The French Gift: A Novel of World War II Paris (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

"The French Gift by Kirsty Manning is a fine example of a book inspired by history, but with fictional additions to help fill in and create the story. As Manning puts it ,’Where is the line between fiction and reality?’ Set in Paris during the time of the Nazi's occupation, the heroine Josephine Murant is an example of an inspirational woman who served her country in war time.  The book begins with the mysterious death of one of the guests at a ‘murder party’ given by a wealthy, well-connected couple. As the war wears on, things get worse. Many resistance fighters and enemies of the state are sent off to concentration camps. This is one of the few recorded personal accounts of WWII by a woman. She exposes the terrible atrocities that took place. When the past and the future meet through Evie Allard, the truth of the murder a lifetime ago finally is revealed."--Reviewed by Penny


From Kirsty Manning, author of The Song of the Jade Lily, comes a gripping World War II set historical novel about murder, secrets, and survival. 

A forgotten manuscript that threatens to unravel the past…

Fresne Prison, 1940: A former maid at a luxury villa on the Riviera, Margot Bisset finds herself in a prison cell with writer and French Resistance fighter Joséphine Murant. Together, they are transferred to a work camp in Germany for four years, where the secrets they share will bind them for generations to come.

Paris, around about now: Evie Black lives in Paris with her teenage son, Hugo, above her botanical bookshop, La Maison Rustique. Life would be so sweet if only Evie were not mourning the great love of her life.

When a letter arrives regarding the legacy of her husband’s great-aunt, Joséphine Murant, Evie clutches at an opportunity to spend one last magical summer with her son. They travel together to Joséphine’s house, now theirs, on the Côte d’Azur. Here, Evie unravels the official story of this famous novelist, and the truth of a murder a lifetime ago. Along the way, she will discover the little-known true story of the women who were enslaved by German forces in WWII.

Bringing together the present and the past, The French Gift is a tender and heartbreaking story of female friendship, sacrifice and loss, and the promise of new love. 

About the Author

Kirsty Manning grew up in northern New South Wales, Australia. She has degrees in literature and communications and worked as an editor and publishing manager in book publishing for over a decade. A country girl with wanderlust, her travels and studies have taken her through most of Europe, the east, and west coasts of the United States as well as pockets of Asia. Kirsty’s journalism and photography specializing in lifestyle and travel regularly appear in magazines, newspapers, and online. She lives in Australia.

Praise For…

"Kirsty Manning has delivered yet again with this epic novel about women, love and heartbreak - The French Gift. With passion and sensitivity, Manning takes the reader on a journey that is near-impossible to tear yourself away from. I adore this author and this is without a doubt her finest work. A triumph!”
— Sally Hepworth, international bestselling author of The Mother-in-Law

“Kirsty Manning weaves together little-known threads of World War II history, family secrets, the past and the present into a page-turning, beautiful novel.”
— Heather Morris, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz, on The Song of the Jade Lily

“Manning renders Shanghai as a riot of flavors, sights, and sounds, its elegance clashing against gritty poverty in this exquisite window into the past.”
Booklist (starred review) on The Song of the Jade Lily

“[A] superb take on a lesser known aspect of WWII: some European Jews, fleeing from the Nazis, received asylum in Japanese-occupied Shanghai after being denied it elsewhere....With breadth and intelligence, this exquisite novel portrays a resilient community and a secret kept to protect another.”

Publishers Weekly on The Song of the Jade Lily

Product Details
ISBN: 9780063045569
ISBN-10: 0063045567
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Publication Date: November 9th, 2021
Pages: 336
Language: English