blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: After Paris – Nicole Kennedy

Three women take the same Eurostar to Paris for a girls’ trip, but take separate trains back. What happened that weekend? A thought-provoking and gripping novel about trying to hold on to friendships when you start to grow apart.
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?

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Nicole Kennedy grew up in Essex. She was the first person in her family to go to university, and won a place to study Law at Bristol. During Nicole’s second maternity leave she began writing poems and rhymes on motherhood and family life, which she posted to her blog ‘The
Brightness Of These Days’. She completed her first novel during her third maternity leave (because by then it was easier than leaving the house). Nicole lives in Kent with her husband and three sons.

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My thoughts: I’ve been thinking a lot about friendships recently, so this book was the perfect read for me right now. Jules, Alice and Nina meet as young women and become instant BFFs. But as the years go by, and their lives change (marriage, careers, children, successes and failures) their friendship is slightly off kilter. They no longer talk about everything, they’re all holding back.

As they each leave Paris suddenly, without speaking, their relationship flounders and it’s months before they reconnect. Months in which they all go through big changes in their lives. Mostly for the better in the end.

When they do reconnect – it’s time to tell the truth and bare their souls to one another. Whatever happens next.

Friendship can be sustaining, it can last lifetimes or it can be fleeting, as we all age and move on with our lives, very few people can say they’re still friends with people they knew as children. We have different friends at different points in our lives – school, uni, work, through hobbies and clubs.

But you do have to work on your friendships – like any connection, you have to nurture it. Alice, Jules and Nina have fallen into bad habits and when other things in their lives take centre stage, their friendship struggles. I can relate and so will many other readers. Which is why this is such an enjoyable book. Your life might not look exactly like any of theirs, but you might just find yourself reflecting on your own friends as you read it.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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