Cover Image: After Paris

After Paris

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Member Reviews

Alice, Jules, and Nina meet at a debutante ball in Paris and become instant friends.
They return there once a year, to relive their youth, leave the cares and troubles of home behind and indulge in each other's friendship. However, over the years, each of them has been keeping secrets from the others and after their last trip to Paris, they don’t speak again...

I found the structure of the book sometimes a bit confusing to navigate, not just because the back and forth between timelines, but also who was narrating. I did love the realistic issues that these women faced and how it is clear, like in real life, that there aren’t simple solutions or decisions to be made. This book was an interesting read as it represents a lot of women’s problems in current days. It has an important message regarding women supporting women.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Head of Zeus, Aria for allowing me the opportunity to get an early copy of this novel!
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After Paris begins like an episode of Gossip Girl. Teenage sons and daughters of the great and good have descended upon Paris for the grandest Debutante event in Europe. And this is how Alice, Nina and Jules met. The start of an unlikely friendship that has lasted for 20 years. No matter what life throws in their way they always agree to meet up in Paris every year and spend one valuable weekend together.

Except this year is different. All three women head to Paris together on the Eurostar train but end up taking separate trains back home at the end of the weekend. What happened on the trip that sees their lasting friendships torn asunder?

Nicole Kennedy has crafted a surprising novel. At the beginning I was expecting it to be quite light and frothy – more in the vein of Gossip Girl – but she has a surprise up her sleeve and After Paris becomes the ultimate expose of the women’s friendships and their other relationships.

Each friend gets to tell the tale from their point of view and all of these scenes are woven together as each believes themselves to have been betrayed by the others. Life causes their paths to diverge quite differently and it is nearly always not the way that they had intended. After Paris is a fascinating book that will make you think about the girls and your own friendships long after you’ve closed the cover.

Supplied by Net Galley and Head of Zeus in exchange for an honest review.
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I liked that this book focused on long lasting friendships as well as earnest honesty in the long run. The characters were fun to get to know and were genuinely enjoyable. There were a lot of character shifts within chapters which I did not love, but you get used to it while reading. The setting was ever so decadent, it made me wish I was travelling with some girlfriends right now! The story really was phenomenal and I enjoyed it so so much. You should read this book if you want a warm and fuzzy feeling after you finish it!
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Jules, Alice and Nina have been friends for some time, yet the friendships have broken down over the years, although the bond that entwines them together remains strong.

This story is character driven and recommended to anyone looking for a fast plot that explores the boundaries and limits of these characters. The complexities within their companionship and personalities are well written, resulting in a relatable, enticing, and fascinating read.

This author's writing style is easy to follow, with multiple points of view adding to the dimension of the plot. There are also entertaining plot twists that I didn't expect at all, and the descriptive writing of the destination is flawless.

There are a lot of sensitive issues within this book some readers may find upsetting. It would make a great book club read, as this is thought-provoking and has plenty to discuss.
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Alice, Nina and Jules have been friends for twenty years, after meeting during a debutantes' ball at the swanky Hôtel de Crillon in Paris. In the following years, they have taken annual trips to Paris to relive their youth, but it is getting harder to ignore the fact that the different directions their lives have taken means they have gradually grown apart.

This year, the weight of all the baggage that has built up over time leads to significant cracks in their relationships. Each of them is consumed by their own problems, but unable to share what troubles them, and the reunion is a disaster. Although they arrived together, they make solo journeys home, and the many misunderstandings that have arisen lead to them falling out of contact. What happened to their friendship?

We first meet Alice, Nina and Joules in 1999 when they bond over their desire to escape from a fancy debutante ball. The story then plays out over the years, cutting back and forth between significant episodes of their annual visits to Paris, and their disastrous reunion twenty years later. Kennedy slowly weaves together the many threads about how their visits to Paris have changed their ability to confess their true feelings to each other, and very cleverly uses this to show of how the cummulative 'after Paris' ripples break their friendship.

My goodness, there is a lot to unpack in this novel. What starts as an intriguing look at privilege via a youthful escapade behind the scenes of one of the events of the Parisian social calendar, burgeons into a story that delves deeply into how our pasts, and the twists and turns of modern life, affect the decisions we make.

Alice, Nina and Joules are from very different backgrounds, and in many ways their expectations and opportunities are poles apart. There is genuine warmth and tenderness between them, but as the years go by they find themselves telling lies and putting up barriers that really complicate how they relate to each other, and their partners and families. The excuses they make (especially to themselves) are based on good intentions, and are the kind of ones we have all made at some time or another. This makes these women and their dilemmas very relatable, and Kennedy shows real insight into the dynamics of close female friendships as the tale unfurls. I like how she paints these women in authentic shades of grey, balancing out their positive and negative emotions, and their strengths and vulnerabilities. There are times when you do not like them or what they are doing, dying to tell them to stop and think; and others when you feel such empathy for the situations they find themselves in that you want to enfold them in a hug. It makes them seem curiously real somehow.

I am not about to go into the veritable buffet of themes Kennedy touches on in the telling of this tale, as there is real enjoyment the way in which she employs them through such a character driven story. I particularly enjoyed how she explores motherhood, father-daughter relationships, and female addiction, but there is so much more to ponder on too - and she has some very thought-provoking things to say about neuro-diversity, especially in adults. 

This has all the secrets, lies and drama you want from a compelling summer read, but it also takes you to some unexpectedly deep and poignant places. What a great combination!
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#adprproduct Book Review ✨⠀
After Paris by Nicole Kennedy 📖⠀
🌟A beautiful messy portrayal of female friendship.⠀
🌟I adored Alice, Jules & Nina my heart sank and soared with them all as their stories started unfolding.⠀
🌟I really loved the way it captured the complexity, fragility and insecurities of friendships. ⠀
🌟Paris was brought to life in these pages and you could almost imagine you were really there.⠀
🌟Give me all the feels the good, the bad, the ugly. I loved every moment of it! My only problem is it has induced a book hangover 😱 ...what can I possibly pick up next?! ⠀
It deals with lots of big topics in a sensitive, relevant & thought-provoking way. I won't name them here but do check the trigger warnings.⠀
💖 A big thanks to Head of Zeus & NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read and review it.
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After Paris follows three unlikely friends that meet in Paris as young adults/debs, and remain forever friends. The book has all of the plot twists of life- abortion, infertility, indiscretions. It's interesting to see the characters' backstories and how it impacts their relationships with one another.
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While I didn't hate this one, I also didn't love this one. And while I don' t regret reading it, it will not be one that I pick back up.
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I think patrons will enjoy it, so we will definitely be purchasing for the collection. Thank you for the early read!
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This tells the story of three women who have been best friends for 20 years, but cracks start to appear in their friendship and an ill-fated annual trip to Paris, a trip they do every year goes wrong leaving their friendship in tatters and claims being ghosted.

Alice, Nina and Jules have been firm friends for half their lives, they met in Paris and vowed to go back every year to have a good time, relive their youth and basically have a weekend without the worries of their regular life, a weekend to be young and carefree again. Only this year everything go wrong, and their friendship faces the ultimate test. Can a friendship survive After Paris?

I loved that this told the story through all three of the women’s points of view, it brings reclaims and depth to the story and allows the reader to get to know each of the women on their own terms. They each give an insight into events and their shared past, plus as the story progresses you start seeing that maybe all wasn’t as perfect as we first thought. They are three very real and relatable women who as their lives change and go in different directions at times have drifted apart, eys they are still friends, but are they really the best friends they thought or has life itself come between them?

I have just realised that I seem to be ending paragraphs with questions, but whilst reading you do have questions like this going through your mind. The way this brings to light aspects of women’s lives, situations in certain stages of our lives and how others and society (and friends) look at that something which befalls most of us at one time or another.

I have to admit, that I was unfamiliar with the term Ghosted/Ghosting and did have to do a bit of Google search. I think we have all been Ghosted at one time or another, right? And I do hate to admit it as I know how hurtful it is, that I may have been guilty of it when I was in my twenties. Alice, Nina and Jules all say the others have ghosted them, and yet they are all guilty, but why and what is the reason behind this sudden behaviour from friends. As we read, the truth is slowly revealed, it’s beautifully done and keeps you engaged.

I read the author’s previous book and I hate to say that I didn’t love that one, I enjoyed it but it didn’t hit the mark for me. Yet, this one is completely different, the story is so perfectly paced, and beautifully written. It’s honest and thought-provoking, relatable, it’s a multi-layered emotional ride full of secrets and some serious subjects which may be triggering for some, but a story which will keep you reading right to the very last page.

A definite must-read for those who love their contemporary women’s fiction which focuses primely on women’s relations and friendship. I have to admit that it wasn’t what I thought it was. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it ended up being completely different, but in a very positive way and now I can’ wait to read more from the author.
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In this authentic and contemporary exploration of female friendship, three women meet by chance and become friends. Their friendship endures, and each year they revisit Paris. Their last reunion starts well but ends badly. The story explores their friendship from the women's viewpoints, and the mystery behind their imploding friendship gradually emerges.

Believably flawed characters give this story an authentic vibe, and the discussion of current issues facing women is insightful. What makes this special is each woman's story and the intriguing layers of their friendship.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.
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Happy Pub Day to "After Paris" by Nicole Kennedy! This was a really fun book that I give 4 stars.

Jules, Alice, & Nina meet on a wild night out in Paris in 1999. They come from very different backgrounds but each of them is running away from their own issues in some way. They make a pact to come back to Paris every year. Some years, they make it happen, but slowly "real life" gets in the way. The novel follows their lives over three decades - will their friendships survive all the ups and downs?

I initially found it a little chaotic with every chapter being a different year (and not in order) as well as trying to keep track of everyone's lovers, partners, and kids. This was particularly true when some side characters were connected to more than one main character. Eventually I was able to figure it out! I also thought the first half of the book was a bit slow, as it was mostly stage-setting.

BUT I really enjoyed the second half - it picked up a lot of momentum and I just sat back and watched the fireworks! I love when a book surprises me and there were tons of unexpected twists and turns throughout! I also found the ending satisfying because the characters all all found resolution in some way. 

Content warnings: infertility, IVF, bleeding during pregnancy, abortion, brief thoughts of su1cide, infidelity, gambling addiction, binge drinking, brief drug use, ableism, possible child abuse

Shareability: Readers who have ever vacationed in Paris, or wanted to! Themes of empathy, trust, betrayal, forgiveness, and growing up 

Spice: n/a

Pairs well with: ham and cheese baguette and a can of Coke
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3.5 stars

At first, I couldn’t really connect to the book, and it took me a while to get into. It follows a group of three friends throughout their friendship, from when they first meet to them drifting apart. However, once the plot picked up, I couldn’t put it down because I wanted to know what happened next. As the character’s secrets were being discovered by the reader, I wanted to see what would happen when it was revealed to the other women. 

The chapters in the book alternated between past and present. Normally I’m a fan of this, however, I just felt like it didn’t work with this book. It was difficult to distinguish who was narrating or whether it was past or present. 

The book discusses a lot of relevant subjects (i.e. addiction, pregnancy/infertility, neurodiversity), and each woman is relatable in some aspect of their experience/life views. However, I found that their friendship group as a whole wasn’t very relatable, and the chemistry between them just wasn’t there. I think the alternation between the time periods played a part in this. I think it would have been better executed in a linear timeline, as it would make it easier to distinguish and see their friendship grow and drift over time. 

Overall, it was a decent book and was interesting to read. I think this would be a great book for a female book club to discuss friendship, women supporting women, and the other topics discussed in the book.
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After Paris by Nicole Kennedy ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Jules, Alice and Nina became best friends after a chance encounter in Paris 20 years ago, despite their differences their friendship has stayed strong and we join them on one of their reunions in the city of love.

I went into this expecting it to be fairly lighthearted read so was pleasantly surprised to find that it goes a lot deeper than that with themes of infertility, addiction, infidelity and neurodiversity.

Would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a multi timeline and POV read about female friendships

The cover alone will have you packing your bags and booking yourself on the Eurostar, or at least sitting outside your favourite cafe with a croissant and cafe au lait! 

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I really thought I was walking the streets of Paris when I was reading this book. It’s a story of females and their friendships in the modern era!
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I really enjoyed this story focused on female friendships. I was invested in each character and the setting was an additional beloved character. Fun, light summer reading!
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Set against the City of Lights, Paris, three women have a steadfast friendship. Or they did,,until one traumatic weekend was the dead reckoning for all,of,them. Each is facing her own set of challenges that involve children, jobs, and relationships. They also discover they haven’t been very honest with each other over the years. 
After Paris is about having friends, but also knowing sometimes a break is necessary, just taking a break.
It was an interesting read.
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Girl power, without the cheesiness - this book gives us the p.o.v of three women, following the stages of their lives and us getting to see how they cope, love, and help one another. This was a fun, emotional ride.
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I loved the different pov of each woman in the story. I as relatable in the insecurities of friendships. I was able to look at my own friendships and see if they are true friendships or not. Friendships come and go and sometimes they just grow overtime the more you learn about each other. Thank you for my advanced copy!
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A special thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for this advance copy in exchange for my honest review. This one was unexpected but I really enjoyed it!

I’ll admit that I requested this one because the allure of three friends meeting in Paris - I love all things French and the culture, but aside from being the setting of some of the book, these characters were so endearing and raw, and honest at times. I loved how the author described each of their stories and how they came together, and wrote with such real emotion when conflict struck. I loved it.

I also should note that one character’s daughter is autistic, and being the mom of an autistic son, I thought it was really refreshing to honestly describe the struggles, as well as the celebrations of being a parent to an autistic child - I’ve felt them all. I felt like she was really trying to celebrate neuro diversity, and I appreciated that. I highly recommend if you’re a fan of contemporary fiction.

Thank you again to NetGalley and the publishers for this advance copy! Pub date is next week, July 26th!
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