From the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of The Paris Library comes THE LIBRARIAN OF LOST STORIES, a powerful historical novel that charts the lives of two NYPL librarians across the barrier of decades.
THE LIBRARIAN OF LOST STORIES
by Janet Skeslien Charles
Atria Books, April 2024
(via Kaplan/DeFiore Rights)
1918. World War I. Northern France is a battlefield. The American Committee for Devastated France establish their headquarters just miles from the front. This group of international women help French families who’ve lost everything – homes, livelihoods, and limbs. They save children, restore bombed villages, and evacuate civilians.
Jessie « Kit » Carson takes a leave of absence from the NYPL in order to establish something that the French have never seen – children’s libraries – as well as to escape her boss. She turns ambulances into bookmobiles, creates libraries, and trains the first French female librarians. Then she disappears.
1987. Wendy Peterson stumbles across a mention of Jessie Carson in the NYPL archives and becomes consumed with learning her fate. Fixation is nothing new to Wendy. She’s obsessed with Roberto, her handsome coworker. She worries about her best friend, Leigh, who grows more and more distant. Wendy soon learns that she and Jessie Carson have more in common than their work at the New York Public Library.
With a dazzling cast of real-life characters, THE LIBRARIAN OF LOST STORIES highlights themes of resilience, friendship, and community. Once again, Janet Skeslien Charles brings history alive with this meticulously researched, little-known story of incredible women who face the danger of war to share their love of literature and their belief in books as bridges.
Janet Skeslien Charles’s work has been translated into 35 languages. Her novel about real-life librarians during World War II, The Paris Library, was a New York Times bestseller, #1 Indie Next Pick, and book club favorite. Janet has spoken at over 200 literary events and has been a keynote speaker for venues such as the Association of American Women in Europe commemoration and the Salem Literary Festival. Her debut novel Moonlight in Odessa was translated into 12 languages. She spends her free time at the Red Wheelbarrow bookshop in Paris.