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Lost in Paris



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About The Book

“A luscious, layered story of inheritance, heartbreak, reinvention, and family. I adored this book.” —Kristan Higgins, New York Times bestselling author

When a deed to an apartment in Paris turns up in an old attic trunk, an estranged mother and daughter must reunite to uncover the secret life of a family matriarch—perfect for fans of The Little Paris Bookshop and The Beekeeper’s Daughter.

Hannah Bond has always been a bookworm, which is why she fled Florida—and her unstable, alcoholic mother—for a quiet life leading Jane Austen-themed tours through the British countryside. But on New Year’s Eve, everything comes crashing down when she arrives back at her London flat to find her mother, Marla, waiting for her.

Marla’s brought two things with her: a black eye from her ex-boyfriend and an envelope. Its contents? The deed to an apartment in Paris, an old key, and newspaper clippings about the death of a famous writer named Andres Armand. Hannah, wary of her mother’s motives, reluctantly agrees to accompany her to Paris, where against all odds, they discover great-grandma Ivy’s apartment frozen in 1940 and covered in dust.

Inside the apartment, Hannah and Marla discover mysterious clues about Ivy’s life—including a diary detailing evenings of drinking and dancing with Hemingway, the Fitzgeralds, and other iconic expats. Outside, they retrace her steps through the city in an attempt to understand why she went to such great lengths to hide her Paris identity from future generations.

A heartwarming and charming saga set in the City of Lights, Lost in Paris is an unforgettable celebration of family and the love between a mother and a daughter.


Chapter One

February 1927

London, England

Dear Diary,

Mum popped in for a visit today.

She made no pretense of what she thought of my new Eton crop hairdo.

In true Constance Braithwaite fashion, she gasped and grabbed a hunk of my hair, going on and on about how I’d ruined my beauty. How no man would want me now because I looked like a boy.

I wanted to tell her the Eton crop was a statement about a woman’s self-confidence, and that confidence, in turn, accentuated femininity.

Instead, I murmured that it was just hair. It would grow back.

Lorgnette in hand, Mum moved her disapproving eyes to my chemise, which I’d made myself out of remnant fabric my boss let me take home. I love the loose, straight drop-waist skirt that falls just below my knees. I’d paired it with stockings and laced-up oxford shoes.

The look was inspired by a Coco Chanel design I saw in Vogue magazine.

As Mum inspected me, I did a twirl and asked her if she liked my frock. A cheeky move, I know, but I refused to stand there and let her berate me. Her nostrils flared as if she smelled something bad.

Her reaction made me wish I’d worn the golf knickers and tie I had finished sewing last week. Paired with argyle socks, the unfeminine ensemble would’ve made Mum apoplectic.

I would have wasted my breath if I’d tried to explain that Chanel has liberated women by taking inspiration from men’s clothing, which is so much more comfortable and convenient than the restraining styles of the past. Instead, I told her that wealthy women these days pay a lot of money to dress down, and soon, I intend to capitalize on it.

Money is a language she understands.

All she did was shake her head and say she knew my move from Bristol to London would lead to my ruin. The way I looked today was proof.

Then she announced that Allister Hutcheon, the widower undertaker back home, was looking for a wife and had been asking about me.

When I pointed out that Allister Hutcheon was closer to Dad’s age than mine, Mum sucked her teeth. She said I was too old for this nonsense. It was time to leave this foolishness behind and return to Bristol while my face was still fair and my virtue was intact. In other words, while I was still marriageable.

I don’t need a husband to take care of me and certainly not old Allister Hutcheon. I was so incensed I removed myself to the kitchen and started brewing tea to give myself a moment to calm down.

Everything considered, I’ve done well for myself. I’ve made good decisions and enough money to support myself. I’ve even managed to stash a little under the mattress.

I’d planned to tell Mum during her visit today that I was indeed leaving London, but not to return to Bristol. The way our talk was going, it was clear that I needed to break the news sooner rather than later.

When the tea was ready, I brought it out and blurted the news before my courage could escape me. I informed her I was moving to Paris with my friend Helen to apprentice in the atelier of Coco Chanel.

Mum scooted her chair away from the table. I’ll never forget the shriek of wood scraping wood. Nor the way she looked at me with fury in her blue eyes. She gathered her handbag and told me that unless I returned to Bristol with her, I needn’t come home ever again. I would not be welcome.

Once she left and her ultimatum settled in, a future life in Bristol flashed before my eyes—the regret of not going to Paris as I wasted away in spinsterhood or, I shudder to think, marriage to Allister Hutcheon.

With that, my choice was crystal clear.

About The Author

Elizabeth Thompson is a lifelong Francophile with a degree in journalism, and Lost in Paris is her first novel. She currently resides in Tennessee with her husband and their Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Luna.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Gallery Books (April 13, 2021)
  • Length: 352 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781982149086

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Raves and Reviews

“A heartwarming story that mixes history and mother-daughter bonds in a wonderful way.” PopSugar

"This debut novel will appeal to historical fiction readers, Francophiles, those who enjoy stories about mother-daughter relationships, and fans of Woody Allen’s 2011 movie, Midnight in Paris. The historical mystery, beautiful setting, and vivid characters make this a must-read." Library Journal (starred review)

“Thompson intersperses entries from Ivy’s diary throughout, capturing the romance of 1920s Paris via Ivy’s encounters with Lost Generation luminaries like Hemingway, Stein, and Picasso. The satisfying ending provides a thoughtful resolution, as well as room for all of the characters to continue their growth. Readers who enjoy Abbi Waxman and Jenny Colgan will be drawn into this multigenerational story.” Booklist

"In Elizabeth Thompson's Lost in Paris, the magical French capital comes alive in two timelines a century apart. You'll find yourself both in modern-day Paris, and in the 1920s Paris of Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Picasso, as a powerful story of secrets across the generations unfolds. If you're a Francophile like I am—or if you're a fan of Midnight in Paris or Hemingway's A Moveable Feast—you'll eat this story up like a fresh baguette straight from a corner boulangerie. A tale of family, heritage, forgiveness, and finding the strength within, Lost in Paris sparkles and shines like the City of Light itself." Kristin Harmel, New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Lost Names

“A luscious, layered story of inheritance, heartbreak, reinvention, and family. I adored this book.” —Kristan Higgins, New York Times bestselling author

"Lost in Paris has everything I love in a book: the magic of a romantic location, the intrigue of a family mystery, and the nostalgia of another era. An utterly charming read!" —Julia Kelly, internationally bestselling author of The Whispers of War and The Light Over London

"Lost in Paris is as delicious as a fresh, colorful macaron. With vivid descriptions, compelling characters, and a fascinating look into the past, Elizabeth Thompson has created a lovely story guaranteed to take readers on a journey they won’t forget." —RaeAnne Thayne, New York Times bestselling author of The Sea Glass Cottage

"A well-written character story set in one of the best cities in the world Paris. The setting works great here and enhances the story a mother-daughter relationship story that you follow along with and invest in and romance stories on two fronts." —Red Carpet Crash

"This book has a good mix of interesting storylines that keep the reader intrigued, smart, funny, and flawed characters, and also a few little twists along the way to make sure the reader doesn’t sit there smugly thinking they had figured it all out." —From the Inside

"Loved Elizabeth Thompson’s voice—the vivid descriptions of Paris and its sights and sounds, and the people drew me into the story... Elizabeth Thompson’s choice to use Ivy’s diary to connect the past to the present was executed flawlessly... The relationships between four generations of the same family are perfectly intertwined throughout the book... Like a red wine, Lost in Paris should be savored slowly for its blend of dynamic characters and well-paced storyline. Lost in Paris is a special vintage—ENJOY!" —Lady Celeste Reads Romance

"[Highly] recommend... A light mystery and the romantic streets of Paris give the story extra depth." —Barb's Book Reviews

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