Callanan has crafted a beautifully-drawn portrait of a woman interrupted set among the exquisite magic of Paris, where life frequently imitates art and the ghosts of the past linger just out of sight.... Book lovers and Paris aficionados will be enthralled.
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)

About Paris by the Book

When eccentric novelist Robert Eady abruptly vanishes, he leaves behind his wife, Leah; their daughters; and, hidden in an unexpected spot, plane tickets to Paris.

Hoping to uncover clues—and her husband—Leah sets off for France with her girls. Upon their arrival, Leah discovers an unfinished manuscript, one that Robert had been writing without her knowledge . . . and that he had set in Paris. The Eady women follow the path of the manuscript to a floundering English-language bookstore whose weary proprietor is eager to sell.  

The whole store? Today? Yes, but Leah’s biggest surprise comes when she hears herself accepting the offer on the spot.

As the family settles into their new Parisian life, they can’t help but trace the literary paths of some beloved Parisian classics, including Madeline and The Red Balloon, hoping for more clues. But a series of startling discoveries forces Leah to acknowledge that she may not be ready for what solving this mystery might do to her family—and the Paris she thought she knew.

At once haunting and charming, Paris by the Book follows one woman’s journey of self-discovery as her story is being rewritten, exploring the power of family and the magic that hides within the pages of a book.

(Go behind the scenes, download a book club kit, see maps, study a Paris reading list, learn about visiting Paris with kids, and more.)

More praise for Paris by the Book:

"Callanan has woven a tale of grief, resentment, and the everyday madness of equivocating the unfathomable. … Callanan’s sweet and compulsively readable tale invites readers to fall in love with Paris, Leah, and her family." —Biz Hyzy, Booklist

"Liam Callanan’s new novel is charming and full of fabled accordion music and wonderfully Márquezian magic—and best of all, it’s told by a narrator I came to love, whose funny, honest, wryly snarky voice drew me in from the first line." — Dan Chaon, author of Ill Will

"This charming and poignant novel made me fall in love with Paris and all things French. Oh, to own a bookstore in any arrondissement! Within this love story there are reflections on the mystery of writing, the solace of reading, the ties that bind and those that don’t, plus the joy of The Red Balloon, to name but a few of the pleasures of Paris by the Book." — Jane Hamilton, author of The Excellent Lombards and A Map Of The World

"Liam Callanan’s Paris by the Book is much more than an elegiac portrait of an artist who has vanished. Here we witness the sacrifices and yearnings of the ones left behind as they continue to love, live, and flourish. Like James Salter’s Light Years, Callanan depicts the once seemingly simple conditions of a young marriage and what it takes to let such conditions go." — Min Jin Lee, author of National Book Award finalist Pachinko

This is both a haunting literary mystery and a multifaceted love story of husbands gone missing, of daughters left behind, of starting over, of books, and finally, of Paris. I love, love this novel.— Caroline Leavitt, author of Cruel Beautiful World

In Paris By the Book the marvelously gifted Liam Callanan tells a spellbinding story of reading and writing, romance and marriage, French frozen food and a small bookshop. I loved walking the streets of Marais with his eloquent narrator. And I loved how Callanan simultaneously reveals the history of her marriage and of her adopted city. Open a bottle of wine, open this wise and wonderful book, and enjoy. — Margot Livesey, author of Mercury and The Flight of Gemma Hardy

"The setting, a bookshop in Paris, intrigued me. The first line hooked me. While some aspects of this tale are reminiscent of Little Paris Bookshop the larger story of a family searching for the missing Father is so much more. Beautifully written, it questions the nature of parenting, marriage and what we tell ourselves about love. But too, there is the bookstore and the mystery of connection and truth that books offer. Wonderful! Summary: Highly Recommending." — Kathi Kirby, Powell's Books (Portland, OR)

I’d of course compare Callanan’s engrossing third novel to The Storied Life of AJ Fikry and The Little Paris Bookshop, but with its confounding but ultimately lovable heroine, there’s a bit of Where'd You Go Bernadette? in the story as well. Paris by the Book is filled with rich characters, a twisty plot, a bit of mystery, and a heaping dollop of joie de vivre.— Daniel Goldin, Boswell Books (Milwaukee, WI)