PARIS IN THE FALL by Tamsin Hamilton


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The tragedies of WW II--here in occupied Paris from 1940-44--are again used as an exploitable background for a pallid romance-adventure and pop-up characters. Susanne Castel, who lives in the Montmartre section of Paris and marries Resistance fighter David, suffers a smorgasbord of woe (with a few lines of distress each): her father is shot in a reprisal execution; her mother dies of grief; her fiancÉ's half-sister, tortured and raped by German officers, commits suicide; a young Jewish boy working as a contact for the Resistance and for the escape of refugee children also suicides when captured. Furthermore, Susanne watches the execution of her other great love, German officer Hans von Heinkel, who has boarded with Susanne and is a decent German, appalled at his countrymen's atrocities; yes, Susanne could have saved Hans by informing on David but she has made her choice between them: ""She could love Hans and worship him. . . but only with David would she experience the delicious stupefaction of being truly possessed."" When Paris is liberated, all these things are behind David and Susanne--but dogging their footsteps as liberation bells ring out is the terrible Hauptsturmfuhrer Slagel, who's determined to kill David. . . but is finally, happily, himself shot by a confused German sniper. A smattering of authentic background and a real personality or two (""What's wrong, honey?"" asks Eisenhower of a surly French girl who thinks he's copped out on fighting for Paris)--but, on the whole, tawdry.

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 1980
Publisher: Seaview--dist. by Harper & Row