On the surface, the Armsteads are an average privileged family, and like any “average” family it’s
Probably best not to underestimate what brews beneath the veneer. After Ben loses his job (due to a spectacular bout of mid-life heebie-jeebies) the narrative of Helen’s lilfe as a suburban wife and mother is broken and she, Ben, and their adopted daughter Sara are each forced to learn what they are capable of beyond what is familiar, in fact, to redefine what familiar means. While many books allow the description of their characters’ internal wolds to act as an unbiased sample of the selves which their characters project in daily life, John Dee demonstrates that appearances are no more deceptive than our own personal interpretations of “who we are” and “why we do what we do” in the world. It is a novel about family discord, betrayal, discovery and atonement, and I breezed right on through it.
From Alan Furst, the bestselling author who is often praised as the best spy novelist ever, comes a novel that's truly hard to put down. Mission to Paris includes beautifully drawn scenes of romance and intimacy, and the story is alive with extraordinary characters, including American actor Frederic Stal, traveling to Paris on a secret mission. But always at the center of the novel is the city itself, the heart and soul of Europe—its alleys and bistros, hotels grand and anonymous, and the Parisians, living every night as though it was their last. As always, Alan Furst brings to life both a dark time in history and the passion of the human hearts that fought to survive it.