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The Lost Girls of Paris

Written by: Pam Jenoff
Length: 11 hrs and 41 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (143 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From the author of the runaway best-seller The Orphan’s Tale comes a remarkable story of friendship and courage centered around three women and a ring of female spies during World War II.

Manhattan, 1946.

Grace Healey is rebuilding her life after losing her husband during the war. One morning while passing through Grand Central Terminal on her way to work, she finds an abandoned suitcase tucked beneath a bench. Unable to resist her own curiosity, Grace opens the suitcase, where she discovers a dozen photographs - each of a different woman. In a moment of impulse, Grace takes the photographs and quickly leaves the station.

Grace soon learns the suitcase belonged to a woman named Eleanor Trigg, leader of a ring of female secret agents who were deployed out of London during the war. Twelve of these women were sent to Occupied Europe as couriers and radio operators to aid the resistance, but they never returned home, their fates a mystery. Setting out to learn the truth behind the women in the photographs, Grace finds herself drawn to a young mother turned agent named Marie, whose daring mission overseas reveals a remarkable story of friendship, valor, and betrayal.

Vividly rendered and inspired by true events, New York Times best-selling author Pam Jenoff shines a light on the incredible heroics of the brave women of the war and weaves a mesmerizing tale of courage, sisterhood, and the great strength of women to survive in the hardest of circumstances.

©2019 Pam Jenoff (P)2019 Harlequin Enterprises, Limited

What the critics say

  • Cosmopolitan best book club book of 2019
  • PopSugar must-read book of 2019
     

"Fraught with danger, filled with mystery, and meticulously researched, The Lost Girls of Paris is a fascinating tale of the hidden women who helped to win the war." (Lisa Wingate, New York Times bestselling author of Before We Were Yours)

"Pam Jenoff’s meticulous research and gorgeous historical world-building lift her books to must-buy status. An intriguing mystery and a captivating heroine make The Lost Girls of Paris a read to savor!" (Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Alice Network)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Outstanding!

By far one of my favourite audible books. I was just taken away and could not stop listening to this book. Pam Jenoff is a brilliant storyteller, capturing your heart from the beginning. I felt as if I was right there with the characters the entire time. It left me wanting to learn more. The performance was just as good. I wished the love interests had a happy ending after all, however it truly did make you remember a fragment of what these hero’s went through during and after the war.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Inspirational and Courageous

First time I read (listen) from this author and I was hooked right from the beginning! I listen on my commute to and from work and at times I would take a longer route so I could continue listening! I loved the characters and was fascinated by their courage all the way through.
A great story loosely based on real events and a great eye opener!

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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disappointing

What a terrible narrative filled with irredeemable characters. Marie is not intelligent and gets involved in a love story after 2 days of knowing a man. Grace is a pushy entitled american and Eleanor lacks agency. I regret the hours I spent listening to this. I would not reccomend it to anyone.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good story, Over acted narration and bad accents

I enjoyed the story but wish I had read it instead of listening to it! I hate to criticize as the writing is great but boy oh boy who produced it!!?

The voice of Eleanor was breathlessly overacted like the actress was reading a fairy tale to a six year old, and the voice of Marie tried a number of British/Irish/Scottish dialects which frankly all sounded the same and really grated on my (British) ears. I guess the assumption is that North American audiences can’t tell the difference... shame. I can’t speak for the voice of Grace as I am not from New York but her voice annoyed me too!
All this kind of spoiled an otherwise excellent story for me.. I only listened to the end as the writing was good.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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not the best


A very long story with not much to it. The girls, mostly a story of Marie could have been developed so much more.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Not just a book but a performance

I loved this book. The story was riveting and the way it was performed kept my attention so much that I hated to have to pause now and then. I highly recommend this book!

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • DMD
  • 2019-07-22

Just Ok

I liked the premise of this book, but I was disappointed in the way it all played out. With such a compelling topic I felt the author concentrated too much on the characters romantic entanglements and not enough on the war efforts of the women.

I also wasn't a fan of a woman willing to sacrifice everything for a man she met a few months ago. With a daughter at home, I thought that was very irresponsible of her and totally self-absorbed. I'm all for love, but how about the love you should have for your daughter.

That being said, it did have a decent ending and I felt it managed to redeem itself somewhat in the last few chapters.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

the lost girls of Paris

I enjoyed the book overall. It was a struggle in the beginning to hold my interest and keep reading but was able to finish it. The people such as the girls never received the credit they were due for the sacrifices made.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • J
  • 2019-07-02

Great listen!

I loved this book! The plot was interesting and compelling. The readers were excellent. It was especially helpful that they had different readers since the chapters alternate between the first person commentary from the three main characters.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Superb

although it was sad, it was a terrifically narrated story of the women who deserved to be known.

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  • Carol
  • 2019-03-28

Don’t bother

Should have been good, but really wasn’t. Eleanor was supposed the be badass, but her reader was breathy to the point of unbearable. Marie was praised by other characters as good at spying, but she just made stupid decisions. Two of the three women narrators fell in love at seeming random. Where did all these five-star reviews come from? I returned the book to Audible (thanks you, Audible!).

21 of 21 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Heather
  • 2019-03-30

I don’t understand the good reviews

I love all kinds of historic fiction(especially WWII), really good writing, and even average writing if the story is good. This book is one of my top 10 worst listens. I almost stopped numerous times B.C. I was so aggravated, but I kept hoping it would get better-it didn’t!! I don’t write many reviews but hopefully I can save people from wasting part of their life on this book. The motivations of the characters make NO sense!!! For the life of me, I have no idea what motivates Grace at all. It’s like the author wanted an interesting angle to go back and forth from past and present, but there is no sensible tie at all between Grace and the other characters which just gets ridiculous. (Slight Spoilers) I can’t imagine anyone going on an intense and increasingly emotional search based on finding pictures in a stranger’s suitcase (run Mark!!) Time and time again, these allegedly strong women proceed recklessly, compelled by “the mission” or passion or truth only to second guess themselves repeatedly right when they get to what they want-why? No reason! The “unbreakable” Kreigler doesn’t even have to be broken-just immediately confesses all in 10 minutes. Elsinore runs all over Europe looking for answers, then gets a key to a a safe deposit box in Switzerland from the person who knows everything, but then wonders if she should just go home? Huh? Even the ultimate reasons for everything or implausible or stupid motivations. () the Director tells Elinor no one will believe her but then just gives her the address of the remaining witness-huh? So many story lines are clipped, missing whole sections and then just end or go elsewhere. And how many times can the writer repeat the same thought or sentiment -apparently over and over , espevially if it’s about “her girls”! I can’t say enough how the charachters’ thinking makes no sense-not normal human thought processes-unless schizophrenic. Everyone is just an idiot. I could say so much more, but hopefully you get the point. If stupidity or nonsensical aggravates you, please don’t take a chance on this book.

47 of 49 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • susan s. cohen
  • 2019-02-05

Wonderful story

I listened to Pam Jenoff's new book on audible.com.and LOVED the story,. It kept my attention throughout and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys strong female characters, historical fiction and intrigue. My only complaint was with one of the readers...the voice of Grace., The reader had a sing/song approach which made me cringe whenever it was her turn. I realize that readers can add drama when neededl, but the sing/song was a put-off. Authors have no input into who will be reading the various parts, so with this one exception, it's a marvelous book.

45 of 47 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Kristy
  • 2019-02-26

Interest with a plot.

The plot of The Lost Girls of Paris was captivating. Most of the characters were admirable and realistic. I felt like the espionage details needed more elaboration and there were too many gaps in the story line.
The narrator for Grace constantly uses an unnatural inflection which was extremely annoying.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sarah E Chavez
  • 2019-02-12

Intriguing page turner

The story combined with the audio of the different characters voices made this novel come alive. I am a big fan of history and I enjoyed how the author changed the scenes from New York in 1946 to England/Paris 1944. The two stories at first seemed not related but the deeper you got into the novel the more it made sense. The author also painted a very descriptive traits of each character.

35 of 37 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Sloane
  • 2019-04-04

Surprised by positive reviews

Did we listen to the same book? I was very much looking forward to listening to this. Most of the reviews are great. The overall subject was fascinating. The story, characters, narration were not. There was no compelling reason for the American story. If it was delightful or intriguing, I could have overlooked the clunkiness of it. The ending was disappointing and rushed. I would not recommend.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • David
  • 2019-02-16

Missed potential

A good story, but potentially much better. One character, Marie, is repeatedly advised by much more experienced agents to avoid certain actions. She goes ahead with disastrous results, but fails to learn from her mistakes.

I found the author's relentless description of the female agents as 'girls' to be grating. I grew up in the late 1940s and while that term was common, people were actually known to say 'women' as well.

Narration, particularly Grace, was not up to par.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Reene
  • 2019-02-21

A great moving story of unknown heroes of WW II

Loved it to the end. No gaps in story.
Easy to listen to. Recomind higly to
WWII buff's.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Vsquared
  • 2019-03-03

Real Page Turner!

I loved this book of such strong women and was engaged and committed to the story for the whole book! Very well-written! My lower performance rating is due to one of the narrators. The woman who narrated Grace was awful. Her voice doesn’t belong in this story and is a distraction to Grace’s story. It almost sounds like someone’s meandering reminiscing by a camp fire, like Garrison Keeler of Lake Wobegon. There was zero intensity in her voice and everything sounded like a side note. Definitely not enough, and not appropriate, to immerse the reader further in the story.

The other two narrators were amazing!

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • JLH
  • 2019-03-15

Shallow & underdeveloped

It seems that everyone is getting on the WWII female spy fiction bandwagon. Some of these efforts are thoughtfully outlined & fleshed out & others not so much.

This falls into the underdeveloped category. This book starts & without much background the author has created the idea of relationships without proper support - strangers are suddenly in love. The mystery of this story became obvious pretty early on - at least to me. The links between people were so tenuous that it was hard to care. When the author finally takes the story to Germany to get “solve the mystery” it’s like she felt the need to check off holocaust related check boxes to complete her story. Striped jump suit - check; boxcar - check; mention of gas chamber-check. I really wanted to like this book, purchased it months in advance. Unfortunately the whole thing seems like a superficial retelling of better versions of this same story.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful