounded because the ending was unexpectedly beautiful while simultaneously heartwrenching. I never saw the end events coming and was rocked to my core. I truly loved everything about this story and was touched by the writing on the deepest level. I hate to compare novels because each is unique, but I daresay this one will stick with me for years to come, with the likes of novels such as The Nightingale, From Sand and Ash, and Sarah's Key. I truly cannot recommend this amazing book enough! Pick it up in less than two weeks on March 27th.

  • Pavlina Read more sleep less blog❤❤

    4,5 stars

    This story was fantastic, I don't usually read this type of books but from the moment I read the synopsis I wanted to read it and I'm so glad I did!The Room on Rue Amelie was a heartbreaking and emotional story!The writing was beautiful and flawless and the story touched me in so many ways!

    The beginning was a little bit slow in my opinion but after a few chapters I couldn't put it down wondering what will happen next!The Room on Rue Amelie is a powerful story, I was emotional while I w

    4,5 stars

    This story was fantastic, I don't usually read this type of books but from the moment I read the synopsis I wanted to read it and I'm so glad I did!The Room on Rue Amelie was a heartbreaking and emotional story!The writing was beautiful and flawless and the story touched me in so many ways!

    The beginning was a little bit slow in my opinion but after a few chapters I couldn't put it down wondering what will happen next!The Room on Rue Amelie is a powerful story, I was emotional while I was reading it, especially in the end!The characters felt so realistic!I loved Ruby and Charlotte but especially Ruby because she was such a strong heroine!Thomas was also an interesting character!

    This book is definitely a must read!If you are looking for a unique story this is definitely for you!

     

  • Lindsay

    4.5 stars! I adored this novel!

    This was a touching and unforgettable WWII story revolving around Ruby Benoit, a brave young American newlywed woman, living in occupied Paris during wartime devastation and desperation. The story is narrated through her perspective, along with a British RAF pilot and a neighboring Jewish teenage girl. I enjoyed the way the story unfolded overlapping through their perspectives in alternating chapters.

    One of the things I most enjoyed about this novel was learning th

    4.5 stars! I adored this novel!

    This was a touching and unforgettable WWII story revolving around Ruby Benoit, a brave young American newlywed woman, living in occupied Paris during wartime devastation and desperation. The story is narrated through her perspective, along with a British RAF pilot and a neighboring Jewish teenage girl. I enjoyed the way the story unfolded overlapping through their perspectives in alternating chapters.

    One of the things I most enjoyed about this novel was learning that Ruby’s character was based on a real woman named Virginia d’Albert-Lake. I found her story so captivating and inspiring and to discover that much of what unfolds in this book was based on real events made me appreciate this novel so much more. The author, Kristin Harmel, writes with such beauty and clarity. I felt the intensity of wartime loss and devastation, yet didn’t feel overwhelmed with sadness. There was much sorrow and grief throughout the story but it was presented in such a hopeful manner - this hope being what these characters focused on to survive.

    I read this wonderful book along with Brenda and Jennifer and it was an absolute pleasure. They offered such intriguing insight that deeply enhanced my reading experience. To find this review, along with the other Traveling Sister reviews, please visit Brenda and Norma’s fabulous blog at:

    A big thank you to NetGalley, Simon & Schuster Canada and Kristin Harmel for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    I have enjoyed other books by Kristin Harmel, but The Room on Rue Amelie may just be my favorite from her.

    Set in World War II, my favorite time period of which to read, the Epilogue of The Room on Rue Amelie set the intriguing stage, as it was not until the end of the book that I knew which loving elderly couple was portrayed.

    In 1939, Ruby falls in love with a Frenchman and moves to Paris, against her parents’ wishes because the p

    I have enjoyed other books by Kristin Harmel, but The Room on Rue Amelie may just be my favorite from her.

    Set in World War II, my favorite time period of which to read, the Epilogue of The Room on Rue Amelie set the intriguing stage, as it was not until the end of the book that I knew which loving elderly couple was portrayed.

    In 1939, Ruby falls in love with a Frenchman and moves to Paris, against her parents’ wishes because the political climate of the time is uncertain. By 1940, Ruby’s marriage also becomes uncertain and now the Nazis have invaded her beloved Paris.

    Ruby becomes close friends with a girl who is Jewish in her apartment who did not evacuate, and later in time, a shot-down RAF pilot appears who needs to make his way back to England. The story that unfolds is one of two fearless women who help others no matter the cost. I was inspired to find out that the story was loosely based on a real person.

    The Room on Rue Amelie is an endearing story of WWII, lovingly told, of bravery and the utmost sacrifice. Historical fiction is my favorite genre, and it’s delightful to have a well-researched, beautifully-written account that’s “lighter.” This does not mean that this novel was lacking in depth, but instead, I could read and enjoy with ease without re-reading at times in order to absorb all the content.

    I read this book with Brenda, Norma, and Lindsay, and it was a treasure of a read to share with my sisters. For the Traveling Sister combined review, please visit Brenda and Norma’s blog:

    Thank you to Kristin Harmel, Gallery Books, and Netgalley, for the ARC. The Room on Rue Amelie is available now!

  • Tammy

    Cliches abound: “You must forgive yourself. Knowledge is power. It’s a mother’s job to protect her child. It’s what’s inside a person that counts. Better safe than sorry. I still believe in the goodness of mankind. What matters is what’s in your heart. Your life depends on it”. At one point. I wanted to place the back of my hand to my forehead with a dramatic sigh.

    To be fair, this was my fault. I went into this thinking that it would be similar to The Nightingale. Given what I do for a living, I

    Cliches abound: “You must forgive yourself. Knowledge is power. It’s a mother’s job to protect her child. It’s what’s inside a person that counts. Better safe than sorry. I still believe in the goodness of mankind. What matters is what’s in your heart. Your life depends on it”. At one point. I wanted to place the back of my hand to my forehead with a dramatic sigh.

    To be fair, this was my fault. I went into this thinking that it would be similar to The Nightingale. Given what I do for a living, I should have known better. This is a straightforward romance and not up my street in the least. I awarded four stars because it succeeds within this genre and romance readers will positively swoon.

  • Cristina | CristiinaReads

  • Brenda

    I was lost in the awe so inspiring Lush Coulee with Lindsay and Jennifer reading The Room on Rue Amelie. Not wanting to leave but to stay and savor this endearing story. Kristen Hamel gave us much to discuss and I really enjoyed discussing our thoughts and insight to this story.

    The Room on Rue Amelie is an easy, lighter more dramatic WWII story of the sacrifices and bravery of the heroes who take a stand against injustice. It was a nice change of pace for us and we really enjoyed the lighter, e

    I was lost in the awe so inspiring Lush Coulee with Lindsay and Jennifer reading The Room on Rue Amelie. Not wanting to leave but to stay and savor this endearing story. Kristen Hamel gave us much to discuss and I really enjoyed discussing our thoughts and insight to this story.

    The Room on Rue Amelie is an easy, lighter more dramatic WWII story of the sacrifices and bravery of the heroes who take a stand against injustice. It was a nice change of pace for us and we really enjoyed the lighter, endearing and easier side to a WWII story that still had the depth and layers to make it an intriguing story for us.

    Kristin Harmel does a fantastic job creating brave, strong and interesting characters here with our three main characters Ruby, Charlotte, and Thomas. All fighting to survive and protect each other. We could feel their courage, love, fear and the danger they faced with bravery and we were touch by the emotional depth of this story.

    We all loved the heartbreaking and heartwarming ending that left us excited to discuss this story. Kristen Hamel gave us much to discuss and I really enjoyed discussing our thoughts and insight to this story. We were left very satisfied with this unforgettable story. We highly recommend.

    This is my first book by Kristin Harmel but not my last. I just ordered three more books by her and can’t wait to get them!

    Published on March 27, 2018

    Thank you, NetGalley, Simon & Schuster Canada and Kristin Harmel for a copy to read and review.

    Review written and posted on our themed book blog Two Sisters Lost In A Coulee Reading.

    Coulee: a term applied rather loosely to different landforms, all of which refer to a kind of valley.

  • Marialyce

    3.5 sad wartime story stars

    Life was ever so hard in Europe living during the war years. When Ruby, a young American girl, meets and falls in love with Marcel, a young Frenchman, she doesn't realize the changes she will have in her life. Moving to Paris with Marcel, she is excited to be in the city of lights. However, war is looming and as the months pass, she and Marcel are embroiled in the beginnings of war.

    The marriage starts to fall apart as Marcel becomes more and more secretive, disappearin

    3.5 sad wartime story stars

    Life was ever so hard in Europe living during the war years. When Ruby, a young American girl, meets and falls in love with Marcel, a young Frenchman, she doesn't realize the changes she will have in her life. Moving to Paris with Marcel, she is excited to be in the city of lights. However, war is looming and as the months pass, she and Marcel are embroiled in the beginnings of war.

    The marriage starts to fall apart as Marcel becomes more and more secretive, disappearing for days at a time until tragedy occurs and Ruby is left on her own. Ruby lives next door to a Jewish couple and their daughter, Charlotte. They become close and as the atrocities against the Jews escalate, Ruby takes charge of Charlotte as her parents are imprisoned and taken to one of the camps in Poland. Ruby needs to do something to help and help she does as she becomes involved in the resistance movement. Through her work, she hides pilots shot down over France and one of the pilots Thomas, becomes quite special to her.

    As the story plays out with the backdrop of war, Ruby falls in love with Thomas and they vow to be waiting for each other when the war ends.

    This was quite a nice story, one that showed how good people are when times are evil and life has turned in a horrible direction. This book was loosely based on a woman who had experienced what the main character presented in this book goes through. It was an enjoyable read but it was more of a love story than anything else, a lovely story nevertheless.

    Thank you to Kristin Harmel, Gallery Books, and netgalley for making an advanced copy of this novel available to me.

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