Paris By The Book
By: Liam Callanan
Every now and then when Robert Eady’s life gets to be too much for him he leaves a note for his wife and daughters and disappears for a “writing retreat” as he feels he can write better this way.
One day there’s no note and Robert Eady never returns leaving his wife to wonder whether he walked out for good or whether he’s dead in a ditch somewhere. There’s credible evidence of an accident but also an unfinished manuscript about Paris and hidden tickets.
Sure he’s still alive Leah just has to find him she takes their young daughters to Paris and winds up buying a bookstore. (And you know getting lucky enough that one of the few people she knows in Paris can help out with that pesky Visa thing 🙂 )
Once there Leah thinks everything is a sign (or could be) that Robert is still alive. More of the relationship between the family is told via flashbacks and we get a lot of brilliant Paris flavor as part of the mystery of Robert is wrapped up in the stories of Madeline and The Red Balloon French classics that the family was basically built on.
Overall I did enjoy a lot of this book. Mainly the Paris stuff. I want to go and buy a bookstore in Paris! I liked the literary connections throughout the book though I’ve never seen The Red Balloon film that Leah loves so much or read Madeline (going to fix both of those.) It’s still easy to follow and makes you want to. Plus anything that involves chocolate croissants even in a mention is an A for me.
Leah has some interesting beats but overall tends to wallow and let other people, including her daughters, do things for her. She’s understandably a bit to stuck in what happened to her husband and marriage. The daughters were not that annoying.
It’s just… I was looking at this like a mystery and I didn’t give a lick about Robert. In fact pretty early on I decided I didn’t care if he was alive or dead but she’d be better off without him regardless. Seriously, he wasn’t a bad husband just one of those tortured artists who aren’t getting done what they want so blame it on the family.
If he was my husband it would just infuriate me and he better have had an accident is all I can say!
We do get this resolved but I felt a little bit like, “That’s it?”
So if you look at this more of a character piece about Paris with some fun literary connections throughout and don’t get to invested in the mystery of Robert Eady you may really enjoy Paris By The Book.
Recommend: Yes. But for things other than what’s supposed to be the central part of the story.