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Paris Echo

Reviewed by National Trustee Barbara Cobain

In a Paris haunted by echoes of its past, the lives of an American academic and Moroccan runaway intertwine.

American postdoctoral researcher Hannah is in Paris to research the memories of Parisiennes who lived there during German occupation of the city. Moroccan teenager and illegal immigrant Tariq has come to Paris to try to discover what happened to the mother he hardly remembers and to find a better life.

Hannah's research exposes vastly differing stories, from brave resistant, tortured and killed by the occupiers, to those who collaborated with them.

In the migrant suburbs, Tariq struggles to earn a living, using drugs and in danger being used by the terrorist underground network. Fascinated by the Metro, he wanders the boulevards finding suprises around every corner.  Meting Hannah, she offers him a room in her apartment and he begins to help with her research. They visit places where women were imprisoned and tortured, hearing echoes of what had happened there.

Eventually, a more mature Tariq returns home to finish his studies, forever changed by his experiences.  Hannah remains in Paris to write her book, also changed by what she has learnt.

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