Hannah is an American scholar who has come to Paris to do research on a paper about the lives of French women during WWII. She allows a young Algerian boy named Tariq to stay with her at her apartment. He has come to Paris hoping to find out information about his mother who he barely remembers. Each chapter is named for a metro stop in Paris, and they alternate from Hannah’s point of view to Tariq’s. Tariq’s eyes show us, for the most part, the present day Paris while Hannah’s describe what life was like for several women when the German’s occupied France in the 1940’s.
Paris Echo is not for everyone, but I liked it a lot. While reading Faulk’s thirteenth novel, I realized how little I knew about France during WWII. Much of Hannah’s research is based on historical facts and Tariq’s wanderings accurately describe The City of Lights. Paris Echo reverberates with many ideas about history, reality, identity and acceptance.