About The Race for Paris
• Hardcover: 336 pages
• Publisher: Harper (August 11, 2015)
Meg Waite Clayton, New York Times bestselling author of The Wednesday Sisters, returns with a transportive World War II novel—inspired by real frontline stories—about journalists who, together, race the Allies to occupied Paris for the scoop of their lives.
Opening in Normandy on June 29, 1944, The Race for Paris follows two American female war correspondents on their quest to document (and make) history by covering the Allied liberation of Paris. Jane is a young, single journalist for the Nashville Banner. When she's assigned to cover a field hospital, she meets Olivia, "Liv," an Associated Press photographer.
However, unlike their male colleagues, Liv and Jane are constantly confronted by red tape and derision because the military believes women cannot handle the rigors of combat journalism. Jane is resigned to making the most of her assignment, but Liv is determined to get to Paris. After failing to win over her commanding officer, she goes AWOL—and seizing her chance to make a name for herself, Jane joins her.
Reluctantly accompanied by Fletcher, a male British military reporter, the two women chase their story through the gunfire, carnage, and death scarring the French countryside. Their journey is further complicated by emotional bonds, romantic tensions, and one woman's secret—a secret with the power to end her career and, perhaps, her life.
Inspired by pioneering World War II journalists such as Margaret Bourke-White and Martha Gellhorn—who paved the way for Christiane Amanpour, Marie Colvin, and Lynsey Addario—The Race for Paris combines riveting storytelling with deft literary craftsmanship and extensive research in a passionate narrative of women driven to transcend the limitations of their time.
This historical novel is quite a departure for author Meg Waite Clayton, and this reader found it to be a highly successful new venture. The Race for Paris is set in WWII, before the liberation of Paris by the Allied Forces. The novel traces the journey of two female journalists - photographer Olivia and reporter Jane - who go AWOL from the press corps in order to reach Paris with the Allies and capture the first moments of liberation to preserve for posterity, enlisting the aid of Fletcher, a British military photographer who shepherds them through the French countryside toward the city.
The journey is, of course, about more than just a race for a “scoop.” Both women are outrunning personal demons, and the bonds they form on this incredible trek through battlefields and hiding places will forge a bond between them that outlasts the war and reaches far into the future.
The Race for Paris is finely researched, and illuminates the war from yet another perspective - that of the behind -the-lines journalists and photographers whose images we’ve been seeing for the past 60 years.
Thanks to TLC Tours for the opportunity to read and review this novel.
About Meg Waite Clayton
Meg Waite Clayton is the New York Times bestselling author of four previous novels: The Four Ms. Bradwells; The Wednesday Sisters; The Language of Light, a finalist for the Bellwether Prize; and The Wednesday Daughters. She's written for the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the San Jose Mercury News, Forbes, Writer's Digest, Runner's World, and public radio. A graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, she lives in Palo Alto, California.