by Karen McMillan
The Paris of the West is written in the post-war period when Europe is war weary after the long and bitter Second World War. In Poland there is a take over by the Communist Party and with the country reeling from mass murders in the concentration camps there are those who elect to leave their homeland for a fresh start in other countries.
This story follows the emigration of a family looking for a better life in America and their reactions to leaving war torn Poland. It is a heart-warming love story that revolves around two brothers, the wife of one of them and an aging father.
Throughout the book you are given little snippets of San Francisco history that are interwoven into the story in a very subtle and imaginative way but not enough to ruin the flow of the story line. It is well written and has an ending that I personally felt was satisfying and complete.
On the way through I came across a couple of points that caused me to pause and ponder about conditions in the period. My first-hand memory doesn’t stretch back to that year, but the author seems to have informed herself of the history of that time. In view of that, I found this story both warm and informative.
Written earlier was The Paris of the East, which starts in 1939 and is a pre-runner to this title. I will hunt this book out and read it also, as I am sure it will be just as delightful as The Paris of the West.
Author: Karen McMillan
Publisher: McKenzie Publishing