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A lyrical tale of love and its aftermath in the City of Light.
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 beginn...
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...
Get an early look from the first pages of Anstey Harris's Goodbye, Paris.Read a sample →
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."
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.