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Paris By the Book
by Liam Callanan
No current Talk conversations about this book.
Interesting but not compelling. 3.5 stars ( )
I finished this book really, really mad at the husband. This novel, set in Paris, is centered around an American family - a husband, wife, and two daughters. The husband disappears from their home in Milwaukee and the wife and daughters move to Paris, France, a few months later, thinking the trip will help them find answers in the few clues they have about the husband's disappearance. There are plenty of awkward incidents and some humor, but I failed to find much charm in this novel. The setting didn't change the fact that this family was grieving and struggling - all for a reason that made me angry by the conclusion.
Note: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher at ALA Midwinter 2018.
This one tries to suggest it's a mystery, but really it's not. I categorise it as general fiction, as a woman and her two daughters follow a trail to Paris in hopes of finding her missing husband, who went for a run one morning and never came back.
I'm probably rating it a little higher than I would have right after I finished it. Overall I have a feeling that the book is good, but thinking back to specifics, I remember I found the MC to be too remote, or too ... flighty? to really know enough to decide if I liked her or not. She just sort of floated along, while her two daughters came across as way too well adjusted and independent to be as affected by their father's disappearance as events in the book would have you believe.
I can't say much more without giving the plot away, but suffice it to say it's a decent read, and the premise sounds like heaven - move to Paris to run a small bookshop. Sure - sign me up. At least for a year or two.
Book Review Paris by the Book
I bought Liam Callanan’s Paris by the Book simply because he leaves in Wisconsin and I want to support local authors. Friends of mine also recommended his works. I enjoyed this book a lot.
It is the story of a Leah, who’s husband disappears and the only clue he leaves is plane tickets to Paris. Intending on staying for a while, she finds herself not able to tear herself or her two daughters away. They all see him (Robert) in the men they see around the city.
In many books, the protagonist is strong and determined. Readers want that. However, that is not how people work. I found Mr. Callanan’s portrayal of a woman with doubts and mind changes real, but without sending me on a confusing track of a narrator that changes her mind too much. His main character is filled with doubts, but it is done in a well-written way.
I also found that Mr. Callanan did a masterful job of describing Paris with out burying the reader in details. Also well done with how he handled the characters speaking French. He was able to provide realness while also getting what was said in French across.
I enjoyed this family drama set in a city that I now really want to visit. It makes me hope and believe that I can go there and find Leah and her two daughters running a small book store (though not well).
NATIONAL BESTSELLER A missing person, a grieving family, a curious clue: a half-finished manuscript set in Paris Once a week, I chase men who are not my husband. . . . When eccentric novelist Robert Eady abruptly vanishes, he leaves behind his wife, Leah, their daughters, and, hidden in an unexpected spot, plane tickets to Paris. Hoping to uncover clues--and her husband--Leah sets off for France with her girls. Upon their arrival, she discovers an unfinished manuscript, one Robert had been writing without her knowledge . . . and that he had set in Paris. The Eady girls follow the path of the manuscript to a small, floundering English-language bookstore whose weary proprietor is eager to sell. Leah finds herself accepting the offer on the spot. As the family settles into their new Parisian life, they trace the literary paths of some beloved Parisian classics, including Madeline and The Red Balloon, hoping more clues arise. But a series of startling discoveries forces Leah to consider that she may not be ready for what solving this mystery might do to her family--and the Paris she thought she knew. Charming, haunting, and triumphant, Paris by the Book follows one woman's journey as she writes her own story, exploring the power of family and the magic that hides within the pages of a book.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)813.6Literature English (North America) American fiction 21st Century
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