Perestroika in Paris (2020)
Author – Jane Smiley
Genre – Fairy tale
Page Count – 288 pages
Jane Smiley’s latest book is a fairy tale for all ages and you will certainly enjoy it no matter which genres you prefer. Somewhere out there in Paris, there is a racehorse whose curiosity takes her on an adventure of a lifetime and introduces her to animals who couldn’t be more anthropomophised.
In fact, Paras, short for Perestroika is a great racehorse and she has no complaints with her caretakers and owner. She wins all races and is loved by Raina and Madeline but when she finds an opening for exploration of Paris, she just can not hold back.
And so begins her journey with Frida, a German short-hair, a raven, Raoul Corvis Corvex, the twenty-third of his name, Sid and Nancy, the mallards and Kurt and Conrad, the rats. As Paras makes her way around the various locations in Paris, she surprisingly unnoticed except for Pierre, a gardner, Jerome, a shop owner, Anais, a baker and the occasional gendarme.
The book has a lot of themes going on which were very interesting to read especially from the perspective of characters who were either unfamiliar with or unknowledgeable about it. Raoul, who usually has a lot to say about a lot of things, realizes that he doesn’t actually know as much as he thinks. Kurt, a young rat, wants to see the world and after his first foray into the city, he is simultaneously scared and excited to go back. Conrad, his father believes that humans can not be trusted and that its dangerous out there.
Perestroika in Paris is an entertaining and heart warming read and it will be difficult to find many faults with it. Its a beautiful story of love, friendship and acceptance.
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