The Race for Paris by Meg Waite Clayton
This is a good one. The Race for Paris is a story based on true life experiences of female photographers in Europe during World War II. I’m usually willing to read most fiction set during World War II because I’m always looking for a twist, something I didn’t know or consciously realize before. And I’m fascinated with photography and especially the women pioneers in the field. This story covers both.
Jane is a reporter for a Nashville newspaper and Liv is an Associated Press photographer. They are posted behind the lines, where women were supposed to be, covering the war in France. Driven to be in Paris to document the liberation of Paris, Liv and Jane decide to go AWOL and with the help of Fletcher, a British photographer, they make their way through the French countryside and into Paris, always dodging the Military Police who are looking for them thanks to Liv’s husband, a newspaper publisher back in New York.
If you’re a decent cook you can taste a recipe when you read it. If you appreciate photography you can see a photo that is described to you. The author was very careful to make sure we can see the photos Liv shot. The friendship forged between Jane, Fletcher and Liv was transformative. But how could it not be when in the middle of a war they put their lives in each other’s hands every day? We see wartime photos everyday but often forget someone had to be in the thick of the battle to take that photo.
This story is based on the lives of real female wartime photographers, Margaret Bourke-White, Martha Gellhorn, Lee Miller. It hit the spot for me in both of my WWII criteria.