5 new French book recommendations

5 French book recommendations

It’s time for another set of French book recommendations! No World War 2 books this time around, as I’ve been a bit worn out by those. Of course, French history is full of wars so it’s hard to come up with a list of French book recommendations that won’t have some sort of war as the setting!

This is a nice mix of French book recommendations, I think. There are a couple based on older history (the Templars and the Cathars) and a couple that take place in the Revolutionary period. I find that there are tons of books that take place during World War 2, slightly fewer during the Revolution, and all other historical periods kind of get ignored. While I usually grab whatever the library happens to have on offer, I may make an effort to find some novels that take place during other time periods.

5 new French book recommendations

Along a Breton Shore – Arlem Hawks

I really enjoyed this one! It takes place shortly after the French revolution and the setting is Brittany. The female character has faced a lot of adversity due to her family being accused of counter-revolutionary activity. The male character is on the side of the republic, but he’s unwilling to do bad things no matter what the personal cost. It’s a love story but there’s also plenty of suspense.

Les Culottées, volume 1 – Pénélope Bagieu

This is the only one of my reads that is a bande dessinée as well as the only one in French. It is a book of biographies of 15 heroic women who accomplished much in their lives. Some of the lives have happy endings, while others…not so much. If you are teaching more advanced French students, they may enjoy reading about the different women in the book. As they are in BD format, there isn’t as much text as there might be in a different format. And if you enjoy it, there is a second volume!

5 new French book recommendations
5 new French book recommendations

The Templars’ Last Secret – Martin Walker

Despite being a prolific author, this was the first book by Martin Walker that I have read. The series features a chief of police who is very good at working with rural people to solve crimes that take place outside of Paris. While I did enjoy the book, it was a bit slow-moving at times and I felt that the author was constantly trying to show just how French the setting was. Bruno may have well have been wearing a beret, striped shirt, solving crimes while smoking a Gauloise and carrying a baguette. The story itself was good, and if you enjoy it there is an entire series to read.

Where the Light Falls – Allison and Owen Pataki

Another novel set during the French Revolution. It captures the feeling of terror that the average citizen must have felt, not knowing what was going to happen next. Some of the characters are aristocrats, and there are a few denunciations and executions throughout the novel. It was an enjoyable read and the characters are well-developed.

5 new French book recommendations
5 new French book recommendations

Kate Moss – The Winter Ghosts

This falls somewhere in the range of a novella, as it felt a little too short to be considered a full novel. The author specializes in historical fiction set in the time of the Cathars. This story takes place in the period after World War 1 and follows the exploits of a young man who is trying to get over the death of his brother when he happens upon a mysterious village. It was a little bit predictable, but if you haven’t read any of the other Moss novels before, you may not guess the ending.

Need more French book recommendations?

If you need more French book recommendations, I have a few previous posts.

Reading update – 4 French-themed books (and one French-adjacent book)

5 enjoyable Novels about France – my summer reading

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