Perestroika in Paris
by Smiley, Jane

"From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Thousand Acres and the New York Times best-selling Last Hundred Years Trilogy, a captivating, brilliantly imaginative story of three extraordinary animals-and a young boy-whose lives intersect in Paris Parasis a spirited racehorse at a racetrack west of Paris. At dusk, one afternoon she pushes open the door of her stall-she's a curious filly-and, after traveling through the night, arrives by chance in the City of Light. She's dazzled, and often mystified,by the sights, sounds and smells around her, but she isn't afraid. Soon she meets an elegant dog, a German shorthair pointer named Frida, who knows how to get by without attracting the attention of suspicious Parisians. Paras and Frida coexist for a timein the city's lush green spaces, nourished by Frida's strategic trips to the bakery and the butchershop. They keep company with two irrepressible ducks, and an opinionated raven. But then Paras meets a human boy, Etienne, and discovers a new, otherworldly part of Paris: the secluded, ivy-walled house where the boy and his nearly-one-hundred-year-old great grandmother live, quietly and unto themselves. As the cold weather and Christmas near, the unlikeliest of friendships bloom among humans and animals alike. But how long can a runaway horse live undiscovered in Paris? And how long can a boy keep her hidden, and all his own? Jane Smiley's beguiling new novel is itself an adventure that celebrates curiosity and ingenuity, and expresses the desire of all creatures for true friendship, love, and freedom"-

JANE SMILEY is the author of numerous novels, including A Thousand Acres, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, and most recently, The Last Hundred Years Trilogy: Some Luck, Early Warning, and Golden Age. She is also the author of several works of nonfiction and books for young adults. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, she has also received the PEN Center USA Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature. She lives in Northern California.

*Starred Review* Smiley, a longtime best-selling Pulitzer winner, follows a series of children's novels about kids and horses with this spellbinding, subtly shrewd fable. Perestroika is the name of a very curious, young French racehorse, called Paras for short, who one fine day pushes open the unlatched door of her stall, picks up her trainer's purse, and makes her way to Paris. She quickly attracts a guardian, Frida, a beautiful, streetwise hunting dog whose busker owner has died, and who has been fending for herself by taking full advantage of Parisians' adoration for well-mannered canines. Soon Paras and Frida befriend two mallards with the hilarious punk rock names of Sid and Nancy, and a haughty-or so he seems-raven, Sir Raoul Corvus Corax. They communicate easily, and each possesses a distinct and revealing perspective on the world and the art of survival. As careful as elegant Paras is, she can't help but be conspicuous, and soon attracts the awe of a very special little boy, Étienne, who lives with and takes care of his blind, hard of hearing, yet still quite keen great-grandmother in a deteriorating mansion, which is also home to a restless young black rat named Kurt. How boy, horse, dog, ducks, raven, and rat join forces and bring wonder and joy to lonely humans makes for a tenderly clever, charming, and spirit-nourishing tale of freedom and responsibility, acceptance and friendship, generosity and love.HIGH-DEMAND BACK STORY: Readers will flock to the first adult novel from Smiley in five years, especially since this smart and enchanting tale is a guaranteed antidote to stress. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

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