The Girl from Paris by Ella Carey / #Extract #BooksOnTour @bookouture @Ella_Carey


Vianne rushes through the crowded streets of Paris as the German bombs begin to fall. As she rounds the corner she sees the familiar spires of the old church burst into flames. Too late, she realizes that her mother and sister are trapped inside…Paris, 1918. The end of war is in sight, and young seamstress Vianne Mercier is longing for the day when she can stop sewing military uniforms and start creating the beautiful dresses that she has been dreaming up in her head.But just when it seems like peace is within reach, Vianne’s mother and sister are killed in a terrible air raid. To make matters worse, Vianne’s brother has returned home a changed man. Controlling and cruel, he presents Vianne with an ultimatum; give up her dreams of becoming a designer, or be forced onto the streets, penniless and alone.With nothing left for her in Paris but sad memories, she decides to sail for New York. Determined not to look back, she throws herself into her new life—spending her days sewing dresses for wealthy Upper East Side women, and her evenings dancing the Charleston to Duke Ellington in the new downtown clubs. When Vianne meets handsome Italian Giorgio Conti, he encourages her career, and she feels safe for the first time since she lost her family.Then news of a terrible accident compels Vianne to suddenly return to France, where she discovers proof of a wartime secret that changes everything she thought she knew about her family. Facing the threat of sickness and ruin, the people who forced Vianne out of her home now suddenly need her help.Will Vianne find the courage to follow her heart, return to New York and her life with Giorgio? Or will duty bind her to the family she had left behind and force her to remain in France?






The way to get through difficult times is to create a thing of beauty. Vianne forced herself to focus on the words that Maman had whispered at the outbreak of this calamitous war. Gossip blistered around the table at the once famous Parisian restaurant La Violette, but Vianne focused instead on her fingers guiding a fine silver needle through the hand-stitched pintucks on her mother’s evocative summer dress. Vianne concentrated, her head bent over the handmade creation of frail lace, tiny, delicate crocheted flowers, and white cotton lawn, the fabric base carefully trimmed and replaced with insertion lace and crochet in zigzag patterns so the gown was apparently seamless. The disapproving clicks of Madame Roger’s tongue scalded the air in the restaurant that had once been the coquettish queen of the Belle Epoque. Now, the famous bar was closed and the tin-pressed ceilings no longer echoed with the languorous chatter of men in pale linen suits and women lounging in lace dresses just like Maman’s. Even the neverending clack of knitting needles didn’t conjure up a homely feel. Around the table, a dozen Parisian women sat knitting balaclavas and socks, knowing they were bound for the thousands of young men who were hunkered down in the stinking cesspits that were the trenches of Northern France. For the last four years, first at school and now here under La Violette’s still radiant chandelier, Vianne had knitted her way through the war. She’d completed sewing up today’s balaclava and now she stroked the mother-of-pearl buttons and hand-worked loops that fastened the back of her mother’s exquisite gown. Bala‐ clavas might be Vianne’s reality, but Maman’s lace dress was her fairy tale. When someone unfastened the restaurant’s glass door—with its zigzag strips of paper to provide some protection from the terri‐ fying attacks on the city—the women’s chatter came to a stop. For one trifling second, the room did not ring with fatalistic talk of the German bombardment of Paris since March 23; how their assaults had shaken the city with such intensity and from such a height, it seemed the shells might have rained down from the stratosphere; how every time a Parisian walked along the streets, they couldn’t help but scurry along, head down, as if that would protect them. This morning, Papa had told Vianne and Maman over break‐ fast that the French military had worked out it was not bombs being dropped by Zeppelins—as everyone at rst thought—but instead vast and powerful bullets shot from cannons. He had regarded Vianne and Maman over the top of his glasses and said that three large gun emplacements had been discovered hidden north of Paris. So far, twenty shells had hit the city each day for several days, until everything had turned quiet. Mysteriously so. For the last few days, silence had cloaked the city like a sinister haze. A urry of cool air blew into the restaurant from the ChampsÉlysées along with the whir of delivery vans and trams. These days they were driven entirely by women, streaming along the rainsoaked boulevard. 

Thank you, Ella Carey and Bookouture


About the author 

Ella Carey is the USA Today and Amazon charts bestselling author of eight novels of historical fiction, including the Secrets of Paris Series, published with Hachette imprint, Bookouture. Ella’s novels have reached over one million readers and have been translated into fourteen languages. Ella has recently signed a six book deal in Germany and a nine book deal in Denmark. Ella’s latest novels are A New York Secret, and The Lost Girl of Berlin, both published with Bookouture in 2021. The Girl from Paris is the third novel in this new series, and will publish in January, 2022. Ella has a music degree in classical piano, and an arts degree majoring in English and history. Her novels have been shortlisted for ARRA awards.


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