Goodbye, Paris
Jojo Moyes meets Eleanor Oliphant in Goodbye, Paris, an utterly charming novel that proves that sometimes you have to break your heart to make it whole.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?Filled with lovable, quirky characters, this poignant novel explores the realities of relationships and heartbreak and shows that when it comes to love, there's more than one way to find happiness.

Goodbye, Paris Details

TitleGoodbye, Paris
Author
ReleaseAug 7th, 2018
PublisherTouchstone
ISBN-139781501196508
Rating
GenreFiction, Romance, Womens Fiction, Chick Lit

Goodbye, Paris Review

  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    January 1, 1970
    4 stars to Goodbye, Paris! 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 Wow, Grace, the main character in Goodbye, Paris is leading a complicated life. She had once been a prominent cellist, but something happened in college that has kept her from playing in public since. Grace leads a somewhat hidden life while she has a long-distance affair with a man named David who is married with children. She is tied to David and waiting for him to leave his marriage for her, but he openly refuses until his children are grown. And until that 4 stars to Goodbye, Paris! 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 Wow, Grace, the main character in Goodbye, Paris is leading a complicated life. She had once been a prominent cellist, but something happened in college that has kept her from playing in public since. Grace leads a somewhat hidden life while she has a long-distance affair with a man named David who is married with children. She is tied to David and waiting for him to leave his marriage for her, but he openly refuses until his children are grown. And until that time, Grace waits.........David gains unplanned public attention when he heroically saves a woman on the Metro. However, the fame comes at a cost: his privacy. Grace is left broken-hearted and is considering bowing out of the her cello-making competition into which she has put all of her energy. Grace’s saviors come in the forms of two unlikely friends, an eighty-year-old man and a teenage girl. How will this quirky pair help Grace put the pieces of her shattered life back together?Goodbye, Paris is a charming, comforting story of overcoming obstacles and pain through friendship and how a heart can mend itself with the bolstering of steadfast companions. Thank you to Touchstone for the complimentary ARC. All opinions are my own. My reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com
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  • Fran
    January 1, 1970
    Grace Atherton was a promising cellist. Her mother worked two jobs and her dad was a mechanic. Her parents paid more for her cello than they did for the family car. They dreamed Grace's dreams. In her first year of college, Grace was traumatized. Criticism and humiliation destroyed her confidence. Her overly critical professor asked her to leave his music program. She never played cello in public again.Grace found her calling. She became a luthier, a restorer and maker of violins and violas. She Grace Atherton was a promising cellist. Her mother worked two jobs and her dad was a mechanic. Her parents paid more for her cello than they did for the family car. They dreamed Grace's dreams. In her first year of college, Grace was traumatized. Criticism and humiliation destroyed her confidence. Her overly critical professor asked her to leave his music program. She never played cello in public again.Grace found her calling. She became a luthier, a restorer and maker of violins and violas. She soon started to craft cellos as well. She played her cello alone in her house using it as a coping mechanism. She practiced for herself. A chance meeting at a party hooked her up with David, a married man. They had an instant connection, were head over heels in love. They visualized their future marriage and family when his young children were older. In the meantime, he lovingly showed Grace, by his thoughts and actions, that she was loved and highly valued. He surprised her by entering her in the Cremona Triennale Competition in Italy. Held in Cremona, the birthplace of Antonio Stradivari, the judges would determine the top violin, voila, cello and bass. The winner in each category would find the prices of their instruments soar as a result of this recognition. Grace must now craft a flawless cello. Winning could fulfill her promises and dreams.Recently, Grace and David had returned from a getaway in Paris. After attending a concert, they walked to the Metro. As the train approached, a young woman fell on the tracks. Without a second's thought, David jumped onto the tracks and was able to whisk her away moments before the train entered the station. Trying to avoid recognition, David and Grace went up the escalator to leave the Metro station. The public had other ideas. They wanted to acknowledge the gallant hero. CCTV footage revealed the mystery man, David and arguably proof of his dalliance with Grace. She was devastated. Back in England, Grace had been able to cultivate two friendships. Mr. Williams, a customer and eighty year old violinist and Nadia, her eighteen year old angst ridden shop assistant. Their support of downtrodden Grace helped her heal from her heartbreak.Grace's job as luthier was fascinating. I learned that a cello never sounds as good on the first bowing. If a great instrument has been crafted, it will continue to sound better over the years of playing. The depth of sound will be conveyed through the rings and knots of the wood."Goodbye,Paris" by Anstey Harris is ultimately a novel showing that disappointment and heartbreak must not prevail. Support and encouragement can change a narrative and create a different path to happiness.Thank you Touchstone and Anstey Harris for the opportunity to read "Goodbye, Paris" in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Liz
    January 1, 1970
    The marketing for this book stated it was for fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, which was a favorite of mine. So, I had to give this a try. At the beginning, I didn’t see the connection. Grace is already in a relationship, albeit with a married man. But while they are together in Paris, he saves a woman in the metro and their lives are changed. The book is told from Grace’s perspective and she paints David in a wonderful light. But I disliked him from the get go. Call it my personal q The marketing for this book stated it was for fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, which was a favorite of mine. So, I had to give this a try. At the beginning, I didn’t see the connection. Grace is already in a relationship, albeit with a married man. But while they are together in Paris, he saves a woman in the metro and their lives are changed. The book is told from Grace’s perspective and she paints David in a wonderful light. But I disliked him from the get go. Call it my personal quirk. I’ve got a real problem with adultery. I never buy the whole “staying together for the kids” BS. But I loved the relationship between Grace and Nadia. And with Mr. Williams. It is like Eleanor in that these friendships are not the standard. Their initial bond is music. I am always in awe of writers that can translate making art or music onto the written page. Harris has that ability. “We are an engine, the three of us, and we play with exactness, precision. We play like we are making a pact with the devil.” Harris also has the ability to describe the instruments. “The music this instrument makes warrants real, heavy words. It keeps making me think of food : of chocolate, of treacle, of dark burnt toast and melting yellow butter.” I read this as a real paper book and I have to say, I missed being able to highlight sections on my kindle. This for example: “Isn’t that the beauty of life, Grace? Those unexpected moments where a turn that feels so wrong , so awkward at the time, blossoms into opportunities like this?” Or this: “ We are two adults with a brief episode of shared past; he’s not a monster and I’m not a failure. The past is mostly harmless.”I can’t say I understood Grace’s actions. I don’t know that I’ve ever felt that amount of pain that I would do something like that. But the book ultimately is about learning from your mistakes and finding the strength to move on. It kept my interest and was a fascinating book. And keep the hanky nearby, you’ll need it. Another favorite for 2018. Five big sweet stars. My thanks to Touchstone for an advance copy of this book.
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  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    If you put Paris on a book, it'll catch my eye every time, especially if the cover is as charming as this one. That was enough for me to add this to my reading list and enter the giveaway, but soon after, I was contacted by a representative of the publisher, offering me a copy of "Goodbye, Paris." If it hadn't been for the speed and ease in which I had received this, I would have done a little research and most likely deleted it, thinking it was just another love story--not my genre of choice, b If you put Paris on a book, it'll catch my eye every time, especially if the cover is as charming as this one. That was enough for me to add this to my reading list and enter the giveaway, but soon after, I was contacted by a representative of the publisher, offering me a copy of "Goodbye, Paris." If it hadn't been for the speed and ease in which I had received this, I would have done a little research and most likely deleted it, thinking it was just another love story--not my genre of choice, but this book turned out to be so much more.In what I've observed to be a trend in the past several years, books are becoming larger and longer. It appears that some authors tend to use a lot of filler, which ruins what otherwise could have been a notable read. In this talented author's debut novel, she successfully gives the reader a look at one woman's life from childhood to present; filled with unique, lovable characters that you'd gladly welcome into your own world; scenes and actions so vividly written that they seem to appear before your eyes; and a storyline filled with a myriad of experiences and emotions in 277 pages. I thoroughly enjoyed this little gem of a book--such a welcome change to my usual reading choices.I'd like to thank Isabel DaSilva and Touchstone Books for a copy of "Goodbye, Paris," and to say, "Hello, Anstey Harris. I thoroughly enjoyed your delightfully refreshing 'story of love' and very much look forward to reading your next book."I definitely recommend!
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  • Jenny
    January 1, 1970
    Anstey Harris choose the “feel good novel format “ for Goodbye, Paris, her first novel. She fully embraces this genre. Every person involved in this story has problems or issues or woes. And in the feel good format, all are neatly resolved by novels end.Grace Atherton has her life set. She repairs musical instruments in her shop, tends her home, and friends Nadia and Mr. Williams. Most importantly she waits patiently for the children of her married lover, David, to come of age so she and David c Anstey Harris choose the “feel good novel format “ for Goodbye, Paris, her first novel. She fully embraces this genre. Every person involved in this story has problems or issues or woes. And in the feel good format, all are neatly resolved by novels end.Grace Atherton has her life set. She repairs musical instruments in her shop, tends her home, and friends Nadia and Mr. Williams. Most importantly she waits patiently for the children of her married lover, David, to come of age so she and David can marry and live happily ever after. Life interferes with her plan.Now crisis after crisis occurs. Drugs, pregnancy, damaged instruments, retaliation by David’s other mistress, and stage fright are some of the problems.For me the weakness of the novel is that every issue is resolved. Not only resolved but resolved neatly, kindly and efficiently. It is too perfect. It is too neat.The book was eminently readable especially the descriptions of lovingly restoring the damaged instruments.If you suspend reality, you will love this book. But if reality creeps in, you will still enjoy it. I received an advance copy of this book from Netgalley. #netgalley #goodbyeparis
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  • Book of the Month
    January 1, 1970
    Why I Love Itby Steph OpitzI 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 Why I Love Itby Steph OpitzI 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 more at: https://www.bookofthemonth.com/goodby...
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  • TL
    January 1, 1970
    received this via Goodreads Giveaways in exchange for an honest review. 😊---I am not really sure what to say about this book. On one hand, I did enjoy the story but on the other hand, it didn't hit me as deeply as I wanted it to.I was side-eyeing Grace and David a lot during the first part of this (David more than Grace but still). Without saying too much, I've seen the song and dance before in books/tv shows/movies so I wasn't really surprised at what happened but I did want to kick his behind received this via Goodreads Giveaways in exchange for an honest review. 😊---I am not really sure what to say about this book. On one hand, I did enjoy the story but on the other hand, it didn't hit me as deeply as I wanted it to.I was side-eyeing Grace and David a lot during the first part of this (David more than Grace but still). Without saying too much, I've seen the song and dance before in books/tv shows/movies so I wasn't really surprised at what happened but I did want to kick his behind at a certain point.. for multiple reasons.Mr. Williams.. loved him!:) Every time he came on the scene, it never failed to bring a smile to my face. Such a good kind soul:).Nadia: I didn't feel attached to her for awhile but she slowly clawed her way in and grew on me. She had her share of problems but still soldiered on.The friendship these three had with each other touched my heart:).I was proud of Grace for getting back on her feet and (view spoiler)[breaking free of David (hide spoiler)]. She kept herself going and didn't give up.Why didn't this hit me more in the feels? I can't pinpoint it exactly.. (don't you hate when that happens?) It was more an overall feeling of disconnected-ness throughout.I will revisit this again one day and see if I still feel the same (some books grow on you more with a second read).Happy reading!
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  • Cindy Burnett
    January 1, 1970
    I had to DNF this one about a third of the way through. Grace is in a bad relationship, and all she does is constantly talk about what will happen when the day comes, and they can truly be together (a day that the reader can see won't come). I couldn't decide whether to be super irritated or feel very very sorry for her. Either way it was painful.
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  • Jill
    January 1, 1970
    To paraphrase Forrest Gump, books are sometimes like a box of chocolates—you never know what you’re going to get.From the brief synopsis I read about Goodbye, Paris, I had pegged it as typical chick lit: interesting woman character, personal growth journey, woman hits bottom and rebounds, ends up knowing more about herself.And yes, the structure is all there. BUT. And this is a big BUT. Anstey Harris can write and this story strains at its structure and ends up becoming absorbing and touching an To paraphrase Forrest Gump, books are sometimes like a box of chocolates—you never know what you’re going to get.From the brief synopsis I read about Goodbye, Paris, I had pegged it as typical chick lit: interesting woman character, personal growth journey, woman hits bottom and rebounds, ends up knowing more about herself.And yes, the structure is all there. BUT. And this is a big BUT. Anstey Harris can write and this story strains at its structure and ends up becoming absorbing and touching and downright good. Part of it, I think, is the character herself—Grace, a talented cellist who suffers from PTSD after a sadistic professor destroys her confidence. She now owns her own violin shop—she crafts cellos—and she’s good at what she does. The author knows her stuff when it comes to the music world and that world comes alive.The other main differentiator is Grace’s love affair with David—a married man whom she meets on a regular basis in Paris. Anyone who has ever been under the spell of a narcissist will understand what Grace has opened herself up to. The surprises in that relationship keep coming, even when the reader believes she has figured it all out.Add in a few more characters—the nuanced portrayal of Grace’s teenage store assistant Nadia and her friendship with an elderly elegant gentleman Mr. Williams—and a fascinating world has been created. Although there is a little too much predictability in the ending for my taste, this is a fun ride and a great summer read that I will be recommending to friends. Thanks to the publisher, Touchstone, for allowing me to be an early reader in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Noemie
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Touchstone Books for the free copy in exchange for my honest review! #partnerGrace Atherton is a lovely woman. She owns a stringed instrument shop, and makes/repairs beautiful instruments (cellos, violins, etc). She has a relationship of 8 years with her partner, David, whom she frequently meets in Paris for romantic rendezvous. One day, an unexpected event occurs, and she is faced with changes - what will her life look like now? How can she continue on?This is a very sweet book, al Thank you to Touchstone Books for the free copy in exchange for my honest review! #partnerGrace Atherton is a lovely woman. She owns a stringed instrument shop, and makes/repairs beautiful instruments (cellos, violins, etc). She has a relationship of 8 years with her partner, David, whom she frequently meets in Paris for romantic rendezvous. One day, an unexpected event occurs, and she is faced with changes - what will her life look like now? How can she continue on?This is a very sweet book, all about friendship, loss, love, and discovering yourself. The cast of characters - Grace, Mr. Williams, and Nadia - are a wonderful mismatched trio. I absolutely fell in love with these three characters, and loved the quirky moments & the development of their lives together. I loved the tones of classical music throughout this book. All the mentions of symphonies & beautiful instruments & classical composers just made me want to go listen to this beautiful music! The author did a wonderful job tying this in, but not making it seem above the average reader's head.This is a book that is well worth picking up!
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  • Beyondthebookends
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you, Touchstone for my copy of this book.  It will be released in about a week.  This is a book about Grace a musician who has to come to terms with her life, her choices and find a way toward happiness. The beginning of the book was enjoyable but the book really develops as Grace comes to find herself.  Her inter-generational friendships really brought this book to life for me. 
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  • Liz Fenwick
    January 1, 1970
    Beautiful. Loved it.
  • Cindy Roesel
    January 1, 1970
    After reading a barrage of thrillers and psychological dramas, it was more than satisfying to find the quirky GOOD-BYE, PARIS (Touchstone) on my to be read shelf. It's a delightful novel about having your heart-broken and finding happiness again. GOOD-BYE, PARIS is a cheery and incredibly satisfying read. Can you tell I liked it immensely?Grace loves the cello. Grace loves David. Grace loves Paris, her violin shop and the charming gentleman who regularly shows up in her store. Grace even loves h After reading a barrage of thrillers and psychological dramas, it was more than satisfying to find the quirky GOOD-BYE, PARIS (Touchstone) on my to be read shelf. It's a delightful novel about having your heart-broken and finding happiness again. GOOD-BYE, PARIS is a cheery and incredibly satisfying read. Can you tell I liked it immensely?Grace loves the cello. Grace loves David. Grace loves Paris, her violin shop and the charming gentleman who regularly shows up in her store. Grace even loves her rude, highly opinionated teenager store clerk, whom all the customers adore.But when David saves a woman on the Paris Metro and becomes famous, his long-distance affair with Grace is open to public scrutiny and some unexpected hidden truths find the light."Sometimes you must have your heart-broken to make it whole." GOOD-BYE PARIS has been compared to Jojo Moyes meets Eleanor Oliphant. If you've read either, you'll find something very special in GOOD-BYE, PARIS ... plus, we discover another British author, who is making her debut across the pond.
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  • Trina
    January 1, 1970
    Goodbye, Paris is a heartbreakingly, beautiful tale about relationships, the resilience of love, and the acceptance of loss all set to the backdrop of romantic cities and the arts.Grace, a former musician with a traumatic musical schooling experience, enjoys a quiet life repairing instruments in a small English town. After a chance meeting a man named David, Grace and David are mad for each other and enjoy a long-distance relationship. One casual day while waiting for the Paris Metro, David perf Goodbye, Paris is a heartbreakingly, beautiful tale about relationships, the resilience of love, and the acceptance of loss all set to the backdrop of romantic cities and the arts.Grace, a former musician with a traumatic musical schooling experience, enjoys a quiet life repairing instruments in a small English town. After a chance meeting a man named David, Grace and David are mad for each other and enjoy a long-distance relationship. One casual day while waiting for the Paris Metro, David performs a heroic act that catapults him to social media hero status which then turns the spotlight on his life. This turn of events showcased to Grace that things are other than what they seem. Leaning on unlikely acquaintances who become close friends, Grace attempts to unravel the truth while also attempting to live her life the best she can.I enjoyed reading Goodbye, Paris. It was very well-written with well-developed characters. It wasn’t a typical love story but instead lent itself more to love, joy and happiness being partaken in many different forms. I’d really like to see what Grace does next; crossing my fingers that there will be a book two.I received an advanced review copy (ARC) of this book from the publisher through NetGalley for my honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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  • Vicki (MyArmchairAdventures)
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to Touchstone Books for sending me a free, advance copy of Goodbye Paris. I loved every page of this story about love, loss, friendship and elaborate details about the construction of cellos that never came across as boring. I found the entire book fascinating and my eyes were leaking towards the end. Just released on August 7th! If you picked this for your BOTM, you are in for a treat!!
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    This book will very much appeal to people who enjoyed ELANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE. But more importantly, anybody who loves stringed instruments will find this to be one of the few books that can accurately tap into the experience of being both a musician and an instrument-maker. I don't know how Harris did it, but she nailed it. Having been trained as a cellist and also having worked in a stringed instrument repair shop for 5 years, I found myself taking a full sensory walk down memory la This book will very much appeal to people who enjoyed ELANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE. But more importantly, anybody who loves stringed instruments will find this to be one of the few books that can accurately tap into the experience of being both a musician and an instrument-maker. I don't know how Harris did it, but she nailed it. Having been trained as a cellist and also having worked in a stringed instrument repair shop for 5 years, I found myself taking a full sensory walk down memory lane with her writing and descriptions! This is the story of Grace, an instrument maker with a small shop in a small village. She's in love with David. She plays the cello, but never for anybody else. This is the story of how she breaks so many chains that bind her, builds such beauty, and finds empowerment in places you wouldn't ever expect. It's beautiful -- you'll travel through Europe reading this, you'll feel a full range of emotions, you'll be glad you read it. I sure was.Thank you, Touchstone, for providing me with a copy to review. It was great.
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  • ♡Kαyleigh♡
    January 1, 1970
    "'They believe in the coup de foudre,' he said, 'the lightning bolt. The French say that it will hit everyone once in a lifetime. It could be someone you see on the other side of the street, maybe only one time, and never even speak to. It could be when you're a child or seconds before you die.'" The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton by Anstey Harris is quite literally the best romance book I've read all year. Grace Atherton is a mistress; but not the generic kind. Her partner of eight year "'They believe in the coup de foudre,' he said, 'the lightning bolt. The French say that it will hit everyone once in a lifetime. It could be someone you see on the other side of the street, maybe only one time, and never even speak to. It could be when you're a child or seconds before you die.'" The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton by Anstey Harris is quite literally the best romance book I've read all year. Grace Atherton is a mistress; but not the generic kind. Her partner of eight years, David, is married to a human rights lawyer, they have an agreement to stay friends for their kids, but take their sexual relationships elsewhere. In between romantic intervals to France, where David lives with his children, Grace runs a violin shop, with her Saturday girl Nadia, and loyal clientele like Mr Williams. This unlikely trio helps Grace build her confidence to play the cello in public again after it had been unceremoniously shattered during music college in her teens.This book was compared to Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine and I completely see why. Both Grace Atherton and Eleanor Oliphant are lonely characters. Yet, how can they feel lonely when they don't know what they're missing out on? I saw the similarities and I loved this book for it. They are two unlikely heroines; both worthy of public admiration. The side characters are to be loved, also. Nadia is a well thought out, three dimensional seventeen year old harbouring secrets of her own. Whilst Mr Williams is a profound and caring character, that is full of glittering dialogue, capable of bringing tears to the eyes of even the most critical of readers. They were a joy to read about and I was so deeply emotionally invested in them I would have climbed inside the story if I could. (Although if such a thing was possible I would do it after I passed by O.W.Ls and N.E.W.Ts at Hogwarts.)I loved this book, I have read the entire thing and I will definitely be purchasing this when it is published 10th January 2019. Thank you to Net Galley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Leigh-Anne
    January 1, 1970
    This is between 3-4 stars for me! I won an advanced reader's edition from a Goodreads Giveaway from Touchstone books! Grace is a former cello player turned expert instrument builder in her small English town. Grace is also in a relationship with a married man; a long-lasting, pretty much going nowhere, relationship. Throw in Grace's support system, including an elderly violinist and an angry teenage girl, who both have complicated love affairs, drama overflows! There are big dramatic events and This is between 3-4 stars for me! I won an advanced reader's edition from a Goodreads Giveaway from Touchstone books! Grace is a former cello player turned expert instrument builder in her small English town. Grace is also in a relationship with a married man; a long-lasting, pretty much going nowhere, relationship. Throw in Grace's support system, including an elderly violinist and an angry teenage girl, who both have complicated love affairs, drama overflows! There are big dramatic events and a colossal mental breakdown that literally shatter Grace's world. Grace was a hard character to understand and empathize with. As the story plays out and the pieces start falling into place, you realize what an awful situation she has put herself in. I always love when friends of the main character are perfection and bring life, humor, and their own side stories. A quick, intense summer read with bits of European travel and charm sprinkled in!
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  • Stephanie
    January 1, 1970
    This could have been such a wonderful tale of female empowerment, unlikely friendships, resilience, and music. Could have been...The storyline was solid. I loved the way music was interwoven, and there was at least one completely lovable supporting character (Mr. W). There were twists I didn't see coming and nothing wrapped up perfectly in the end. However, I still finished the book feeling disconnected and unsatisfied. I wanted the characters to be more thoroughly flushed out. The relationships This could have been such a wonderful tale of female empowerment, unlikely friendships, resilience, and music. Could have been...The storyline was solid. I loved the way music was interwoven, and there was at least one completely lovable supporting character (Mr. W). There were twists I didn't see coming and nothing wrapped up perfectly in the end. However, I still finished the book feeling disconnected and unsatisfied. I wanted the characters to be more thoroughly flushed out. The relationships to be more deeply examined. The author did a beautiful job describing the musical moments that came into play. Her description of Paris, and a conflict in the main character's past, were also strong. If only she'd done the same with her characters and their relationships, this probably would have been an instant favorite. Maybe it would translate better on the big screen...?
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  • Fabulous Book Fiend
    January 1, 1970
    This book was so different from anything I've read before, in a good way I hasten to add, it was beautiful, uplifting and really taught me a thing or two about the world of stringed instruments!I warmed to Grace as a character straight away and definitely wanted the best outcome for her as the book progressed. She definitely has some skeletons in her closet and keeps herself pretty closed off from other people so it felt wickedly intimate as I got to learn her secrets and see her softer, more vu This book was so different from anything I've read before, in a good way I hasten to add, it was beautiful, uplifting and really taught me a thing or two about the world of stringed instruments!I warmed to Grace as a character straight away and definitely wanted the best outcome for her as the book progressed. She definitely has some skeletons in her closet and keeps herself pretty closed off from other people so it felt wickedly intimate as I got to learn her secrets and see her softer, more vulnerable side. It was that vulnerable side that made me warm to her as much as I did. Knowing that she wanted to be in control and wanted to have it all but really didn't feel like the was winning at either of those things. David is an interesting character, he really is a bit of a villain and I enjoyed disliking him throughout this novel as much as I enjoyed liking Grace. The 'vivacious old man' and the 'straight talking teenager' mentioned in the synopsis are the true heroes of this novel. I loved learning about them as secondary characters and I loved how they fitted into the story and into Grace's life. I'd really like to find out more about what happens with Nadia. A lot of this novel takes place in Paris and, as Paris has a habit of doing, it becomes another character in the novel as you can see from one of my favourite quotes: "The city accepts me just the way I am. And in return, I love it back." I loved reading about how Grace has this relationship with the city and how the description of her apartment and the feelings she has there. It was wonderful to read about Paris in such a positive light. Obviously music plays a massive part in this novel as well. I have experience of playing the cello and so I was really pleased to read about a cello as a main focus of Grace's work. There is a diagram at the beginning of the novel that comes in very handy during some of the technical descriptions of Grace's work. I loved that fact that it was there right at the beginning setting the tone from the word go!I don't want to say too much about the plot because of spoilers but i enjoyed the themes that were explored and the way that book is structured. The characters are diverse, the setting beautiful and the subject matter unique. As I say, I definitely empathised with Grace and I would love to find out more about what happens with Nadia. I definitely recommend pre-ordering this one now, you'll be in for ta treat when it is released!
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  • Moorhead Public Library
    January 1, 1970
    *Review copy received while attending the conference Book Expo America.*Reviewed by: ChristinaAt first glance, debut novel Goodbye, Paris by Anstey Harris has all the stereotypical points you would expect from a women’s literature novel – friendship, romance, career, and self-revelation. However, for Grace Atherton, the novel’s heroine, that is only the beginning. Harris’s exquisite novel gracefully examines how one woman copes with a shocking revelation that threatens to upend the very strings *Review copy received while attending the conference Book Expo America.*Reviewed by: ChristinaAt first glance, debut novel Goodbye, Paris by Anstey Harris has all the stereotypical points you would expect from a women’s literature novel – friendship, romance, career, and self-revelation. However, for Grace Atherton, the novel’s heroine, that is only the beginning. Harris’s exquisite novel gracefully examines how one woman copes with a shocking revelation that threatens to upend the very strings of her life. Grace, a gifted cellist and accomplished instrument creator, leads a tranquil life in a small English town. She devotes her time to playing the cello for hours, conversing with a stately elder gentleman who frequents her violin shop, Mr. Williams, and acting as a quasi-mother to her fiery teenaged shop assistant, Nadia. David, her loving boyfriend of eight years, is the only thing missing from her idyllic country life. He lives in Paris, so he and Grace take trips to each other to keep the relationship happy and thriving. But here we reach the crux of Grace’s upcoming conflicts because David is a married father, and the wife and mother of his children is not Grace. After David selflessly saves a woman from dying in the Paris underground, the unexpected consequences of his actions shake up Grace’s entire life. This was such a delightful little novel to discover and savor. I know next to nothing about how beautiful instruments like the violin and cello are created, but Harris’s descriptions of the classical music world in this book were so engaging that I found myself wanting to do research about the subject myself. Harris also gifted us with a fantastic and flawed protagonist. Grace’s actions throughout Goodbye, Paris broke my heart, but they felt so human because you truly felt her pain and understood why she reacted as she did. As each stunning event happened in Grace’s life, my jaw would drop in shock because the lovable Grace never seemed to catch a break. Luckily, this book is absolutely not one of doom-and-gloom. Rather, it has a very hopeful and inspiring current throughout, and by the end, we have a more content Grace, one whose journey will take her to a new happy ending. Not to mention, the side characters are so delightful they have me wishing for a companion novel!I would recommend this book to those who enjoy affecting and self-revelatory novels. Two great books to pair with Goodbye, Paris would be Still Me by Jojo Moyes and My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella. Place a hold in the catalog to judge for yourself: https://egcatalog.larl.org/eg/opac/re...
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  • Lisa Guzman
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this but I’m not sure everyone would. Grace is a woman in her 30’s who is an accomplished maker of string instruments. She plays cello but due to some traumatic experience in her youth struggles to play in front of anyone, even David, the love of her life. David is married and has a whole other life, but she knows they will be together once his children are grown.A brave act of kindness tilts their world on its axis, and suddenly Grace’s future is much less certain than she thought it I enjoyed this but I’m not sure everyone would. Grace is a woman in her 30’s who is an accomplished maker of string instruments. She plays cello but due to some traumatic experience in her youth struggles to play in front of anyone, even David, the love of her life. David is married and has a whole other life, but she knows they will be together once his children are grown.A brave act of kindness tilts their world on its axis, and suddenly Grace’s future is much less certain than she thought it was. She has a delightful friend, Mr. Williams, a loyal customer turned confidant who I adored. Nadia is a teenage girl that she employs and also becomes friends with as they share pieces of their difficult lives with one another. There is a quite a bit of descriptive material based on explaining how cellos/violins are made. I can appreciate the wonder of the craft and learned things about those instruments that I would never have known otherwise. But it was a little tedious, not too bad that you couldn’t easily skim those passages and still get to enjoy the meat of the story. A few little things that were simplified I think probably due to the fact that this is the debut for this author, for example Grace’s phobia of playing seems to be resolved rather quickly. But it was what I as the reader ultimately wanted for her so I won’t be too bothered at the unrealistic nature of the arc of that plot line. I am a music lover and I think that made this more enjoyable for me. I looked up a few cello pieces that were mentioned and I like adding that kind of context to a story like this one.
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  • Literary Soirée
    January 1, 1970
    I LEFT MY BROKEN HEART IN PARIS I love the City of Light and fiction depicting complicated relationships. And I love even more when resolution comes for a strong deserving talented woman, such as GOODBYE, PARIS’ protagonist Grace. A cellist who no longer publicly plays since a trauma at music school, she creates a quiet life restoring stringed instruments until she meets married David, who encourages her and dangles a carrot of marriage once his kids grow older. They have a glorious affair at fi I LEFT MY BROKEN HEART IN PARIS I love the City of Light and fiction depicting complicated relationships. And I love even more when resolution comes for a strong deserving talented woman, such as GOODBYE, PARIS’ protagonist Grace. A cellist who no longer publicly plays since a trauma at music school, she creates a quiet life restoring stringed instruments until she meets married David, who encourages her and dangles a carrot of marriage once his kids grow older. They have a glorious affair at first but when he makes a public courageous act, their relationship, no longer clandestine, ends disastrously. Grace falls apart, relinquishing what she cherished, including her dream of winning a global violin-making contest.Fortunately, an elderly violinist friend and the clerk at her store gather round, helping Grace rebuild equilibrium and the courage to pursue the competition after all. 5/5 for lovely writing and rich characterizations, especially of Grace and her quirky clan ... people we come to adore. Plus, isn’t that cover fab?Pub Date 07 Aug 2018Thanks to Touchstone and NetGalley for the review copy. Opinions are fully mine.#Goodbye, Paris #NetGalley
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  • Alina
    January 1, 1970
    Goodbye, Paris is a bittersweet love story. I was debating between 3 or 4 stars, but the 4 starts won because of a very not typical ending.Grace is a music instrument repair/building store owner. Twenty years prior to that she was a promising cellist, but an incident that has happened in college has ended Grace's cellist career once and for all.Now, Grace is living a wonderful and happy life. Her business is blooming. She even hires a young student from a local private school, Nadya, to help her Goodbye, Paris is a bittersweet love story. I was debating between 3 or 4 stars, but the 4 starts won because of a very not typical ending.Grace is a music instrument repair/building store owner. Twenty years prior to that she was a promising cellist, but an incident that has happened in college has ended Grace's cellist career once and for all.Now, Grace is living a wonderful and happy life. Her business is blooming. She even hires a young student from a local private school, Nadya, to help her around the shop. Grace does not have many friends. But she has a wonderful lover, David, that lives/works in a different city. One wonderful evening, in Paris, David saves a life of a young woman. An incident is caught on camera and overnight David becomes a worldwide hero... and unfortunately, that's not the last thing that becomes known to the public.Goodbye, Paris is not your typical love story. And I really loved the ending. It was simply a perfect way to end the story. Bravo Anstey Harris! This is a super quick read. Perfect for a vacay or just relaxing reading night at home.
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  • Emily
    January 1, 1970
    I got an ARC of this book, and while it took me a couple months to get around to it, I really enjoyed it! The protagonist of the book is Grace, a former prodigy cello player who now just makes stringed instruments of all sorts! Her life is juicy AF though - and as the book begins you learn she's been dating a married man for 8 years. Girrrrrl, whaaaaat. No. Get out of there. But then an incident occurs that puts her life in a dizzying, downward spiral and alters her life as she knew it completel I got an ARC of this book, and while it took me a couple months to get around to it, I really enjoyed it! The protagonist of the book is Grace, a former prodigy cello player who now just makes stringed instruments of all sorts! Her life is juicy AF though - and as the book begins you learn she's been dating a married man for 8 years. Girrrrrl, whaaaaat. No. Get out of there. But then an incident occurs that puts her life in a dizzying, downward spiral and alters her life as she knew it completely. I blew through the first half of this book in a day - it just sucked me in with its drama and storytelling. Beautiful writing and the side plot of music and violin making was really beautiful and super interesting. I also love all the settings! Paris (obvi), cute little London neighborhood, and then a beautiful town in Italy. Grace is a great yet troubled main character and I loved, loved her two little side kicks - an old gay man named Mr. Williams and a punky teenager named Nadia. There's a lot of heart to this book!
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  • Anna Walker
    January 1, 1970
    I'm a fan of charming romance novels, and while Goodbye, Paris was delightfully charming, it was no thanks to the romance. Instead, this book was made by the sidekicks, emotional breakdowns, and musical notes. Sometimes the dreams that die are the dreams we wanted most and the dreams that come true are the dreams we didn't know we had, and quite frankly, sometimes I need a reminder that I can't, in fact, plan out my entire life to the minute. This read was that reminder, and I found it lovely, t I'm a fan of charming romance novels, and while Goodbye, Paris was delightfully charming, it was no thanks to the romance. Instead, this book was made by the sidekicks, emotional breakdowns, and musical notes. Sometimes the dreams that die are the dreams we wanted most and the dreams that come true are the dreams we didn't know we had, and quite frankly, sometimes I need a reminder that I can't, in fact, plan out my entire life to the minute. This read was that reminder, and I found it lovely, touching, and empowering.
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  • Amalia
    January 1, 1970
    Well-written and poignant, but also lightweight and short!
  • Liz
    January 1, 1970
    This is one of those books that is kind of "light" reading, yet when you look back on it, you realize there's a little more substance than meets the eye. A nice variety of compelling characters.
  • Alyssa
    January 1, 1970
    This book really surprised me. I was expecting a lighthearted beach read and what I got was a thoughtful nuanced story about love and music. I breezed through it because I couldn’t wait to see what happened to the cello-creating protagonist. I really enjoyed how it was told from her perspective- nativity and all.
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  • Crystal
    January 1, 1970
    Regular readers of my blog know that I'm not a big fan of Contemporary Fiction. This, however, blew me away. Goodbye, Paris, is one of August's Books of the Month, and as usual, it is outstanding. I don't know how they consistently pick amazing books, but month after month they bring a bit of magic.I started this book thinking "oh, she's a musician, I can get into that," but I didn't know how much the author was going to explore that facet of her life. But right away, on page 14, our main charac Regular readers of my blog know that I'm not a big fan of Contemporary Fiction. This, however, blew me away. Goodbye, Paris, is one of August's Books of the Month, and as usual, it is outstanding. I don't know how they consistently pick amazing books, but month after month they bring a bit of magic.I started this book thinking "oh, she's a musician, I can get into that," but I didn't know how much the author was going to explore that facet of her life. But right away, on page 14, our main character did something that made me gasp aloud and stop and actually write in my book. Which is a thing I don't do. Grace plays cello the way I play piano. She's far more skilled than I am, but - well just read:"My knees poke out, bony and white, cushioning the pointed lower bouts of the cello, and the scroll rests, where it belongs, against my ear. The cello takes up its rightful place and I become nothing more than a mechanical part of it.This is what I have always done, how I have always found myself when I've been lost. When I first went to music college, eighteen years old and paralyzingly shy, when ringing my parents from the pay phone in the corridor just made me miss them even more, I would feel the strength in the neck of my cello, flatten the prints of my fingers into the strings, and forget.I play and play; through thirst, past hunger, making tiredness just a dent in my soul. I play beyond David's marriage, his holiday, even how frightened I was when he disappeared below the platform.I play on until the world is flat again and the spaces between my heartbeats are as even as the rhythm on the stave in front of me."This is how and why I play piano! To see it so gorgeously described on the page was breathtaking. I am not a concert-level pianist by any means, but I'm decent, and playing piano brings me back to myself. When I'm angry or frustrated or hurt or simply feeling down, the music centers me and makes me focus until everything else falls away. From this point on, I was enthralled with this book and with Grace.Grace's partner, however, I was not so enthralled with. Grace and David have been together for eight years when the book opens. David has been married for all of those years, which Grace knew the night they met. (Though after they fell in love - it was one of those lightning-bolt-from-above things) He had two children with his wife, though, and a third on the way, and because of the crappy way he grew up, he was absolutely unwilling to divorce and mess up his children's lives. Which, okay. Noble. (Though honestly, most children know when their parents are unhappy and wish they'd just divorce already, as Nadia, one of Grace's friends, illustrates.) He and his wife both know their marriage is only for the children at this point, and are totally okay with relationships outside the marriage. Grace, however, is unaware of this arrangement, and THAT'S where my irritation at David comes in.I don't talk about it much on my blog, (though I have mentioned it) but my husband and I are polyamorous. He's had another partner for almost five years now, plus other occasional dalliances. But everyone knows this. His other partner and occasional flirtations all know about each other and about me. David, on the other hand - his wife appears to know about everything, but Grace only knows about his wife. We're never told what his other girlfriends know about. This isn't ethical non-monogamy. He lies to everyone about his intentions and relationships. I think he's probably incapable of monogamy - some people are - but he needs to be truthful about it. There are ways to make that work without ruining peoples' lives and breaking hearts!So David is not a character I like.Mr. Williams and Nadia, however, are amazing. So besides playing the cello, Grace also makes cellos. And violins, and double-basses. Nadia is her shopgirl, and Mr. Williams is an old man who brings her a violin to repair. These three become such an incredible little trio! Nadia and Mr. Williams are the ones who put Grace back together when her life gets turned upside down, and are saved themselves in turn. Nadia is a little prickly, but I think it was her way of protecting herself. Mr. Williams is too old for games - at eighty-six, he doesn't fool around anymore.I loved this book. Book of the Month has once more made an outstanding pick. The characters and emotions are beautiful and heart-rending and magical. I think this is one of my favorites of the year!You can find all my reviews at Goddess in the Stacks.
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