Many thanks to Bookouture for inviting me to take part in Lily Graham’s blog tour for ‘The Last Restaurant in Paris’, and for supplying me with an ARC. All thoughts written in this review are done so in an unbiased manner.
Paris 1944. To save her people, she served the enemy.
In enemy-occupied Paris, as the locals go to bed starving and defeated by the war, music and laughter spills through the door of a little restaurant, crowded with German soldiers. The owner Marianne moves on weary feet between its packed tables, carrying plates of steaming, wholesome food for the enemy officers. Her smile is bright and sparkling, her welcome cordial. Nobody would guess the hatred she hides in her heart.
That night, the restaurant closes its doors for the final time. In the morning, the windows are scratched with the words ‘traitor and murderer’. And Marianne has disappeared without a trace…
Years later, Marianne’s granddaughter Sabine stands under the faded green awning, a heavy brass key in her hand, staring at the restaurant left to her by the grandmother she never met. Sabine has so many questions about herself. Perhaps here she can find answers, but she knows she isn’t welcome. Marianne was hated by the locals and when Sabine discovers they blamed her for the terrible tragedy that haunts the pretty restaurant, she is ready to abandon her dark legacy.
But when she finds a passport in a hidden compartment in the water-stained walls, with a picture of a woman who looks like her grandmother but has a different name, she knows there must be more to Marianne’s story. As she digs into the past, she starts to wonder: was her grandmother a heroine, not a traitor? What happened to her after the tragic night when she fled from her restaurant? And will the answer change her own life forever?
If you aren’t aware by now, I ADORE historical fiction novels, especially those set during the war, and ‘The Last Restaurant in Paris’ ticked all the boxes for me.
Once again, Lily Graham’s emotive writing style took centre stage as she delivered a tale about survival, trust, hope and fear. Many families have hidden secrets in their past and Sabine’s family were no different, however the secrets hidden were life or death. Or, putting it bluntly, revenge.
Sabine’s grandmother loved hard, yet she loved even harder and heaven forbid people got in her way. Granted what she did during the war wasn’t the most wholesome of things, to a certain degree I could see why she did what she did. Like I say, I don’t condone her actions, but there was a lot more to what happened that night than first thought.
Lily Graham has an incredible way with words, and I was captivated by this story from the very beginning until the very end. There was so much grit to sink my teeth into, and I loved how I was able to find out the truth at the same time as the characters. It was as though we were connected if that makes sense.
I can’t fault ‘The Last Restaurant in Paris’ at all. It had suspense, emotion, power, strength, but most of all it had a heart. A captivating, wholesome and poignant novel – highlighting the importance of finding out the truth of a situation before a judgement is made.