Three best friends. A weekend away. And a whole lot of baggage.
Alice, Nina and Jules have been best friends for twenty years. They met in Paris and return there once a year, to relive their youth, leave the troubles of home behind, and indulge in each other’s friendship and warmth. But this year, aged thirty-nine, the cracks in their relationships are starting to show…
After their weekend together in Paris, the three women never speak again. Each claims the other two ghosted them. But is there more to the story?
Thank you to Amy Watson at Head of Zeus / Aria Fiction for a copy of After Paris by Nicole Kennedy to read and review. This is the first book I’ve read by Nicole.
The book starts in 1999 as we meet Alice, Nina and Jules in the restrooms of the Hôtel de Crillon. They quickly become friends after an evening out in Paris and meet up every year there for a reunion. The timeline of the book moves backwards and forwards in time, so that we discover what happened in the past, alongside the latest visit to Paris.
After twenty years everyone has changed – there have been two marriages, three children, successful careers and lives. However there are also secrets, addictions and anxiety which lead to an unsuccessful twentieth anniversary reunion in Paris.
I love how the different timelines are used to explain how events in the past lead to the three friends becoming three strangers, just at the time when they need their friends more than ever before. Who will make the first move to contact the others? Will the Paris WhatsApp group stay silent forever?
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, the highs and the lows of the lives of three women and Teddy. A lovely mix of humour and hope alongside challenges and changes. Loved the ending too. I look forward to reading more by Nicole Kennedy in the future.
Nicole Kennedy grew up in Essex and studied Law at Bristol University. She has always loved to write but her efforts were waylaid by work as a corporate lawyer in London, Paris and Dubai. During Nicole’s second maternity leave she began writing poems on motherhood and family life. She completed her first novel during her third maternity leave (by then it was easier than leaving the house) and her second during the pandemic (by then she wasn’t allowed to leave the house).
Nicole lives in Kent with her husband and three sons. You can find her on Instagram (@nicole_k_kennedy) and Twitter (@nicolekkennedy).