Synopses & Reviews
"Like All the Light We Cannot See, The Paris Hours explores the brutality of war and its lingering effects with cinematic intensity. The ending will leave you breathless." —Christina Baker Kline, author of Orphan Train and A Piece of the World
One day in the City of Light. One night in search of lost time.
Paris between the wars teems with artists, writers, and musicians, a glittering crucible of genius. But amidst the dazzling creativity of the city's most famous citizens, four regular people are each searching for something they've lost.
Camille was the maid of Marcel Proust, and she has a secret: when she was asked to burn her employer's notebooks, she saved one for herself. Now she is desperate to find it before her betrayal is revealed. Souren, an Armenian refugee, performs puppet shows for children that are nothing like the fairy tales they expect. Lovesick artist Guillaume is down on his luck and running from a debt he cannot repay — but when Gertrude Stein walks into his studio, he wonders if this is the day everything could change. And Jean-Paul is a journalist who tells other people's stories, because his own is too painful to tell. When the quartet's paths finally cross in an unforgettable climax, each discovers if they will find what they are looking for.
Told over the course of a single day in 1927, Alex George's The Paris Hours takes four ordinary people whose stories, told together, are as extraordinary as the glorious city they inhabit.
"The kind of novel I always dream about finding: a completely engrossing story that had me canceling plans. I read The Paris Hours without pausing, desperate to see if these marvelous characters could escape the ache of their past. And I gasped when I got to the end." Will Schwalbe, author of The End of Your Life Book Club and Books for Living
"A feast of the human soul. In this stunning novel, George goes behind the glitter of Paris in 1927 and takes you to the rooftops, the skinny alleyways, the flower-strewn parks, and darkened bar rooms to mine the wisdom of humanity. Beautifully rendered; gorgeously told." Jessica Keener, author of Strangers In Budapest
"No other recent novel both embraces and transcends its Parisian setting like Alex George's new book, The Paris Hours....Brims with beauty, music, tragedy, uncertainty, and hope....Resonate[s] deeply." Chicago Review of Books
"Atmospheric...George's Proustian homage to a lost time will be a Francophile's madeleine." Kirkus
"Glittering...Compelling and elegantly written, The Paris Hours is a tribute to love, grief and serendipity in the City of Light." Shelf Awareness
"Engrossing...By evoking fictional characters and historical figures with equal vividness and wisely using repeated motifs, George unites his narratives in a surprising yet wholly convincing denouement. Elegant and evocative." Publishers Weekly
"Enchanting...Like the film Midnight in Paris...the novel has put us under the spell of the City of Light yet again...Stunning." Booklist
"The stories of these characters move back and forth in a beautiful dance. And how they come to-gether in the final movement is très belle! George has captured the ethos of 1920s Paris." Library Journal (Starred Review)
About the Author
A native of England, Alex George read law at Oxford University and worked for eight years as a corporate lawyer in London and Paris. He has lived in the Midwest of the United States for the last sixteen years. He is the founder and director of the Unbound Book Festival, and is the owner of Skylark Bookshop, an independent bookstore in downtown Columbia, Missouri.
Alex is the author of The Paris Hours, A Good American, and Setting Free the Kites.