When William Byrnes takes a teaching job at a private school in the Marais, he thinks he’s escaping his sins. He sentences himself to winter afternoons under the vaulted ceilings of Notre Dame and to rice for dinner, while the City of Light goes unnoticed. Then the pretentious Monsieur Cygne gives him a list of French literature and the address of a bookstore, where he finds fellow ex-pat Lucy Navarre, with the gray eyes of a goddess, a cheating husband, and a mysterious past. Can the two exiles find redemption in the shadows of Paris? Or will they miss their chance?

When William Byrnes takes a teaching job at a private school in the Marais, he thinks he’s escaping his sins. He sentences himself to winter afternoons under the vaulted ceilings of Notre Dame and to rice for dinner, while the City of Light goes unnoticed. Then the pretentious Monsieur Cygne gives him a list of French literature and the address of a bookstore, where he finds fellow ex-pat Lucy Navarre, with the gray eyes of a goddess, a cheating husband, and a mysterious past. Can the two exiles find redemption in the shadows of Paris? Or will they miss their chance?

Lehman’s brevity is his strength, as drawing out the story might have ruined its quiet pacing and intensity. Toward the end of the book, Monsieur Cygne asks William what he’s learned about French literature, to which he answers, “I would say it is about the inevitability of loss”—and so is Lehman’s tale. A lyrical, lovely story of doomed romance that doesn’t overstay its welcome.

-Kirkus Reviews

Eric Lehman has written a beautiful book about secrets, doomed love, French literature, food, and the way that life has of showing us just what we need to heal the past. I loved every page.

–Maddie Dawson, bestselling author of The Stuff That Never Happened and The Survivor's Guide to Family Happiness

Beautifully written, Shadows of Paris is a richly woven story that intimately ties personality to place. It will make you pause, it will make you smile. It will touch your heart.

–David K. Leff, author of Canoeing Maine’s Legendary Allagash and Maple Sugaring: Keeping It Real in New England

A love letter to Paris disguised as a novella...While William falls in love with Lucy and with Paris, readers of Shadows of Paris will enjoy being there with them.

- Jeanne Griggs, Necromancy Never Pays

An easy, yet poetic and identifiable tale of self-discovery, innocence-meets-experience and permission to let go of your regrets and to truly live. A splash of romance, a touch of mystery and a relatable authenticity.

- Katrina Szish, writer, tv correspondent, media and fashion guru

This spare novella takes its time unspooling their mysteries, but along the way it takes us on an enjoyable tour of Paris and a delightful dip into Emile Zola, Victor Hugo and other titans of French literature.

- Maureen McCarthy, Minneapolis Star-Tribune

 

Winner of the Next Generation Independent Book Awards, Novella

Winner of the Silver Medal in the Foreword Reviews Indie Book Awards, Romance

Finalist for the Connecticut Book Award

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