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Summary

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?

Morocco, 1941. With France having fallen to Nazi occupation, twelve-year-old 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?

©2021 by Fiona Valpy. (P)2021 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved

Critic reviews

“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.”—Imogen Clark, bestselling author of Postcards From a Stranger

“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.”—Louise Douglas, bestselling author of The House by the Sea 

What listeners say about The Storyteller of Casablanca

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant !!!!

A totally different story to what I usually listen to but I’m so glad I came across it. It was one that was recommended in an email from Audible and I was intrigued by its title and so listened to the sample. I can honestly say the sample had me hooked so I purchased the title. Once I started to listen I couldn’t stop and finished it it one day !! that’s how good it is. A brilliant story expertly narrated by Elizabeth Knowelden with her clear voice and pitch spot on.
The story itself, from beginning to end was very well written and the characters and life stories of those characters played out like a movie in my mind. I could see the pictures of the places, people and events bringing everything to life as I listened. I don’t want to give to much away and spoil it for potential readers/listeners but the story itself is set during 1941 when Jews became refugees when Germany invaded parts of Europe and they were fleeing their homeland trying to get to America. The story centres around a young Jewish girl who kept a very detailed journal of the events of her family’s trials and tribulations during this process. Then the story flips to 2010 when the journal was discovered by Zoe who had moved to Casablanca with her husband. There are lots of twists and turns along the way. So the story switches between 1941/42 and 2010.
I would absolutely recommend anyone to give this book a go. Truly Brilliant !!! An excellent novel by Fiona Valpy. If this book is anything to go by I really must look out for other titles by her.

4 people found this helpful

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Great Read

Wonderful story, beautifully read with a great plot. The narration was full of life.

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A really good story

We listened to this on a 12hr car journey.
a really good tale with many historical points of interest. It views the war from a different view.

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Wonderfully evocative and emotional story

Absolutely loved this beautifully written and heartbreaking story of two women in Casablanca and their struggles to survive in very different times. I devoured it in a couple of days and am now bereft it is over! Will definitely continue to think about Josie and Zoe for a while.

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wonderful story

This book is my first by this author. Its a wonderful story that is all too easy to fall into. Lots of surprises and gut wrenching moments, the ending was unexpected and very emotional.

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Good once you get into it.

Took a while to get into, but I persevered and feel it was worth it. Storyline is good.

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Amazing book

What an amazing book this is. I can't put into words how moving it is.

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awesome

I had never heard of this author. Fantastic book draws you in from beginning.

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Disappointing

I really wanted to love this story but found it unconvincing and self-indulgent. The characters were not very believable, in particular the girl who was meant to be 12. In terms of the performance, the father's French accent was good but the young girl only sounded French on a few occasions, which was distracting.

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  • EYM
  • 15-11-21

Sweet and profound

Fiona Volpi is one of those authors that make you want to go back to a literature class so you can discuss her novel endlessly. Her books are so well written, and so well thought out. Her extensive research, her memorable characters, her plot, all come together with beautiful prose. This particular novel has a twist which haunts you throughout, but it's not revealed until the end. Nonetheless, as the reader, you know it's there.
The narration is pleasant, enjoy many hours of listening.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Renee Macias
  • 28-09-21

Storyteller Indeed!

Worth the read! When an author can bring the characters to such life that you laugh, hold your breath and even cry with them….it’s worth the read!

6 people found this helpful

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  • Garet Bonham
  • 25-09-21

Beautifully written book of tragedy and hope

This was a story that I couldn't stop listening to, until the end. The narrator told the story in a way that made me think she was the one who experienced the stories, of a young girl and a young woman, who both faced incredible tragedy and yet overcame the aftermath.

Both stories are set in Casablanca- one during WWII- an area that I've never read anything about, during that horrible time and the other in the same house in 2010.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 28-01-22

this book has everything

I love the history and the characters. The story was engaging and had beautiful closure.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Fanny Kraiem
  • 10-12-21

unforgettable

this is one of the most extraordinary books. The writing, story, reading and message made me stay awake for hours not wanting to stop listening. a real literary gift.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Countrygirl71
  • 28-09-21

Beautiful and moving story

I loved this story and could not stop listening till reached the end. Beautifully read an written.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Debbie Mathisen
  • 02-03-22

Unexpected and Twisted Ending

'The Storyteller of Casablanca' overall was a very good story. It fliwed well and had a bit if of intrigue in the story. I did however, find the ending somewhat twisted.
Elizabeth Knowelden did a great job narrating the story. I do recommend this book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Bonnie Morton
  • 28-02-22

Amazingly well written AND amazingly well recited

The plot twist was wrenching. It was as unexpected as it was , mostly because I was so involved mentally and emotionally with the storytelling leading up to it. Beautiful writing and a beautiful job by the reader... stunning beyond words story experience.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Loves to Read
  • 27-02-22

Nice story

This was an enjoyable listen because the narrator's voice and performance was really top notch. The story itself definitely kept me engaged and interested in the characters and their well being. Well done, and very enjoyable.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Snaedis Logadottir
  • 06-04-22

Not at all what I expected

I was so pleasantly surprised by this book. It is a wonderful work that deals with grief and courage in an inspiring and hopeful manner. Definitely among my favourites.

1 person found this helpful