by Charles Belfoure

What makes someone a hero? Is it innate, or can it be created?

The Paris Architect is a fantastic debut novel written by a real life architect. Charles Belfoure has written several books on architecture, and has also written for some major newspapers and magazines. But this was his first foray into fiction. And thank goodness for us that he chose to write an historical fiction work that speaks to us on so many levels.

The Paris Architect is about what I would call a reluctant hero or an accidental hero. It follows the life of an architect in Paris during the Nazi occupied World War II occupation. It shows us what could’ve happened, and what did happen … the good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful. It reminds us that at times of war, some people’s evilness increased, while others found their humanity. It also shows us that even at one of the lowest points in history, people found love, forged new paths, became friends with the “enemy”, helped each other, and truly figured out who they were in their heart.

I highly recommend this book to lovers of history, architecture, WWII novels, or anyone that is intrigued by the concept of heroism, with its flaws exposed.