Recipient of the Florida Writers Association Royal Palm Literary Award
When Paris Was Dark
The story of a young French boy during the WWII German occupation.
When five-year-old Alain, a little boy living in Paris, is strafed by German planes at the onset of the German invasion in 1940, his world is instantly turned on its head. During the next four years, like the children who fight to survive today’s many conflicts around the world, he grows up fast and must be mentally strong and alert to stay safe. With limited parental support, Alain and his young friends face increasing deprivation, devastating hunger, and constant fear of the occupying Germans soldiers, with their intimidating rules and random street blockades and checkpoints. He also dreads the Allies’ air raids, although he knows the bombers are on his side.
After being silent for four years, one day all the churches of Paris ring their bells to celebrate the end of the occupation, and Alain welcomes the American GIs who fought bravely to liberate him. His story—of fear and courage, despair and determination—is laced with the realism only an author who lived through the occupation himself can provide, bringing this bittersweet, beautifully rendered novel to vivid life.
About the Author: Born in Paris, as a young boy Yves Masson experienced the hardships of German occupation. After serving in the French army during the Algerian war, he left France for New York City in 1965 and became a United States citizen in the early seventies. He lived in New York, Georgia, and California, and has made Florida his home state since 2011. After working as a marketing executive in Corporate America and running his own consulting firm, Yves turned to the arts. He is an accomplished portrait artist, but he feels it is more important to share his life experiences with his readers. Yves knows what war does to people and especially to children. His ability to describe the daily fears, the devastating hunger pains, and the despair of deprivation and coercion draws his audience into the struggle for survival of his young characters.