by Nicole Kennedy
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Pub Date 21 Jul 2022 | Archive Date 21 Jul 2022
Head of Zeus, Aria
Three women take the same Eurostar to Paris for a girls' trip, but take separate trains back. What happened that weekend? A thought-provoking and gripping novel about trying to hold on to friendships when you start to grow apart.
Three best friends. A weekend away. And a whole lot of baggage.
Alice, Nina and Jules have been best friends for twenty years. They met in Paris and return there once a year, to relive their youth, leave the troubles of home behind, and indulge in each other's friendship and warmth. But this year, aged thirty-nine, the cracks in their relationships are starting to show...
After their weekend together in Paris, the three women never speak again. Each claims the other two ghosted them. But is there more to the story?
Praise for After Paris:
'An insightful, keenly observed story about friendship and motherhood, the internal struggles we all face and our flaws and fallibility as humans. Gripping yet tender, it's a thoughtful look at the truths we choose to face and those we turn away from. I think every reader will find a version of themselves somewhere in this book, and this is what Nicole Kennedy does so brilliantly' Holly Miller, author of What Might Have Been
'A refreshing and authentic take on female friendship. Complex, flawed and so real, I loved spending time with these three women' Louise Hare, author of This Lovely City
'Nicole Kennedy writes beautifully about female friendship, family dramas, relationships, parenting, and the city of Paris. Moving, funny, and hugely relatable' Andrea Mara, author of All Her Fault
'A perfect holiday read, compulsively readable but also intriguing, thought-provoking and so good on female friendship' Laura Marshall, author of Friend Request
'Touching, evocative and impossible to put down' Lorraine Brown
Praise for Nicole Kennedy:
'Thought-provoking, fluid, vivid... and a reminder to us all that our inside lives rarely reflect what we show on the outside. I loved it' Lia Louis
'I couldn't put it down... Nicole Kennedy writes so brilliantly about the weird world we live in' Lucy Vine, author of Bad Choices
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 44 members
A remarkable tale a friendship has lasted years. A trip is a catalyst to bring a lot of truth to light in a friendship. I really enjoyed the setting and characters. But mostly what I enjoyed about this book was the incredible story.
I really liked this book, it was well written with a compelling story and well developed characters that were relatable and believeable. I was gripped right from the start and it has made me want to go to Paris even more.
I absolutely adored this book. I think it is rare to find a book that is purely about female friendships, and while there were romance elements and more secondary significant other characters, this story of the journey of friendship so resonated with me.
Things I loved:
- All three girls' points of views were perfect in following the story and how they perceived certain situations. Sometimes with books that are split perspective, I find myself looking forward to certain narrators over others, but I genuinely loved all of the characters and equally looked forward to their reality.
- Captured the intricacy and insecurity in friendships - even lifelong ones that you should feel the most secure in. Especially in this reality of social media, comparisons of who's doing what and where they're at in their lives, and the fear of being vulnerable when you don't always have it together, even with people you are the closest to.
- The complexity of humans at different stages in their lives. I felt like this novel worked to break down a lot of stigmas of who women "should be" at different moments in their lives, and accurately captured the pressures that come with those stages (careers, motherhood, etc.).
- Such a unique story line. The timeline throughout the book was absolutely perfect, too, with the set up of their friendship when they were younger and then flipping back and forth between the main Paris trip and past trips/events, and then the fall out of the weekend after they all ghost.
The only thing I have to somewhat critique is the formatting of the book. There were a lot of page breaks and changing narrator perspectives within the same chapters and even though the name of each focused character was before the narrative started back up again, it felt a little choppy in some instances. Maybe I should have just paid attention better, and I may just be used to books where each chapter is the different narrator perspective. It certainly didn't take away from the overall enjoyment of the book, though!
This ARC was provided to me via Kindle, Head of Zeus and by #NetGalley. Opinions expressed are completely my own.
Likable characters, well crafted story. Confronting friendships, insecurity and life how we embrace it individually at different stages. ,
I really, really enjoyed this book! It was such a compelling and relatable story! I’ll be looking forward to adding a physical copy to my collection soon!
I enjoyed this book more than I expected to. I don't generally read chick lit, but I found Alice, Jules and Nina compelling. I especially liked Alice. They meet at the Crillon in Paris by chance and become fast friends, texting all the time and reuniting in Paris every year. But then after their most recent long weekend in Paris, they drift apart. This book jumps back in forth to different years in Paris until about halfway through when we find out what happened in Paris. Then the rest of the book addresses the aftermath and the misunderstandings between all three.
After Paris is a heartfelt tribute to friendship and a lovely read!
Alice, Jules, and Nina meet in a bathroom in a fancy hotel in Paris as teenagers and their lives change forever as they become close friends and navigate love, work, life. The story spans 20 years and there are plenty of laughs, heartaches, and surprises along the way. I recommend it to readers of women’s fiction and Francophiles. Enjoy!
Thank you to NetGalley and Head of Zeus for the opportunity to read this ARC.
Thoroughly enjoyed this novel, a well-written look at the complexities of female friendships in modern times. The characters are developed beautifully and the pace of the story is very well developed throughout the book. It will make you want to book a trip to Paris immediately!
I really enjoyed this novel - I liked how it uniquely explored the lives of 3 women, and their growth, regrets and heartbreak they experienced together and individually.
Often with books about women’s separate lives and united friendship, authors utilize the same problems or issues for someone to face, however this one was the opposite. I loved the unique story lines that kennedy explored for each character, with aspects such as neurodiverenge, addiction and fear of failure being investigated in such an honest and vulnerable way for the three main characters.
Loved this book, and it definitely made me want to visit paris more :) highly recommend!!
Thank you to netgalley and the author for the arc of this novel.
First off I would like to thank NetGalley and Head of Zeus for providing me with this ARC. I have always wanted to visit Paris and this book made me want to visit more. The premise of the book is that 3 best friends take the same Eurostar to Paris for a girls' weekend, but take separate trains back. Now the reader is left with the challenge of what exactly happened that weekend. Well I won’t give that away lol. But I will tell you what I loved about the book. The storyline was hilarious and heartfelt. The characters could be felt off the pages. They seem so real but at the same you could see their defects. I also loved that each of the friends had their own problems that they were dealing with, which brought a new aspect to the book. I’m glad each character didn’t have the same problem. My only concern about the book was that it was hard to tell if it was in the past or the present. But despite that concern I still recommend this book!
With believable, relatable characters, this book is a unique and engrossing exploration of female friendships and the way they grow and change over time.
Three women take the same Eurostar to Paris for a girls' trip, but take separate trains back. What happened that weekend? A thought-provoking and gripping novel about trying to hold on to friendships when you start to grow apart. A story that takes a dark turn, has several surprises and kept me on my toes right up to the final page!
Everyone should read this book, it really shows the boundaries of friendship between people, was glued to it from the first page, loved it ..
Alice, Jules, and Nina meet, in rather dramatic fashion, at a debutante ball in Paris, and become fast friends. Over the decades they support each other through the adventures of adulthood--education and careers, romantic entanglements and marriage, pregnancy and child-rearing--and meet regularly for weekends in Paris. Until one weekend, when all three women are "off" and they cannot seem to connect as they once did. Alice is worried about having left her children, especially her autistic daughter, with her husband, and about her nascent career in interior design. Nina seems to have it all together, with her expanding empire of patisseries, but she is hiding the secret of a new pregnancy and is not sure how she feels about it. But, the one thing she knows is that she cannot tell Jules, who is deep in a world of IVF attempts and miscarriages. After two days, in which they fail to truly engage with one another, two of them leave the apartment suddenly and separately, in the early morning, leaving the third sitting alone at brunch and wondering what has happened. Their lack of connection and poor communication leads to months and months of no contact, as their worlds are thrown into upheaval. In these months "after Paris" they wonder about their friends and their friendship.. As I raced through this lively and engaging book, I wondered when they would actually talk to each other and get beyond these obstacles. This is a thoughtful story of female friendship, for better or worse. Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to review this ARC!
This is definitely one to read about friendships and how they can test you. Loved all the twists and turns and also the unexpected!
This book touched on so many important concepts: female friendships, neurodiversity, substance abuse, addictions, and fidelity. The book’s characters seem totally normal—our friends and struggles. But it still transported me by taking me to Paris, walking along the Seine, eating croissants. I loved it.
I enjoyed <i>After Paris</i> a lot more than I expected to. The major plot points aren't that different from a lot of the female friendship-centered books on the market right now, but I really like how Nicole Kennedy explores the breakdown of those friendships that tend to happen when people hit their 30s. The characters each have to work through their flaws and struggles while becoming more aware that everyone in their lives is going through something.
Thank you, NetGalley, for the ARC of this book.
This for me was a unique tale about friendship.
Three women who have essentially watched each other grown and evolve over the years suddenly find themselves you at a cross roads of sorts.
I loved that it was told from three points of view. It was interesting to see each characters thoughts on certain events, just how they differed from one another. These narrations made it more realistic as it is true in real life, we all perceive things in a variety of ways.
There were times throughout where I didn't feel as though I really liked any of them. Although they'd all experienced sadness and trauma, they also came across as quite selfish at times. This wasn't something that I disliked though, it was refreshing. We all love to hate certain characters don't we.
Kennedy has really worked hard to show the complexities of humans as a whole. Even better, these complications were shown over various time periods. Showing us that no matter how old we get, life really doesn't get simpler.
Not everything is black and white and some secrets and lies seem necessary at times (we've all hidden things for what we think is the greater good haven't we).
There are many subjects covered in this novel. From abortion and miscarriage to adultery and addiction. I was impressed as none of the above were simply glossed over. Each issue was treated as important and the reasons behind them also came across as honest and justified.
Over all, After Paris is filled with great emotions.
I admired its honesty.
This book was a fun treat! I loved it! It was a good reset after I read a heavier book. It kept me flipping pages well past my bedtime!!
Friends can become your family as they truly support you to become the best versions of yourself. Jules, Alice and Nina may have met simply due to coincidence but they grew to be sisters in all sense and purpose. What saddened me as a reader that when they needed each other and had a whole different side of themselves that caused serious emotional and in Jules case financially as well, they simply didn't feel they had each other and was effectively "ghosted". What's App remained silent. I was so happy that each spoke their truth and regained their friendship. Like Paul said, they raised their arms to the sky and celebrated life. It is love that matters.
After Paris is a novel which follows the friendship and falling out of three women - Jules, Alice and Nina - who meet in Paris as teenagers and forge a relationship that grows as they do as women.
It is almost 20 years after they meet and they have a weekend together to refresh and refocus - but by the end of the trip, each one comes back alone and swears the others have ghosted her.
The blurb caught my attention as I think ghosting people has become all too much of a reality in our modern techno-focused world, Kennedy skillfully weaves the plot together, revealing just enough to keep the reader hanging on for more. I thought each of the women had a very real issue that prevented them from reaching out and the author doesn't shy away from big topics like addiction, abortion, neurodiversity and handles them deftly where the issue doesn't overtake the character.
What I enjoyed most about this novel was that the love story was between the friends and celebrated the richness of long term female friendships.
After Paris is a wonderful story about female friendships, growing up, finding out who you are and what you really want- all the best things in a story like this. It starts with some very posh debutante types about to attend a ball in Paris - I had no idea that even happened! - and we meet Alice Digby who is there with her friend Teddy, who she doesnt find attractive at all. honest. Whilst they are getting ready for the ball, we also meet the beautiful artistic Nina, who is at the ball because of her father, and sensible (almost dowdy) Jules who is there to watch from the sidelines. The four teenagers decide to make a break for it, and leave the ball in search of wild Parisian adventures - and a circle of best friends is born that night.
Fast forward 20 years when the women are now meeting up for a regular trip to Paris to spend time together. Julia is a city exec who is desperate to have a child, Nina is head of a fabulous chain of chic bakeries , and Alice married Teddy, had three children and is trying to find out what she wants from life.
The story flits between their teenage idealism and passions to the current day where they have all such different lifestyles from one another and fear they may be drifting apart. The latest weekend in Paris uncovers deeply hidden truths for all of them and they return as very different people from when they set off. The blurb on the back tells us that they don't return together - although this is quite a long way into the story - so the seed is set from the beginning for a falling out, and how this can be handled
It is an ideal summer read, it will make you appreciate your friends and what you have, and maybe question what you're really after. Its very easy to read and get engrossed into, the friendship and love between the three of them is strong and real. It also tackles some trickier issues which aren't often covered in female-led fiction, which was refreshing to see.
A solid 4 stars from me!
Such a great read! There are so many aspects of each friend that feels relatable and real, all while exploring the importance of honest connection in friends. Loved it!
~thank you to the publisher Head of Zeus, Aria and NetGalley for the advanced readers copy in exchange for an honest review ~
I have extremely complicated feelings about this one.
On the one hand, I devoured this is one sitting because it was so enthralling and I just needed to know what would happen next. Knowing the secrets and just waiting to see them be reveal honestly was making my heart race throughout, I haven't been so completely captivated in a while, granted the reveals felt anti-climatic when we did come to it.
But on the other hand, and I'm sure this is not meant to be the takeaway from this story - I just could not for the life of me understand why Alice, Jules and Nina were ever friends in the first place. I found their individual stories so compelling (albeit a little toxic) but their friendship made absolute no sense to me. When I think of true sisterhood and friendship, I wouldn't think of trio as exemplar of this. The secrets that they kept from each other, big secrets at that, that really affected one another's lives completely blew my mind. It was completely unsurprising that they drifted apart the way they do, when you spend the first half learning how their friendship was riddled with lack of communication and jealousy. Did 'After Paris' capture the intricacies that come with female friendships? Sure. But I think I struggled with understanding the trio, when my own personal experiences and beliefs of what these friendships should be is so far removed from I read. I'm in awe their friendship lasted as long as it did if I'm being honest, but I still appreciated how it all came together in the end and the acceptance they found with each other. The epilogue was so sweet to read to.
The structure of this book was confusing to navigate - not only the back and forth between time periods but working out who was narrating at any given time.
That being said, Nicole Kennedy expertly handled many important topics throughout such as addiction, abortion, infertility, neurodiversity in a manner that never felt forced, but engaging and real.
Thoughts on the friendship aside, this was an enjoyable read that has me counting days till August when I get off the Eurostar at Gare du Nord and walk along the Seine with my closest gal pals!
This is a great book! The characters are believable, the settings are amazing. This is definitely one I will add to my Amazon wish list! Nicole Kennedy has a masterful book on her hands.
I really enjoyed this book from the very first chapter. Alice, Nina and Jules are all so different yet they meet in the bathroom at the Hotel Crillon in Paris when they’re seventeen and revisit Paris every year after that.
Told in all three voices, the narrative jumps around in time to give you background on their relationships. And my goodness, are they messy. Nothing is as it seems and although they tell themselves that they share everything, they don’t.
I raced through the book, desperate to find out what happened. But also to see how these women developed and grew as people - how the things that occurred in their lives changed them and their relationships. There was so much going on with each one.
I loved this immersive read. I’ll be back for more from Nicole Kennedy.
Alice, Nina and Jules met 20 years ago in Paris when they were teenagers. Each year they return to France to relieve their youth and enjoy their friendship. But this year is going to be different. Each of them is hiding a secret and cracks in their relationships are starting to show.
This was a beautiful story about friendship and how sometimes no matter how hard you try things don’t always go to plan.
After Paris tells the story of Alice, Jules, and Nina. They are three close friends who go on a holiday in Paris together but return their separate ways. What happened in Paris? Can it be fixed?
I was instantly atracted by this book's description and knew I would totally love it! After Paris didn't disappoint. I did see a few nods to The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald which made me feel very excited and ultimately connected to Nicole Kennedy as a writer.
In After Paris, Nicole Kennedy is able to create seemingly flawed characters that you can root for which as we all know, is not always easy to do. I was particularly interested in the way friendship was analysed, and how a small incident and miscommunication can break down a years-long friendship.
A solid read!
Disclosure: I would like to thank the publisher and author for my advanced review copy of the book. This is my honest review
Thank you Netgalley for the ARC of After Paris.
Overall a fun read, some minor twists and turns. The way the three friends meet in the beginning was unique and creative.
A story focused on female friendship spanning multiple decades, the ties that bind us, and the circumstances that slowly sever us or completely tear us apart, After Paris is a lovely narrative on the way friendships change and evolve as we age.
Easy reading, kept me interested to turn the page.
This is the story of a friendship between three women from different backgrounds. They meet at Le Bal in Paris as teenagers, and the story follows the development of their friendship over the next several years. Through their individual struggles and growth, they always share their love of Paris. The story jumps from the weekend trip they take in their mid-thirties to their trips in the years leading up to it.
I had a little trouble following the storyline at the beginning since it jumps around a bit. But by the time I caught on (I would say 20% of the way into the book) I was sucked into the story. Each chapter is labeled with when it’s happening so it’s really not that confusing, I just struggled. She incorporates small details in a very subtle way that allows for their story to unfold naturally on both timelines. And by the time I got to the climax of the story, I had a hard time putting this book down.
In addition, this book addressed a lot of themes that I haven’t seen a lot in contemporary fiction, and I really enjoyed that. I don’t want to get into the details because I don’t want to spoil anything, but it really was refreshing to read about something new. I love a good story that gives me wanderlust- and I definitely got some ideas for things to do the next time I’m in Paris- but the relationships that develop in this book really drive the story. Their friendship has lasted over so many years. They have each grown and changed during that period, but they continue to support one another through their individual struggles. And I think that is highlighted well by the time span of the story. This book is a good combination of relationship-driven story that still has a pretty juicy plot. A great summer read!
Nice to have a book about girlfriends and female friendships gone awry. Found this to be fey poignant and an enjoyable read.
I love books about female friendships — perhaps a topic that does not get as much attention as it should! After Paris was a great read that embodied the complex nature of female friendships.
I enjoy stories where women are allowed to be struggling, messy, and relatable. I feel like I related to all the characters in one way or another, as they are all so different but similar. I loved the inclusion of different perspectives, making the story more realistic and intricate.
Overall, I loved this book more than I thought I would. I’m excited to read Nicole Kennedy’s other books!
After Paris by Nicole Kennedy is a novel that is very...chick lit, but one that, while predictable, is about the strength of friendship and the truth of growing up and growing together.
Alice, Nina and Jules all meet by chance when they are young women in Paris by chance. After one wild night. the three women have formed a bond that is exactly what each has always needed. They plan to meet in Paris, year after year to relive that night.
This isn't like a 'one night in Paris' sort of friendship. They are friends in London and while in University, but their trips are always something special. But now, in present-day, this current trip, they all have secrets. Jules is desperate to have a child...but seems distracted by something else. Nina, currently running an up-and-coming patisserie, doesn't seem to be drinking as much as normal. Alice seems to be subdued and distracted by her children at home.
They all leave the trip separately, and without telling each other. Months go by....and silence.
This is a story of friends and secrets. And how we sometimes keep secrets from those we love the most. It's a wonderfully lovely book about women, modern women and I quite enjoyed it.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for the opportunity to read and review this book.
After Paris is a beautiful story of adult friendships that spans years and really resonated with me. I absolutely loved the setting and characters and can't wait to read another story told by Nicole Kennedy. Thank you to publisher, Head of Zeus for gifting me an eARC of this novel.
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