#BookReview Miss Morgan’s Book Brigade by Janet Skeslien Charles @skesliencharles @SimonSchusterCA #MissMorgansBookBrigade #JanetSkeslienCharles #SimonSchusterCA Title: Miss Morgan's Book Brigade

Author: Janet Skeslien Charles

Published by: Atria Books on Apr. 30, 2024

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 336

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

1918: As the Great War rages, Jessie Carson takes a leave of absence from the New York Public Library to work for the American Committee for Devastated France. Founded by millionaire Anne Morgan, this group of international women help rebuild devastated French communities just miles from the front. Upon arrival, Jessie strives to establish something that the French have never seen—children’s libraries. She turns ambulances into bookmobiles and trains the first French female librarians. Then she disappears.

1987: When NYPL librarian and aspiring writer Wendy Peterson stumbles across a passing reference to Jessie Carson in the archives, she becomes consumed with learning her fate. In her obsessive research, she discovers that she and the elusive librarian have more in common than their work at New York’s famed library, but she has no idea their paths will converge in surprising ways across time.

Based on the extraordinary little-known history of the women who received the Croix de Guerre medal for courage under fire, Miss Morgan’s Book Brigade is a tribute to the resilience of the human spirit, the power of literature, and ultimately the courage it takes to make a change.


Insightful, rich, and absorbing!

Miss Morgan’s Book Brigade is an alluring dual-timeline tale set in France and New York City during WWI, as well as 1987, that takes you into the lives of two main characters; Jessie, a librarian who joins the American Committee for Devasted France to bring books and the love of reading to those families trying to carry on in a land ravished by war, and Wendy, a young writer and librarian who after stumbling upon information about another employee of the esteemed NYPL from the distant past, is driven to discover everything she can about this woman’s life, achievements and ultimate fate.

The prose is smooth and fluid. The characters are genuine, innovative, and determined. And the plot, including all the subplots, unravel and intertwine seamlessly into an intriguing tale of life, loss, hardship, courage, devastation, hope, friendship, adversity, self-discovery, wartime living, survival, and ultimately the power of books.

Overall, Miss Morgan’s Book Brigade is a well-written, vivid, informative tale inspired by real-life events that does an exceptional job of highlighting her considerable knowledge and impressive research into a real-life historical figure that was determined to show the power and importance of the written word to uplift and provide hope in even the most dire of situations.


This novel is available now.

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Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.


About Janet Skeslien Charles

Janet Skeslien Charles is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of The Paris Library. Her work has been translated into thirty-seven languages. She has spent a decade researching Jessie Carson (Miss Morgan’s Book Brigade) at The Morgan Library, the NYPL, and archives across France. Her shorter work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, The Sydney Morning Herald, LitHub, and the anthology Montana Noir.

Photograph by Krystal Kenney.