The journey of an American medical student, to artist, to political prisoner during World War II
In German occupied Paris, a group of unlikely people join in collaboration to smuggle Allied airman south to Spain. One of those intrepid heroes happens to be American. The Siren of Paris, the debut work of historical fiction by David LeRoy, tells a searing story of love, betrayal, forgiveness, and war that brings to vivid life the shimmering City of Lights during its darkest hours during World War II.
The story starts in 1939, when Marc Tolbert, the French-born son of a prominent American family, takes off for Paris to follow his dream of becoming an artist. Marc’s life soon sparkles in the ex-pat scene in Paris. His new friend Dora introduces him to a circle that includes the famous Sylvia Beach, owner of the bookstore Shakespeare & Company; and he accepts a job with William Bullitt, US ambassador to France. At art school, he finds himself further enchanted by the alluring model Marie.
Marc’s Parisian reverie, however, is soon clouded over by the increasing threat from Germany. As Americans scramble to escape Paris, he finds himself trapped by the war, and nearly meets his fate on the disastrous day of June 17, 1940, aboard the RMS Lancastria. Upon returning to Paris, his fate grows more troubled still, as he smuggles Allied airman through the American Hospital to the Paris Resistance underground, until a profound betrayal leads him into the hands of the Gestapo and onto Buchenwald.
Rigorously researched and vibrant in historical detail, The Siren of Paris reimagines one of history’s most turbulent times through the prism of an American abroad in Europe’s most harrowing days. Poignant, gripping, and thought-provoking, The Siren of Paris mines the human dilemma of revenge versus forgiveness, and vividly captures the conflicted state of survival.
About the Author
David Leroy did extensive research on the German occupation of France for his debut novel The Siren of Paris. This historical novel follows the journey of one American from medical student, to artist, to political prisoner at Buchenwald Concentration Camp during World War Two.
Marc, a French born American student, never suspected that he would become trapped in German occupied France when he came to Paris in the summer of 1939 to study art. While smuggling a downed airman out of the American Hospital, through the Paris resistance underground, his life is plunged into total darkness when someone he trusts becomes a collaborator agent for the Gestapo. Marc then must fight to save his soul when he is banished to the “Fog and the Night” of Buchenwald, where he struggles with guilt over the consequences of having his trust betrayed.
You can purchase The Siren of Paris in Kindle e-book format from Amazon -- http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0088CA098 and learn more about this author and novel athttp://www.thesirenofparis.com/
For more information about this virtual book tour, please visit -- http://bookpromotionservices.com/2012/05/22/siren-of-paris-tour/
Read an Excerpt
The train broke down about eighty miles out of Paris. At first they thought it was going to get going again but, soon, a line of German fighter planes spotted the train on the tracks. As the planes dived in, bullets pierced through the roofs of the cars as people piled out of the windows, the rear and front doors and ran in all directions to take cover in nearby fields. Marc and the others slid almost like cats off the top of the cars and onto the ground around the tracks.
“Under here! Don’t run!” Allen called out. Marc threw himself under the train on the tracks.
“Is this safe?” Marc heard someone ask.
“No, but safer than out there,” Allen said next. “What if they bomb the train?” Marc asked. In front of them, a woman yelled in pain and held her leg, which had snapped just above the ankle.
“Then we don’t have to worry about the war anymore,” Allen said. He scooted out from under the train, grabbed the woman under the arms and started to drag her back as she screamed in pain.
Another plane dived alongside the train and he could hear the guns shooting as they approached. Above him, he heard several yell in pain as bullets ripped through the cars. It sounded as if two men fell to the floor inside the coach. The bullets reached the engine and he could hear steam hissing from the boiler that had been hit.
The planes did not come back for another run. People slowly started to get up and walk out of the fields. Some were shouting for friends, relatives, or children. Marc and Allen, along with all the others, climbed out from under the train car. Everyone in the engineer’s cabin was dead. A woman sobbed in front of a small child. Marc could barely bring himself to look but was relieved it was not the boy from Belgium. The woman Allen had dragged no longer screamed. He did not see the wound, and was not sure if she was hit before or after she broke her leg. The front of her dress, however, was soaked in blood. Sister Clayton offered some prayers over her body before they gathered their bags and set out on foot across the field toward the road where other refugees walked and pulled carts.
“Are you scared?” the Belgian boy asked Marc as he walked behind Allen.
“Hey, there you are. Where is your family?” Marc asked, faking a smile.
“We are all safe,” the boy said, his dog by his side.