THE STORYTELLER OF CASABLANCA BY FIONA VALPY

In this evocative tale from the bestselling author of The Dressmaker’s Gift, a strange new city offers a young girl hope. Can it also offer a lost soul a second chance?


A novel that will whisk you to another time and place, The Storyteller of Casablanca is a tender tale of hope, resilience, and new beginnings.


Fiona Valpy has an exquisite talent for creating characters so rounded and delightful that they almost feel like family, and this makes what happens to them feel very personal.


View the complete library of The storyteller books.

About The Author Fiona Valpy


Fiona is an acclaimed number 1 bestselling author, whose books have sold millions of copies and been translated into more than thirty different languages worldwide.


She draws inspiration from the stories of strong women, especially during the years of World War II. Her meticulous research enriches her writing with an evocative sense of time and place.


All of these inspirations, along with a love for the place, the people, and their history, have found their way into the books she’s written, which have been translated into German, Norwegian, Czech, Slovenian and Turkish.


She spent seven years living in France, having moved there from the UK in 2007, before returning to live in Scotland. Her love for both of these countries, their people, and their histories has found its way into many of the books she’s written.


She and her family renovated an old, rambling farmhouse in the Bordeaux Winelands, during which time she developed newfound skills in cement mixing, interior decorating, and wine-tasting.

About The Storyteller Book


Morocco, 1941. With France having fallen to Nazi occupation, twelve-year-old Jewish girl Josie has fled with her family to Casablanca, where they await safe passage to America.


Life here is as intense as the sun, every sight, smell and sound overwhelming to the senses in a city filled with extraordinary characters. It’s a world away from the trouble back home and Josie loves it.


Seventy years later, another new arrival in the intoxicating port city, Zoe, is struggling with her marriage, her baby daughter and her new life as an expat in an unfamiliar place.


But when she discovers a small wooden box and a diary from the 1940s beneath the floorboards of her daughter’s bedroom, Zoe enters the inner world of young Josie, who once looked out on the same view of the Atlantic Ocean, but who knew a very different Casablanca.


It’s not long before Zoe begins to see her adopted city through Josie’s eyes. But can a new perspective help her turn tragedy into hope, and find the comfort she needs to heal her broken heart?

Details

Title: The Storyteller of Casablanca
Pages: 315 pages
Published: September 21, 2021
Publisher: Amazon Publishing
Language: English
Appropriate for ages: All ages

Contents

The Storyteller - Review

 

1941, Josie and her family arrive in Casablanca after escaping the Nazi-Occupied Paris, on their way to start a new life in America.

 

2010 sees Zoe, her baby daughter, and her husband Tom come to Casablanca with his job, but they are also looking for a new start.

 

While Josie and Zoe are both taken to a new city by their captors, where they must explore the world around them, however, while Josie adapts well, Zoe seventy years later is unable to do so until she unearths Josie's journal and a box of her keepsakes under her daughter's bed.

 

As Zoe reads the diary, she begins to reconsider Casablanca as a potential source of inspiration and adventure, but can it also repair her broken heart and marriage?

 

I am fortunate enough to have read a few of Fiona Valpy's previous works, and I was delighted to be a part of the blog tour for her new novel The Storyteller of Casablanca.

 

Josie and Zoe's stories may appear to be different since they are of various ages and time periods, but there are many points of connection.

 

In Casablanca, the war-torn city where a fisherman meets his future wife, Josie, her older sister Annette and her parents have arrived from Paris to escape the Nazi occupation.

 

Josie has a self-assuredness about her, as well as a thirst for life, which helps her make the most of her situation. She makes friends with Felix, a fellow refugee who she first met in the camp in Casablanca when she initially arrived, and Nina, the daughter of the home-keeper.

 

The three of them might come from diverse backgrounds, but they share a special connection due to their love for reading and stories.

 

Zoe's arrival in Casablanca is supposed to be a fresh start for both her and Tom, her husband. There is obviously an issue in their marriage that stems from a recent occurrence, but the trauma has driven her to have OCD, with her constantly wanting to wash her hands, leaving them red and sore.

 

Zoe also makes friends with other ex-pat wives, and she sets herself the challenge of creating a quilt to aid her obsessive-compulsive disorder as well as to pass the time on her long days. However, it is Josie's tale that gives Zoe the push to see Casablanca in a different light.

Zoe is a character who feels some sort of tie with Josie, and she frequently goes to the same locations and learns about Casablanca during the war years.


In this family drama, the two plotlines are compelling in their own right, and I was completely immersed and invested in both of their lives, as well as at times being heartbroken, but there was also hope and optimism.


Fiona Valpy is a fantastic storyteller with a wonderful way of words. She captures the attention of the reader, making them feel as if they are involved in her characters' lives and using some excellent phrasing.


I'm a huge fan of her historical research and I adore the inclusion of actual historical figures as well as those from her imagination; I had no idea that Josephine Baker assisted with the Casablanca resistance movement.


Because Casablanca was a French colony, there were also German soldiers there, so it wasn't a totally secure refugee for the Jewish community, but it was the first step toward escaping Europe and finding safety.


The importance of telling stories to construct bridges, preserve old tales, bring people together, and simply entertain and make people feel better was one of the key messages I got from this book.


I loved the concept of Moroccan culture having dedicated storytellers in their villages, who would act out the tales they told, adding to the drama and keeping the traditions of the culture alive for a new generation.


Fiona Valpy also discusses how these stories don't always have to originate from a book, as quilting, embroidery on scarves, clothing, and henna patterns have been passed down through generations depending on the culture.


Stories of today's refugees, what they are fleeing from, the difficulties they confront, and the squalor in which they live are broken down into smaller sections.


It was difficult to read in parts because it was so sad, but it is critical to remember the difficulties these individuals have endured and the terrors they have seen, as well as their resilience and value.


Fiona Valpy has published another excellent book The Storyteller of Casablanca. The tales of Josie and Zoe illustrate how incredible they were, despite their difficulties, in light of which they persisted and still attempted to assist others.


The incredible descriptions of Casablanca, the city's various sections, sights and scents, magnificent cuisine, and culture were fascinating to read about, with the metropolis becoming the main character in her own right.


This is an amazing tale in every sense of the term, and I strongly advise you to read it; immersive, engaging, and breathtaking!!!!

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