Goodbye, Paris

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 07 Aug 2018

Member Reviews

Goodbye, Paris is really a love story, of friendship. Grace is a young woman madly in love with a married man. When things begin to go wrong, she must decide what she will do with her one wild and precious life. Grace's friends are the heroes in this story, as they begin to repair what has been broken. 

I didn't find Grace entirely likable as a character due to her indecision and her choices to engage in a romantic relationship with a man who knowingly was married. But the story was enchanting and engaging.
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Grace Atherton is a gifted musician who refuses to play for others. Nevertheless, she has managed to build a career in the music industry, as a luthier, one who makes or repairs string instruments. She seems content inside a small box of a life she has built, not performing her music, and not married to the man she loves. He is married to someone else. 

When Grace spends the weekend in Paris with David, her married lover, an event happens that changes their relationship entirely. The fall out of a rescue is the undoing of Grace's carefully constructed box, and all the small lies she has allowed herself to believe about her relationship. David has misrepresented himself dreadfully to Grace, and as she falls apart as she begins to realize the depth of his deceit, and her sacrifices for him.

Luckily, her saviours arrive in the form of an angst ridden teen age girl and an elderly neighbor. Both lend support when Grace most needs it, as well as a swift kick in the pants when Grace needs more than support. With their help, she rebuilds a particularly meaningful instrument, and more importantly, her life.
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When 'Paris' is in the title of a book, I immediately make an assumption about it. A good one.
Such assumptions were shattered when I began reading this book.
Grace is a woman in flux - madly in love with her married boyfriend, repairing and creating string instruments in an English village, and generally being an observer of life rather than an active participant.
Then a woman falls onto the subway tracks in Paris.
Her relationship, living precariously on a tightrope, is spectacularly thrown off balance. Her well-meaning friends - an employee and a cherished customer of her shop - nudge her to rediscover her first love of playing the cello, rather than making them. And her entering a famed instrument making contest goes from 'whatever happens, happens'  reignites a fire that had been dormant for too long.
The book slogs a bit for the first 2/3s, but quickly picks up in the remaining section. Grace (and Nadia, and Mr. Williams) are beautifully flawed and real. You never really like Grace throughout the book, but you gain a begrudging respect for her by the end of the book. 
I very much enjoyed this book - and the classical music I've been listening to ever since I finished it.
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Affairs with married men don’t end well, either in literature (cf. The End of the Affair (marred woman in that case), We Don't Live Here Anymore) or in real life (e.g., Katherine Hepburn, Marla Maples, Sienna Miller, that woman who GOP fundraiser Elliott B. Broidy impregnated). Goodbye, Paris is no exception. Grace Atherton has been dating David Hewitt for eight years, grabbing time in Paris, where David lives, when they can. Of course, David has a wife and children in Salzburg, but Grace believes that eventually David will marry and make a family with her. (How many mistresses nurse that particular fantasy?) But, due to unforeseen circumstances, their affair comes to light, and you can guess whom David chooses once he’s forced to do so.

And that’s when Goodbye, Paris really begins. To tell any more is to ruin this lovely novel in which — again, as in real life — it is one’s friends who make all the difference. Highly recommended.

In the interest of full disclosure, I received this book from NetGalley and Touchstone in exchange for an honest review.
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Loved this book! I’ve seen so many comparisons to Eleanor Oliphant but I personally didn’t see any resemblance. I loved the characters and the empowering ending.
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Grace Atherton is a complicated woman who leads a seemingly quiet life. She’s a builder and restorer of stringed instruments, a former cellist who can no longer play in public. By all appearances she leads a quiet life, tending her shop and living alone in a small English village. But she’s been involved in a long-term affair with the married David for many years, for which she’s put on hold her dreams of marriage and children.
When David saves the life of a woman who has fallen on the tracks in the Paris Metro, he and Grace slip away before they can draw attention to themselves. But the surveillance camera footage of his heroism becomes an internet sensation, and eventually leads to the unraveling of their affair.
As the relationship dissolves, Grace loses herself. Distraught, she nearly ruins her chances to win the world’s premier violin-making competition. Her teenage shop assistant and an eccentric elderly patron, both accomplished musicians in their own right, come to her aid. This unlikely band of comrades comes together to help Grace pick up the pieces and move on.
Goodbye, Paris is a melancholy tale but ultimately ends on a sweetly positive note. Its bittersweet edge runs through the novel, but the characters are ones you won’t want to let go of.
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What a sweet story! I LOVED this book to bits! The writing was fantastic and the characters were such a treat to get to know.
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Comparisons to other books in book descriptions is a pet peeve of mine because most of the time I just don’t see them. I’ve read and enjoyed several books by Jojo Moyes but I guess not the ones that this is compared too.  I did read and love [book:Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine|31434883] and the comparison is thin at best. So if you are going into this looking for those stories, you may not find them. I didn’t, but having said that, I found a sweet story in its own right and I wish publishers would promote a book on its own merits. 

It was sad from the beginning - the status to which Grace Atherton elevates her boyfriend, David, her married boyfriend with a wife and children had me feeling sorry for her as she was just so gullible. I had such mixed feelings about Grace Atherton, about the story at first. I definitely didn’t get why Grace hung in there with this guy for 8 years, believing that he’d leave his wife when the kids were grown.  The story moves back and forth between the present and when they first met and recounts the times that they meet in Paris, when of course it’s convenient for David. Grace is a luthier, making and repairing string instruments, a career she embarks on since she has been unable to play her cello after being thrown out of music school, when she believed she had a promising career as a musician. Eventually we discover some of the trauma that she experienced, but it isn’t until the end that Grace discovers that it wasn’t because of her lack of talent. 

At some point, I became more engaged in the story with the introduction and connection to two other characters. Nadia is a teenage girl working in Grace’s shop, a talented musician who is experiencing some typical teenage drama as well as the hurt  over her parents marital problems and their lack of concern for her. Mr. Williams, an aging customer for whom she refurbishes an old violin made by a friend is lonely and has his own relationship stories to tell . I loved the kind and wise Mr. Williams. This unlikely trio of friends, three sad, lonely people help each other to heal, to overcome their grief and to find themselves. A little predictable, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. 


I received an advanced copy of this book from Touchstone through NetGalley.
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Goodbye, Paris is... dare I say it?

A perfectly written book*.

The story dips between past and present like the natural tides of a book should. During moments of profound loss the author uses beautiful and raw words to slide a knife into the reader and turn, just so. She takes us from utter happiness to complete loss, and there and back again, as the book goes on. It felt like everything that happened to Grace was happening to me and I read this book in two sittings in about a nine hour time span. I haven’t stayed up late to finish a book in a long time and this one has already been added to my favorites list.

*There were a few things at the end about Nadia that I wasn't crazy about, but not enough to dock any stars.
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It had me at the first sentence, only solidified my interest after chapter one’s final sentence. My jaw dropped several times and before I knew it, it was over. Goodbye, Paris, and I wanted more. I laughed, I cried, I loved this book and it’s a great end of summer read.
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This gem of a book was an exceptional read, as it had a great plot and well developed characters.  I was rooting for Grace as crisis after crisis occurs in her life.  It takes a gifted author to get the reader to root for a married man's mistress, but I found myself wishing Grace would get some happiness.  Definitely recommend!
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I found the beginning of this book fairly exciting. We meet Grace and her boyfriend David and there's hints of a not quite perfect relationship between the two. When David makes a heroic rescue in the subway station, things really take a turn for the relationship because what David values most is privacy and being a hero isn't very private. Question is, what does he have going on that makes him want to stay in the shadows? I got a sense from the beginning that Grace was a weak character and she continued to prove that point by basing her whole life around the whims and wants of David. It got very old very quickly for me. I found her to be annoying and I had a hard time rooting for her. The issues and solution were obvious and I just didn't feel her struggles. Her new friends  were welcome additions to the story but not enough to make me pull for her. I also didn't enjoy the musical aspect of the storyline
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After going through mine own recent heartbreak, Goodbye, Paris was the perfect medicine. It made me remember that I will be happy again one day! Just because life didn't work out exactly like I thought, doesn't mean that is a bad thing. I also enjoyed the unique perspective of the woman being aware that the man is cheating.
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Goodbye, Paris is a heartbreakingly, beautiful tale about relationships, the resilience of love, and the acceptance of loss all set to the backdrop of romantic cities and the arts.

Grace, a former musician with a traumatic musical schooling experience, enjoys a quiet life repairing instruments in a small English town.  After a chance meeting a man named David, Grace and David are mad for each other and enjoy a long-distance relationship. One casual day while waiting for the Paris Metro, David performs a heroic act that catapults him to social media hero status which then turns the spotlight on his life.  This turn of events showcased to Grace that things are other than what they seem. Leaning on unlikely acquaintances who become close friends, Grace attempts to unravel the truth while also attempting to live her life the best she can.

I enjoyed reading Goodbye, Paris.  It was very well-written with well-developed characters.  It wasn’t a typical love story but instead lent itself more to love, joy and happiness being partaken in many different forms.  I’d really like to see what Grace does next; crossing my fingers that there will be a book two.

I received an advanced review copy (ARC) of this book from the publisher through NetGalley for my honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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3.5 stars. I truly enjoyed the last third of the book. The setting description was wonderful - it made me want to visit Italy and eat all the food!
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Goodbye, Paris is a bittersweet love story. I was debating between 3 or 4 stars, but the 4 starts won because of a very not typical ending.

Grace is a music instrument repair/building store owner. Twenty years prior to that she was a promising cellist, but an incident that has happened in college has ended Grace's cellist career once and for all.

Now, Grace is living a wonderful and happy life. Her business is blooming. She even hires a young student from a local private school, Nadya, to help her around the shop. Grace does not have many friends. But she has a wonderful lover, David, that lives/works in a different city. 

One wonderful evening, in Paris, David saves a life of a young woman. An incident is caught on camera and overnight David becomes a worldwide hero... and unfortunately, that's not the last thing that becomes known to the public.

Goodbye, Paris is not your typical love story. And I really loved the ending. It was simply a perfect way to end the story. Bravo Anstey Harris! This is a super quick read. Perfect for a vacay or just relaxing reading night at home.
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I struggled to get into this one.  Or I should say, at first I was very intrigued, as the first chapter ends with a bit of a bombshell! But then things got a little predictable and I had trouble staying focused on the story.  Part of this I completely blame on myself, as I am not very musically inclined and music is a central theme to this book.  For me, I just struggled to get into the story, but I think if you enjoy music or  are looking for an easy summer read, this could be a book for you!
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Grace and David are at the Metro station when a lady falls onto the tracks. David saves her, photos of Grace and David are taken, and now they must pay a price... Grace is a gifted cellist and builder of high-quality stringed instruments. She no longer plays the cello publicly - when she was in college she was told she wasn't good enough. At what cost?... Nadia is a high school student who works for Grace. She is a gifted violinist, trying to compose her own symphony and find her way as a teenager - but at what expense?... Mr. Williams is a friend trying to help Grace and Nadia find the peace that he possesses - a peace that can only be found after a lifetime of paying one's dues... These people's lives are connected by love, music, and, for each of them, an emotional bankruptcy. As with most bankruptcies, once over with adjustments must be made and fresh starts must occur. Will they be?

Anstey Harris has written a beautiful story of quirky and flawed characters who are joined together by friendship, love, and music. Goodbye, Paris is filled with heartbreak and hope, love and loss, classical music, and is a truly lovely read.
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Anstey Harris choose the “feel good novel format “ for Goodbye, Paris, her first novel. She fully embraces this genre. Every person involved in this story has problems or issues or woes. And in the feel good format, all are neatly resolved by novels end.
Grace Atherton has her life set. She repairs musical instruments in her shop, tends her home, and friends Nadia and Mr. Williams. Most importantly she waits patiently for the children of her married lover, David, to come of age so she and David can marry and live happily ever after. Life interferes with her plan.
Now crisis after crisis occurs. Drugs, pregnancy, damaged instruments, retaliation by David’s other mistress, and stage fright are some of the problems.
For me the weakness of the novel is that every issue is resolved. Not only resolved but resolved neatly, kindly and efficiently. It is too perfect. It is too neat.
The book was eminently readable especially the descriptions of lovingly restoring the damaged instruments.
If you suspend reality, you will love this book. But if reality creeps in, you will still enjoy it. I received an advance copy of this book from Netgalley. #netgalley #goodbyeparis
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Goodbye, Paris is a light read for the most part. I enjoyed the descriptions of music throughout the book. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves music as the descriptioms are wonderful. The overall storyline was good and I found this book hard to put down. 

I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a review copy in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion of it.
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