Book Review: Until Leaves Fall in Paris

14 Mar

Until Leaves Fall in Paris is my new favorite by Sarah Sundin. And that’s saying a lot! The talented historical fiction author outdid herself with this novel focusing on the years before America entered WWII. If you love well-researched historical fiction, then this one’s for you. Highly recommended!

As the Nazis march toward Paris in 1940, American ballerina Lucie Girard buys her favorite English-language bookstore to allow the Jewish owners to escape. Lucie struggles to run Green Leaf Books due to oppressive German laws and harsh conditions, but she finds a way to aid the resistance by passing secret messages between the pages of her books.

Widower Paul Aubrey wants nothing more than to return to the States with his little girl, but the US Army convinces him to keep his factory running and obtain military information from his German customers. As the war rages on, Paul offers his own resistance by sabotaging his product and hiding British airmen in his factory. After they meet in the bookstore, Paul and Lucie are drawn to each other, but she rejects him when she discovers he sells to the Germans. And for Paul to win her trust would mean betraying his mission.

Master of WWII-era fiction Sarah Sundin invites you onto the streets of occupied Paris to discover whether love or duty will prevail.

Sarah Sundin enjoys writing about the drama and romance of the World War II era. She is the bestselling author of Until Leaves Fall in Paris (February 2022), When Twilight Breaks (2021), the Sunrise at Normandy series, and three more World War II series. 

A mother of three, Sundin lives in California and enjoys speaking to community, church, and writers’ groups. Sarah serves as Co-Director for the West Coast Christian Writers Conference. Please visit Sarah at, on Facebook at SarahSundinAuthor, on Twitter at @sarahsundin, and on Instagram at @sarahsundinauthor.

My Impressions:

Sarah Sundin has long been a go-to author for WWII-era historical novels. Until Leaves Fall in Paris is now my new favorite. Sundin captured the political and cultural climate of Paris following the German invasion so well. While most of us know of the atrocities carried out by the Nazis, this reader got even more insight into what their regime was trying to achieve. As the Germans worked to replace unacceptable books, art, and thought they systematically instituted rules that affected all Parisians. One small detail made a big impact on me — even the time zone of Paris was changed to Berlin-time. All but those things deemed okay by the Germans were removed. The novel focuses on two Americans (the United States was neutral at the time the book begins) — Paul Aubrey, a car manufacturer and Lucie Girard, ballerina turned bookstore owner. In the French culture they stand as opposites. Paul is definitely a right-bank capitalist, while Lucie is strongly influenced by the artsy left-bank. I liked how Sundin showed the struggle between the two ideals. The two also face increased pressure from the German invaders. Paul takes on the role of collaborator to further his own country’s interests, and Lucie does her part to maintain free thought as well as help the early work of the resistance.

There is romance for Paul and Lucie as they discover each other’s strengths. Both of them walk a tightrope of their public personas and their personal convictions. The book becomes more and more suspenseful as the time of America’s involvement in the war comes closer. This book was a true page-turner! There is a wonderful faith thread as well, as the two lean more and more on God as they face future uncertainty.

If you love WWII-era novels, then you have got to read Until Leaves Fall in Paris. This book has it all! And with its in-depth look at Paris under the Nazis, it is good choice for a book club. It is definitely a highly recommended read.

Highly Recommended

Great for Book Clubs

Audience: adults

(Thanks to Revell for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

2 Responses to “Book Review: Until Leaves Fall in Paris”

  1. Cindy Davis March 14, 2022 at 4:39 pm #

    Glad you enjoyed it!!

  2. Suzanne Sellner March 14, 2022 at 10:13 pm #

    I think it’s Sarah Sundin’s masterpiece!

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