Paris By the Book by Liam Callanan

A missing person, a grieving family, a curious clue: a half-finished manuscript set in Paris. Heading off in search of its author, a mother and her daughters find themselves in France, rescuing a failing bookstore and drawing closer to unexpected truths.

Liam Callanan is a novelist, teacher and journalist. His novel, Paris by the Book was translated into multiplelanguages and was the 2019 winner of the Edna Ferber Prize. He’s also the 2017 winner of the Hunt Prize, and his first novel, The Cloud Atlas, was a finalist for an Edgar Award. Liam’s work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Slate, The New York Times, The Washington Post and The San Francisco Chronicle, and he’s recorded numerous essays for public radio.  He’s also taught for the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers and the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, and lives in Wisconsin with his wife and daughters.

Grateful Reader Review by Dorothy Schwab

Dreams…. Do you have them only when you’re young? Do you give them up for your spouse and family? Do you follow them no matter who gets hurt or who you leave behind? This is one of the far reaching conundrums of growing into an adult, falling in love and getting married as you are growing, and hopefully changing. Now what? The decisions you make have a lasting impact on your own life plus the ones you’ve created! Seems so heavy, but Paris By the Book explores these questions through the narration of Leah, whose author husband, Robert Eady, has made the decision to leave his family. The search for Robert leads Leah and her daughters to Paris-their longed for, beloved “family dream trip.” The girls have grown up reading Ludwig Bemelmans’ Madeline and have plotted for years all the places to visit -exactly as presented in “the book”. Following their “Paris by the book” was a charming way to explore all the feelings involved. Liam Callanan delves into abandonment, independence, and denial, then into forgiveness and acceptance. I did need to run out and buy Madeline and revisit the Paris of dreams, as the Eady girls did. (Link added below; Merci beaucoup!)

So Liam Callanan asks the reader if Paris is so wonderful because everyone there is dreaming it to be OR because it really is?? I hope to visit one day and find out for myself.

Go get a copy of Paris By the Book and Madeline so you can begin your own “dream trip to Paris!”

Madeline is a book series, part of the Madeline media franchise, originally created by Ludwig Bemelmans. The series follows the daily adventures of Madeline, a 7-year-old girl attending a boarding school in Paris with eleven other girls, under the care of their teacher, Miss Clavel.

I would want this one pictured; with the pop-up spread of Paris! “Au revoir!” GR

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