If you are having difficulty navigating this website please contact us at member.services@bookofthemonth.com or 1-877-236-8540.

Get your first book for $5 with code PETALS at checkout.

Join today!

We’ll make this quick.

First, enter your email. Then choose your move.

By tapping "Pick a book now" or "Pick a book later", you agree to Book of the Month’s Terms of use and Privacy policy.

Goodbye, Paris by Anstey Harris
Contemporary fiction

Goodbye, Paris


We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Anstey Harris, on your first book!

by Anstey Harris

Excellent choice

Just enter your email to add this book to your box.

By tapping "Add to box", you agree to Book of the Month’s Terms of use and Privacy policy.

Quick take

A lyrical tale of love and its aftermath in the City of Light.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Emotional


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_ForbiddenLove

    Forbidden love

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_International


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_LoveTriangle

    Love triangle


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.

But when David saves the life of a woman in the Paris Metro, his resulting fame shines a light onto the real state of the relationship(s) in his life. Shattered, Grace hits rock bottom and abandons everything that has been important to her, including her dream of entering and winning the world's most important violin-making competition. Her closest friends—a charming elderly violinist with a secret love affair of his own, and her store clerk, a gifted but angst-ridden teenage girl—step in to help, but will their friendship be enough to help her pick up the pieces?

Read less

Free sample

Get an early look from the first pages of Anstey Harris's Goodbye, Paris.
Goodbye, Paris

Chapter One

We were staying at David's apartment in Paris the night the woman fell onto the Metro tracks.

It was late July, one of those sweating, angry evenings when the heartbeat of the city quickens as it reaches a breaking point, where it readies itself for the rushed exit of August. Shopkeepers hurry their customers through with the same urgency that they will use to take to the motorways any day now. Children bubble with excitement and young people shout across the summer air. They will all be leaving in less than a week and they can't wait. I've never been in Paris long enough to feel like that about it.

That night, David and I had been to the conservatoire for a concert. It was a surprise gift, a romantic gesture.

"These are for you," he said, and slid the envelope across the breakfast table towards me. It said For Grace in his neat handwriting, the sloping letters drawn with the black fountain pen he always uses. "You've been working too hard. And I"—he stood up and came to my side of the table, curling his arms around me and kissing my face—"have been a lousy boyfriend."

"As if."

David is never a lousy boyfriend. He thinks of everything and leaves nothing to chance; it's part of his charm.

I opened the envelope, gasped at the program, the appropriateness of it. David can bring things to my life that I don't even know are missing.

Create a free account!

Sign up to see book details, our quick takes, and more.

By tapping "Sign up", you agree to Book of the Month’s Terms of use and Privacy policy.

Why I love it

I think if the news cycle was less intense, or I wasn’t in desperate need of a palate cleanser post-Handmaid’s Tale and Westworld, I might have overlooked this book. I’m not naturally drawn to romantic stories (see above), and the idea of reading about a cello maker in the throes of a long-distance affair felt out of my wheelhouse. But skipping Goodbye, Paris would’ve been my loss.

From the beginning I was hooked: When David, married father of three, saves someone on a subway platform in Paris, the surveillance footage of the incident turns him into a national hero. Unfortunately, his valiance is captured right along with the fact that he is clearly on a night out with Grace, an instrument maker and former cello prodigy who is definitely not his wife. When the ensuing media whirlwind drags their infidelity into the limelight, Grace is left tending to her instruments and waiting for David to declare his marriage is over. But will she hold out for him to finally go all in with her, or begin to see her life’s trajectory in a new light?

There are a lot of ways to read and enjoy the characters in this book. Hate-read David for any ex you need to remember and then excise (it’s cathartic, I promise). Joy-read Mr. Williams and Nadia, an unusual pair of sidekicks and music enthusiasts who bring hope when Grace is in dire straits. And cheer-read Grace, who makes classical music exhilarating, who perseveres in the face of heartbreak, and is the unlikely, though very winning, hero of her own story.

Read less

Member ratings (3,496)

  • Wesley S.

    Clermont, FL

    This book capture such brilliant emotions! I haven’t read a book that so accurately explains part of the musician’s realm of thought and life. Could not put this down! Extremely moving and motivating!

  • elice h.

    Goochland, VA

    I am not a musician, can’t carry a tune, but this book made me feel the beauty of Grace’s music. She didn’t always make the best choices in life but what a good choice of friends! Read this one!

  • Bethany J.

    Custer, SD

    I don’t think the writing style/main character is for everyone. I could relate to Grace and how easy it is to be deceived by a person you love and trust. I loved reading her journey through her music.

  • Ashley B.

    Richmond, VA

    Beautifully written with an overwhelming emotional ending as everything comes together for each characters' charming new journey. The book itself is a symphony of music, European light, and emotions.

  • Margaret K.

    Houston, TX

    What a short but super sweet story this was! I loved the detail of Grace's instrument creation process and the charming cast of characters around her. This book as like a never-ending pile of cookies!

Create a free account!

Sign up to see book details, our quick takes, and more.

By tapping "Sign up", you agree to Book of the Month’s Terms of use and Privacy policy.