As part of my Christmas Reading Challenge, Christmas in Paris was set during the Great War in both London and France. It told the story of Tom, who was reflecting back on his life after the passing of his wife. He too was dying and was spending his last Christmas in Paris as he reread the letters that had been his lifeline when he was stationed in the trenches.
The book was set in 1968 and was mainly composed of letters that had been carefully saved. Tom had gone off to war, excited and committed, believing he would be home by Christmas. He had no idea of the horrors that existed in the trenches and how long he would be part of the fight.
Evie had planned to spend Christmas in Paris with her brother Will and Tom, his best friend. The trio had no idea the the war would last so long. Evie wrote to both the boys faithfully. She supported the war effort by knitting socks and gloves while wishing that she could do more to support the troops.
Christmas in Paris was an enjoyable combination of history and a focus on Christmas. It is hard to imagine the terror and horrible conditions endured in the trenches and how difficult it must have been for loved ones on the home front. Tom’s trip to Paris is heart wrenching as he grieves his wife and celebrates his last Christmas in Paris. The format of multiple letters was challenging to read and it might have been a smoother read with a few less letters. The letters seemed a bit convenient at times, short and lacking some of the everyday details that would have been mailed but overall it makes me appreciate the soldiers that sacrificed their lives for freedom!
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