Perestroika in Paris

Perestroika in Paris

A Novel

Book - 2020
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"From the Pulitzer Prize-winning and best-selling author, an imaginative story of three extraordinary animals--and a young boy--whose lives intersect in Paris."--
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, ©2020.
ISBN: 9780525520351
Characteristics: 265 pages :,map ;,21 cm.
Additional Contributors: Prato, Rodica - Cartographer

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a
ABCDot
Mar 30, 2021

Light-hearted and fun! The human and animal characters are charming.

m
maipenrai
Mar 03, 2021

This book by Jane Smiley is unique in that the story is told by a race horse, dog, raven rat and pair of mallard ducks. They find a friend in a young boy who is isolated and being raised by a very elderly, blind grandmother. I enjoyed the Paris setting and the interaction among this animals and hoped there would be a happy ending. What disappointed me was that I thought the format of narration by a disparate group of animals would be a parable, i.e. a simple story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson. The meaning behind the story was missing for me. Kristi & Abby Tabby

m
maipenrai
Feb 24, 2021

This book by Jane Smiley is unique in that the story is told by a race horse, dog, raven rat and pair of mallard ducks. They find a friend in a young boy who is isolated and being raised by a very elderly, blind grandmother. I enjoyed the Paris setting and the interaction among this animals and hoped there would be a happy ending. What disappointed me was that I thought the format of narration by a disparate group of animals would be a parable, i.e. a simple story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson. The meaning behind the story was missing for me. Kristi & Abby Tabby

n
NANCY STAUFFER
Feb 14, 2021

Recommended by Barbara

j
jennerssbooks
Feb 12, 2021

What a wonderful book! All the characters had distinct and charming voices, and the story meandered beautifully to a very satisfying conclusion. I loved it.

r
RM_9
Feb 08, 2021

Loved this story. I didn't realize it was a YA novel. Or was it?! It doesn't matter!
Such a pleasure to read and a lovely change of perspective from the animals point of view, without each characters voice being dumbed down to stereotypes.
This story made me smile and what I needed during these times. Well researched, clever, articulate. I learned a lot as well. Five Stars!

k
Kidbean
Feb 06, 2021

So, that was a surprise! A children’s story for adults, and what a pleasure it was to read.

j
JWC214
Jan 23, 2021

Perestroika in Paris is a pure delight of a book. Very fun. Reminded me a little of Watership Down but more upbeat. Almost a happy fairy tale. Jane Smiley knows how to make her writing above and beyond. Has anyone read any of her YA books? If so, which are the best? This would definitely be suitable for teens and up.

l
lola_jane
Jan 02, 2021

A horse, dog, raven, rat and human child living together, mostly unnoticed, in the heart of Paris is certainly impossible; but why should the impossible happen only in children's books? I was surprised at how easy it was to suspend disbelief, possibly because the inner thoughts and of the animals just made sense with what we know about their behaviour. A charming story to escape into.

p
phyllis94941
Dec 27, 2020

This was a captivating story, starting with a curious French racehorse named Perestroika (Paras for short) who leaves her stable and ends up wandering to Paris. With each animal that Paras meets on her journey, I became more engrossed in the tale. A dog, a raven, a mallard couple, a rat, and a young boy - as Christmas nears these become Paras' family. Several humans notice the horse and the dog, yet no one threatens their newfound life in the City of Light.

The story is told alternatively from many characters' points of view (including the animals) in a believable style that is both convincing and engaging. I especially liked the way various characters ended up connecting due to their interest in Paras. While marketed as an adult novel, it's sweet and heartwarming and a good fit for anyone from ten years and older. The perfect story to read during the holidays when we all need to be reminded of joy, hope, and love.

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