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Paris Was the Place Paperback – May 6, 2014

3.8 out of 5 stars 104 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“A satisfying cassoulet of questions about home, comfort and love, served with a fresh perspective on a dazzling city.”
People

“Exquisite. . . . A story about hope, love, family, forgiveness, expectation, risk, loss, and letting go.”
The Boston Globe, “Pick of the Week”
 
“Susan Conley’s Paris Was the Place has the kind of emotional weight you hope for in a novel. . . . Achingly beautiful.”
—Richard Russo

“What’s a more seductive place to set a novel than in Paris? This story of a young American woman working abroad is both delicious and poignant, a tale of love and loss and, ultimately, hope. When Willie Pears helps a desperate girl escape immigration detention, she endangers her career and her budding romance with a French lawyer. The love of friends and family help her through this crisis, and the tragedy to come. Gorgeously written, this book had me in tears by the end.”—Tess Gerritsen, Judge for the 2019 Maine Humanities Council Summer Read ME Statewide Community Read Selection
 
“Deeply felt.”
Elle
 
“Sensual and seductive, Paris Was the Place pulls you in and doesn’t let you go. Find your nearest chair and start reading.”
—Lily King

“Susan Conley's deft, moving novel is a beautiful love song, as much to Paris as to that tipping point in life when love and loss combine and perhaps, for the first time, both heartbroken and thrilled, you feel acutely what it means to be fully human and alive.”
—Sarah Blake, author of The Postmistress

“Reminds us that it is impossible to separate what is hideous from what is lovely in our everyday lives.”
The Portland Phoenix

“Conley’s debut novel zips its readers to the Paris of the 1980s. . . . At its heart the story explores the ties between family and friends, but also delights around the edges with descriptions of a sky ‘flanged lilac,’ dove gray apartments buildings, cafes with awnings, and crepes with lemon and butter and sugar.”
Reader’s Digest

Paris Was the Place is a gorgeous love story and a wise, intimate journal of dislocation that examines how far we'll go for the people we love most. I couldn’t put it down.”
—Ayelet Waldman, author of Red Hook Road

“Much more than a love story. . . . The brief flashbacks are so vivid you would swear the author went through that primal experience.”
The Stamford Advocate    

“Deftly exploring the complexities of friendship, family, and commitment, Conley adroitly demonstrates her infectious passion for Paris through an extensive and intimate portrait of the inner workings concealed behind its seductive façade.”
Booklist

“A suspenseful story, full of moral choices and deep feeling. Willow is an irresistible heroine.”
—Margot Livesey, author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy

“[Paris Was the Place] reminds us through the openheartedness of its compassion of the infinity of ways in which doing what we can for others might represent the best we can do in terms of saving ourselves.”
—Jim Shepard, author of You Think That’s Bad

“An affecting debut.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Smart and compulsively readable, Paris Was the Place is a bittersweet meditation on responsibility and family, and on the power of words to save us.”
—Maryanne O’Hara, author of Cascade

“Tenderhearted, earnest, and sincere.”
Publishers Weekly

“A heartrending and deeply hopeful novel. . . . [Conley’s] immigrant girls are tenderly drawn, full of pathos. One feels a need get to close to them, to provide some comfort, to find some way to fix this broken system and this brutal world. Thankfully, Willie Pears—Conley’s big-hearted, clear-eyed narrator—is there.”
—Sarah Braunstein, author of The Sweet Relief of Missing Children

About the Author

Susan Conley is the author of The Foremost Good Fortune, a book that won the Maine Literary Award for memoir and was a Goodreads Choice Award finalist. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. She’s been awarded fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the Massachusetts Arts Council. She teaches at the University of Southern Maine's Stonecoast MFA writing program, and is the cofounder of The Telling Room, a creative-writing lab in Portland, Maine, where she lives with her husband and their two sons.

Product details

  • ASIN : 0307739872
  • Publisher : Vintage; Reprint edition (May 6, 2014)
  • Language: : English
  • Paperback : 368 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 9780307739872
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0307739872
  • Item Weight : 8 ounces
  • Dimensions : 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    3.8 out of 5 stars 104 ratings

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Customer reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5
104 global ratings
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Top reviews from other countries

Kate Hopkins
4.0 out of 5 stars A Song of Love, Death - and Paris
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 2, 2018
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1.0 out of 5 stars Paris will always be the place
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 16, 2013
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J. Teoh
5.0 out of 5 stars An engaging, suprising read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 27, 2013
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