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Finding Paris: The Novel
Joanne Kimes, author

Going to Paris had always been a dream for Julia and Kathy, two women who meet at a beginning French class and become fast friends. Julia is an empty nester whose husband is leaving her and daughter won't return her texts and Kathy's a type-A workaholic who gave up on love after a painful secret. After both their lives implode, leaving them with nothing to wake up to in the morning, they say, “What the heck, let’s go to Paris!” and finally live out the dream they’ve been too busy to live out before. Once there, tensions mount and drama unfolds as they struggle with their new friendship and the cultural differences of the city, forcing them to take responsibility for their own isolation and unhappiness. But, with the help of romance, salted butter, the French countryside, vintage shops, chic make-overs and bread...lots of bread, Paris teaches both women lessons they desperately needed to learn, while having an adventure of a lifetime!

Kimes (Pregnancy Sucks) delights with her humorous and charming debut novel of two disillusioned middle-aged Los Angeles women who learn to live and love in Paris. Julia, a former television writer turned helicopter parent, is facing an empty nest with her daughter about to enter college and her husband leaving her. Meanwhile, power attorney Kathy climbs the corporate ladder at her law firm, determined to make partner. When Kathy’s boss promotes a junior male colleague, she lets loose a career-ending rage that results in a YouTube meme. The women meet at a French language class—Julia dreams of seeing Paris, and Kathy’s mother was French. With their lives in shambles, they spontaneously take a month off to visit Paris on Kathy’s dime. Readers gleefully follow the mismatched pair as they climb the Eiffel Tower, walk down the Champs-Elysées, and take a pastry class, as judgy Julia blanches at French parents’ laissez faire attitude to child-rearing and fitness freak Kathy spurns full-fat yogurt and macarons. Can the cultural sophistication of Paris change these women’s attitudes? Kimes packs this breezy, lighthearted romp with a tantalizing travelogue of Parisian sights, tastes, and history. Readers will enjoy this satisfying story of charming characters risking their stubborn beliefs for a second chance. (Self-published)