The Light of Paris (Hardcover)
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The miraculous novel from the New York Times–bestselling author of The Weird Sisters—a sensation beloved by critics and readers alike.
Madeleine is trapped—by her family's expectations, by her controlling husband, and by her own fears—in an unhappy marriage and a life she never wanted. From the outside, it looks like she has everything, but on the inside, she fears she has nothing that matters.
In Madeleine’s memories, her grandmother Margie is the kind of woman she should have been—elegant, reserved, perfect. But when Madeleine finds a diary detailing Margie’s bold, romantic trip to Jazz Age Paris, she meets the grandmother she never knew: a dreamer who defied her strict, staid family and spent an exhilarating summer writing in cafés, living on her own, and falling for a charismatic artist.
Despite her unhappiness, when Madeleine’s marriage is threatened, she panics, escaping to her hometown and staying with her critical, disapproving mother. In that unlikely place, shaken by the revelation of a long-hidden family secret and inspired by her grandmother’s bravery, Madeleine creates her own Parisian summer—reconnecting to her love of painting, cultivating a vibrant circle of creative friends, and finding a kindred spirit in a down-to-earth chef who reminds her to feed both her body and her heart.
Margie and Madeleine’s stories intertwine to explore the joys and risks of living life on our own terms, of defying the rules that hold us back from our dreams, and of becoming the people we are meant to be.
“Fresh, endearing…finely written and absorbing, and explores the always compelling questions of how to balance reality and romance, duty and dreams, family and freedom.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune
“A story about love, marriage, divorce, self-discovery and how things often turn out far from what you had planned.”—Fort Worth Star Telegram
“The follow-up to Brown’s delightful dysfunctional-family comedy The Weird Sisters will cure your stay-at-home blues.”—Miami Herald
“Brown’s novel tackles an age-old question about what life would be like if we took more chances….Makes readers sit up and take notice.”—RT Book Reviews
“Brown conveys the importance of the arts in creating a life as well the need to heed all voices, even those from the past, in looking to the future.”—Kirkus Reviews
“A charming novel about living life on your own terms that will make you long for the streets of Paris.”—Popsugar.com
“I adored The Light of Paris. It’s so lovely and big-hearted—it made me long for Paris.”—Jojo Moyes, New York Times-bestselling author of Me Before You and After You
“Eleanor Brown is high priestess of that rich place where soulfulness and emotional insight meet laugh-out-loud humor. In her wry and affecting follow-up to The Weird Sisters, we meet Margie and Madeleine—two women separated by decades and continents, but on same essential journey toward self-exploration and self-knowledge. Somehow each must learn to thrust off others’ expectations and their own well-worn fears to reclaim themselves and discover the lives they were always meant for. A deeply rewarding read, The Light of Paris will keep you thinking—and smiling—long after the last page is turned.”—Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife and Circling the Sun
“Paris is always a good idea. It's not just a line from an old movie, it's a credo, and the underlying idea of Eleanor Brown's wise and charming new novel, The Light of Paris. Protagonist Madeleine Spencer is repressed, depressed and downright oppressed in her marriage to a chilly Chicago businessman. When she flees both to her Southern hometown her critical mother is less than welcoming. It's only when Madeleine opens a dusty trunk in the attic of the family home and finds her grandmother Margie's forgotten Parisian diary that Madeleine begins to find her way home--both emotionally and physically. The Light of Paris is a warm and illuminating novel of great hope and heart.”—Mary Kay Andrews, New York Times-bestselling author of Beach Town and Ladies’ Night