The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure is a fascinating historical fiction novel set in Paris during World War II. Overrun by German soldiers, the citizens of Paris are left distraught. Architect Lucien Bernard is asked to design factories for the Germans and persuaded to start building secret nooks inside the walls of houses for people to hide. To some he is a traitor and to some a hero. His new, rather lucrative albeit dangerous career is never as simple as one hopes and soon Lucien finds himself forced to make life altering decisions that will forever change the person that he is.
It was intriguing to read about Paris during WWII and how the people felt while being occupied. Most people are fighting to survive and yet there are others who are so consumed with greed that it astounded me. The Paris citizens were faced with cruelty on a daily bases from both Germans and other Frenchmen. The were forced to decide to either help others to survive or turn a blind eye. The intense look at humanity was both heartbreaking and joyful. Written by an architect this book was clearly a nod to design and building, but also a wonderful book on the human condition.