You might remember earlier this year, I read Karen Burns‘ The Paris Effect (read my review here) in one sitting – it’s one of those “I’ll just read one more chapter” books that you suddenly discover you’ve finished before you know it. It’s also one of those books you find yourself wondering “But what happens next?” at the end. Fortunately for you, Paris Ever After, the follow-up book, will be released tomorrow, May 1st so you get to find out! I don’t want to give too much away here today though!
From the publisher:
Can Amy’s rocky start in Paris turn into a happy ever after?
Amy didn’t realize how stale her life was until she jetted off to Paris without telling a soul—not even her husband—and had the adventure of a lifetime. Now as she tries to establish herself in the City of Light, she finds that despite a fun (and quirky) group of friends and the ability to indulge in French pastries whenever she wants, reinventing her life is much harder than she imagined.
Then on Amy’s thirtieth birthday, two unexpected visitors leave her wondering if she will soon be saying au revoir to Paris and the new life she’s struggled to build. Her estranged husband, Will, shows up—but is he interested in reconciliation or separation? And a young woman who arrives on Amy’s doorstep unleashes chaos that could push Amy out into the street.
As Amy’s Parisian dream starts to fall apart, she must decide: return to the stability of Will and Phoenix (if that’s even still an option) or forge her way forward in Paris? Amid secrets and surprises, set in enchanting gardens, cozy cafés, and glittering Parisian streets, Amy must choose between two very different worlds. And each has a claim on her heart.
Though both books work as standalone reads, they really do complement each other (because, you’ll really want to know “what happens next?”) so I’d suggest reading both, one after the other. They are both great reads for rainy spring weekends, the beach or snowy winter days (so, depending on where you are in the world, anytime!).
I found Amy so much more likeable in this book, perhaps because the character seems so much more settled and comfortable in her skin. She’s also found a happier relationship with food than we saw in The Paris Effect: she’s working in a catering company and blogging about food and has nearly completely shed her unhealthy relationship with food. Reading Amy’s story about how she finally settles into her life in Paris, accumulating a series of unexpected friends along the way, picking up work and finding her passion in life reminded me a little bit of myself and my life in my late 20s when I moved to Paris (a little more about that on this post). Paris is a temptress but she’s hard to live with/in and rarely is anyone’s trajectory when they move there simple or predictable.
The unpredictability of Amy’s story (in both books but perhaps moreso in this than The Paris Effect) is what sets it apart from the “chick lit” category you might feel this book comes from. Sure, it has a pretty pastel cover with macarons on it and it talks about a woman “finding herself” in Paris but the book is a lot more than that. With unexpected plot twists and a much bigger focus on food, Paris Ever After is a delightful tale where you’ll be rooting for Amy and crossing your fingers that she lands on her feet as she so deserves, despite all the adversity she’s up against.
Karen Burns’ writing is engaging and draws you in – even if initially you might find Amy self-centred and a little bit immature, the plot twists introduced keep you reading and you’ll become more and more immersed in Amy’s story and invested in it. If you love Paris (or even the idea of it), have ever dreamed of escaping your life and moving to Paris (or have done it!) and love French food, this is the book for you!
Buy Paris Ever After for yourself on Amazon (this link should bring you to the Amazon store in your country).
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Disclosure: I purchased a copy of The Paris Effect myself but received an e-copy of Paris Ever After from the author for review purposes. I have not received compensation for writing about the book. All opinions 100% my own.