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Goodbye, Paris by Anstey Harris
Contemporary fiction

Goodbye, Paris


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

by Anstey Harris

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?

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Free sample

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

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.

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Member ratings (3,457)

  • Wesley S.

    Davenport, 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.

  • Sara A.

    Denver, CO

    What I loved about this book is that while it was short, it had so much heart. The characters were rich and well developed, and there was so much that I was left to think about when the book was over.

  • Kelly G.

    Kalispell, MT

    Intelligent, smart and so much more than I was expecting. I really loved the instrument making and the role music played in the story. A much more emotionally intelligent book than I was anticipating.