The Forger of Marseille

A Novel

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
342 Pages
Reviewed on 06/01/2023
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Author Biography

Linda Joy Myers has always been haunted by the power of the past to affect people. She learned about World War II through her grandmother, a passionate Anglophile who would rhapsodize about the unfairness of war. They watched stark black and white documentaries about the war which led to a passion about history which she integrated into her own struggles with intergenerational trauma and her work as a therapist and a writer.
As founder of the National Association of Memoir Writers, Linda Joy is the author of four books on memoir writing. The Power of Memoir and Journey of Memoir help writers with their healing stories. Her memoirs Don’t Call Me Mother, and Song of the Plains have won the Bay Area Publishing Association Gold Medal award and 2018 Next Generation Indie Book awards.
The search for history about WWII led Linda Joy to explore the history of Vichy France. Her novel is inspired by Varian Fry’s memoir Surrender on Demand and Donald Caskie’s The Tartan Pimpernel, and by the daunting courage of unknown people who helped save the lives of thousands of refugees, British soldiers, and other lost souls during the chaotic outbreak of the war in France.

When Linda Joy isn’t writing or editing, she loves to travel, tends 30 rose bushes and is developing her extensive garden. Her two kitties, Harvey, a Maine Coon, and Charlie, a Norwegian forest cat, sit on her desk and dangle their paws over the keys.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Saifunnissa Hassam for Readers' Favorite

Linda Joy Myers' The Forger of Marseille is set in WWII, as Europe falls into the terrifying grip of Hitler and Nazi Germany. The story is inspired by the historical figure of Varian Fry, an American journalist who helped countless refugees escape from France. Sarah Rosen is 19, a Jew living in 1939 Berlin. Joshua Lieb, a Jew and master luthier, has been like a father to Sarah since her childhood days when she lost her father. As the persecution of the Jews intensifies, Sarah and Joshua flee from Berlin to France. In Paris, Sarah pursues her dream of being an artist. César Garcia is from Catalonian Spain and works for an underground organization as a forger of new identities and documents for refugees. Sarah becomes a forger when she meets César. In 1940, Hitler's forces advanced toward Paris. Sarah, Joshua, and César escape to Marseilles. Sarah continues to be a forger for the French underground resistance. This well-researched and well-crafted novel's suspense and tension continue to the end!

I was deeply moved by Linda Joy Myers' compelling historical novel, The Forger of Marseille, because of its three exceptional characters, Sarah Rosen, Joshua Lieb, and César Garcia, and their unflinching courage and commitment to helping others find freedom under life-threatening circumstances. From the outset, I was immersed in the story as the lives of the three characters unfolded against the backdrop of evocative and gripping wartime descriptions. I liked their backstories and how Sarah and Joshua got to know César in Paris. Some of the story’s most powerful and emotional moments occur as Sarah, Joshua, and César flee Paris to Marseille. In a difficult journey, each protects the other, finding inner strength as they face life-threatening situations. I liked how thoughts and emotions are interwoven, revealing their fears, hopes, pain, and anguish of losing each other in vivid and realistic ways. I liked the interpersonal drama of Sarah's meeting with the American journalist Varian Fry and how Sarah joined his team of forgers. The Forger of Marseille is gripping WWII historical fiction with extraordinary characters, a tale of incredible fortitude, resilience, love, and friendships.