Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Review: Goodbye, Paris

Summary: Jojo Moyes meets Eleanor Oliphant in Goodbye, Paris, an utterly charming novel that proves that sometimes you have to break your heart to make it whole.

Grace once had the beginnings of a promising musical career, but she hasn’t been able to play her cello publicly since a traumatic event at music college years ago. Since then, she’s built a quiet life for herself in her small English village, repairing instruments and nurturing her long- distance affair with David, the man who has helped her rebuild her life even as she puts her dreams of a family on hold until his children are old enough for him to leave his loveless marriage. -- Touchstone

Both my college-age daughter and I read GOODBYE, PARIS by Anstey Harris, and not surprisingly, we had different opinions of this novel. I enjoyed it quite a bit thought it was a heartwarming story, while my daughter thought it was just okay... and very predictable! I'm sure there are readers who will agree with each of us.

GOODBYE, PARIS tells the story of Grace, a woman who owns an instrument shop where she makes and repairs violins. She once had a promising music career, but she can't even pick up her cello without having a panic attack. She leads a pretty quiet life with her only friends being a charming older man and an angst-ridden teenage girl She also happens to have a long-distance romantic relationship with David, a married man. Grace has agreed to put her life on hold, including have a child of her own, until David's children are old enough for him to leave his wife. (See why my daughter found parts of this novel to be predictable?)

Grace eventually realizes the bitter truth about David, and it sends her reeling. However, with the help of her friends, Grace discovers that she's much stronger than she ever thought; and she even manages to overcome her past fears and truly blossom!

I found GOODBYE, PARIS to be a charming book that definitely warmed my heart. I loved Grace (even though she was a little obtuse at times), and I really appreciated her friendship with Mr. Williams and Nadia. I will admit that the book was a little predictable, but that didn't bother me at all. I especially enjoyed seeing how Grace bounced back despite numerous setbacks.

In addition to the great characters, I really was impressed with Ms. Harris' writing. Her character development was delightful, and her prose was beautiful. I loved how she revealed Grace's troubled past and the way she showed how Grace overcame this. It really was a story about redemption and second chances, and who doesn't love a story with those messages?

GOODBYE, PARIS would make a great book club selection. The story is guaranteed to entertain, but I also think there's plenty to discuss about Grace. She makes some very questionable choices that are certain to stimulate discussion. In addition, there are also some serious topics which many readers will want to talk about. Some of the themes you might want to discuss include loss, fear, forgiveness, second chances, and anxiety. Check out the reading guide for more topics.

I definitely enjoyed GOODBYE, PARIS and highly recommend it to fans of charming stories about women and friendship.

Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this novel.

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

I love that you and Booking Daughter read this. Sometimes charming and predictable is just what I need.