Book Review: My Secret Guide to Paris by Lisa Schroeder

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Once again, Lisa Schroeder has crafted an utterly charming story about family, friendship, and cherishing the little things that matter most, with her latest middle grade novel, My Secret Guide to Paris.

secret guide to paris alt coverNora has always wanted to see Paris, thanks to her Grandma Sylvia’s stories. But when Sylvia suddenly passes away just months before their planned trip, Nora thinks she’s lost everything.

Nora still dreams of Paris–and when she finds her own name on a set of clues to a Parisian scavenger hunt packed away in her grandmother’s room, along with plane tickets, Nora knows that Sylvia still wants her to go, too.

At last, Nora sets off on the adventure–and mystery–of a lifetime. What did Grandma Sylvia want her to find in Paris? Why do all the clues insist that Nora’s mother be with her? And could the key to healing and forgiveness be found at the top of the Eiffel Tower?

My Secret Guide to Paris is filled with whimsical adventures and the charming details that make each of Schroeder’s books so enchanting.

First, it’s like a little love letter to the city of Paris, which has never been more enticing to me than after reading this book. Despite never have visited herself, Schroeder captures the magic and romantic appeal of Paris in such a loving way. The city itself becomes a character in the book, and helps bring each moment to life — and bring the human characters together in meaningful ways.

But while My Secret Guide to Paris may focus on the grandeur and beauty of the city, the real heart of the book is the relationship between Nora, her grandmother, and her mother. These three generations of women connect in a beautiful, honest way — and Schroeder really captures the intricacies of these relationships. The dynamic between Nora and her mother, and their conflicted emotions over Nora’s grandmother, is really what sets this story apart. My Secret Guide to Paris is, more than anything else, a book about mothers and daughters, and the sometimes tumultuous road they must travel to reach understanding and unconditional love.

My Secret Guide to Paris is in stores now.


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