Paris Was the Place

By Susan Conley
(Knopf Publishing Group, Hardcover, 9780307594075, 368pp.)

Publication Date: August 6, 2013

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the August 2013 Indie Next List
“Susan Conley, author of the beautiful acclaimed memoir, The Foremost Good Fortune, (2011), brings us her exquisite debut novel, Paris was the Place (Alfred A. Knopf, August 2013). The novel focuses on American Willow Pears, who is living and teaching in Paris at a center for immigrant girls, who have requested asylum in France. The culture, flavor, keen detail and observation, and literature of Paris, India, and the U.S. are lyrically interwoven in a story about hope, love, family, forgiveness, expectation, risk, loss, and letting go. Conley's novel is sprinkled with humor, as well as questions about social justice, relationship, human tragedy, and grace. As Willow's father, a topographer, states in the book,”
-- Susan K. McCann, Essex Books, Centerbrook, CT
Selected by Indie Booksellers for the August 2013 Indie Next List
Selected by Indie Booksellers for the August 2013 Indie Next List
Selected by Indie Booksellers for the August 2013 Indie Next List


Description

"Sensual and seductive, "Paris Was the Place" pulls you in and doesn't let you go. Find your nearest chair and start reading. With her poet's eye, Conley has woven a vivid, masterful tale of love and its costs." --Lily King, author of "Father of the Rain"
When Willie Pears begins teaching at a center for immigrant girls who are all hoping for French asylum, she has no idea it will change her life. As she learns their stories, the lines between teaching and mothering quickly begin to blur. Willie has fled to Paris to create a new family for herself by reaching out to her beloved brother, Luke, and her straight-talking friend, Sara. She soon falls for Macon, a charming, passionate French lawyer, and her new family circle seems complete. But Gita, a young girl at the detention center, is determined to escape her circumstances, no matter the cost. And just as Willie is faced with a decision that could have potentially dire consequences for both her relationship with Macon and the future of the center, Luke is taken with a serious, as-yet-unnamed illness, forcing Willie to reconcile with her father and examine the lengths we will go to for the people we care the most about.
In "Paris Was the Place," Conley has given us a beautiful portrait of on how much it matters to belong: to a family, to a country, to any one place, and how this belonging can mean the difference in our survival. This is a profoundly moving portrait of some of the most complicated and glorious aspects of the human existence: love and sex and parenthood and the extraordinary bonds of brothers and sisters. It is a story that reaffirms the ties that bind us to one another.




About the Author
Susan Conley moved to Ireland for twelve months - fourteen years ago. She splits her time between beauty journalism, novel writing, and horseriding. She blogs at "www.brightandbeautyfull.com" and tweets @SusanEConley.
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