Read The Paris Apartment Online
Authors: Lucy Foley
I trundle my suitcase across the concourse at Gare de l'Est, the broken wheel catching every few steps; I really do need to
get it fixed. I look up at the screen to find my train.
There it is: the night service to Milan, where I'll change before going on to Rome. In the early hours of the morning we'll
travel along the shore of Lake Geneva and apparently when it's clear you can see the Alps. Sounds pretty good to me. I thought
it was time for my own European tour, of sorts. Ben's staying here to make a name for himself as an investigative journalist.
So for perhaps the first time ever, I'm the one leaving him. Not running from anything or anyone. Just traveling, in search
of the next adventure.
I've even got a place waiting for me. A studio, which is actually a fancy word for a tiny room where you can reach everything
from the bed. Funnily enough, it's a conversion of an old maids' quarters at the top of an apartment block. And apparently
it has a view of St. Peter's, if you squint. It probably won't be much bigger than the concierge's cabin. But then I don't
have that much to put in it: the contents of one broken suitcase.
Anyway, it's all mine. No, not
mine . . . I didn't buy itâare you crazy? Even if I did somehow have the cash, I wouldn't want my name on the deeds for anything. Wouldn't want to be tied down. But I did put down the deposit on it and paid the first
month in advance. I took a cut of the money the girls at the club were getting. A kind of finder's fee, if you like. I'm not a saint, after all.
As for the girlsâthe women, I should sayâof course I couldn't hold each of their hands and make sure it was all going to be
OK. But it's nice to know that they've been given the same thing I have. That it'll buy them time. A little breathing room.
Maybe even the opportunity to do something else.
Twenty minutes before my train leaves. I look around for somewhere to grab a snack. And as I do I glimpse a figure moving
through the crowd. Small, with a familiar, crouching, shuffling gait. A silk headscarf. A silver whippet on a lead. Joining
the queue of people waiting to board a trainâI look up at the screen above the platformâto Nice, in the South of France. And
then I glance away, and don't look again until the train is pulling out of the platform. Because we're all entitled to that,
The chance of a new life.
I loved writing this book. At the same time, it was the hardest of my books to write: partly because it was the most complicated
structure and premise I've attempted yetÂ .Â .Â . and partly because it was written first while I was very pregnant and then
with a new baby in tow.
during a pandemic, though on that score I know how lucky I am to have a job where I can easily work from home, unlike so
many, especially those incredibly brave key workers.
Anyway, I'm so proud of this book and of releasing it into the world. It's not very British to say it, but I am! At the same
time, it feels so, so important to stress that none of it would have been possible without the hard work of some very kind,
dedicated, and talented people. There really should be multiple names on that front cover: this book has been a huge team
Thank you to the phenomenal Cath Summerhayes, for your endless wit and wisdom and sage counsel, and for being such fun to
work with and to go for lunch with and for cocktails withÂ .Â .Â . and for always being there on the end of the phone. I am so
lucky to have you and so grateful for everything you do.
Thank you to the incredible Alexandra Machinist, for your unfailingly excellent advice and unbelievable negotiating skills.
And though for the time being our planned Parisian adventures have fallen foul of the winter vomiting virus, I know we'll
be having a glass of champagne on the
soonâI can't wait to toast your brilliance!
Thank you to Kim Young, for being the most patient and supportive of editors, for championing this book from its first inception and (frankly fairly ropey) first draft. You always know how
to coax my best work from meâyou inspire me with your belief in me and my writing! Thank you for holding my hand throughout this whole processâand for always being ready to jump on the phone to discuss a mad new plot idea!
Thank you to Kate Nintzel, for your masterly editorial counselâfor your razor-sharp eye and overall publishing wizardry. I
still can't quite believe what you have achieved with
The Guest List
in the U.S., bringing my dark little British book to well over a million readers! I am so lucky to have you as my champion.
Thank you to the utterly brilliant Charlotte Brabbin. You are such a talented, dedicated editor. I am so grateful for all
your hard work and advice, tact and creativity, and for always being ready and willing for a brainstormâhowever small or silly
the query, whatever time of day or night!
Thank you to Luke Speed, for all your kindness and wisdomÂ .Â .Â . and for your endless patience in explaining the magical and
mystifying world of film to me! And thank you at the same time for being such fun to work with. You and Cath are the dream
team! May there be many more lunchesÂ .Â .Â . and cinema dates!
Thank you to Katie McGowan, Callum Mollison, and Grace Robinson, for your incredible work in finding my books so many publishers
around the world. It's such a thrill to think of them being translated into other languages and finding so many new readers
globally. I'm in awe of what you do.
Thank you to the fabulous Harper Fiction family: to Kate Elton, Charlie Redmayne, Isabel Coburn, Abbie Salter, Hannah O'Brien,
Sarah Shea, Jeannelle Brew, Amy Winchester, Claire Ward, Roger Cazalet, Izzy Coburn, Alice Gomer, Sarah Munro, Charlotte Brown,
Grace Dent, and Ben Hurd. I am so lucky to be published by you all. I'm so hoping we all get to raise a glass together soon!
Thank you to the brilliant team at William Morrow: Brian
Murray, Liate Stehlik, Molly Gendell, Brittani Hilles, Kaitlin Harri, Sam Glatt, Jennifer Hart, Stephanie Vallejo, Pam Barricklow, Grace Han, and Jeanne Reina. Thank you so much for your tireless work and dedication and for championing my books stateside. I can't wait to visit you all in New York and celebrate together!
Thank you to the wonderful wider Curtis Brown A-Team: to Jonny Geller, Jess Molloy, and Anna Weguelin.
Thank you to my darling friend Anna Barrett, for doing such a fantastic early read-through and edit of
The Paris Apartment
when I was too scared to show it to anyone elseâfor hugely boosting my confidence in the book with your encouragement and
suggestions. I highly recommend Anna if you're looking for an independent edit of your novelâshe's at www.the-writers-space.com.
Last, but very much not leastÂ .Â .Â . thank you to my family:
Thank you to the Foley, Colley, and Allen clans, for all your support.
Thank you to my wonderful siblings, Kate and Robbie (againâthank God!ânothing like the siblings in this book!). I'm so proud
of you both and so lucky to have you.
Thank you to my parents, for your pride in me and for the endless, unflagging support. Thank you for forgiving me for turning
up to stay only to dump the wee man on you with no warning and disappear behind my laptop. For being such kind and loving
grandparents, feeding and playing and looking after the little guy so lovingly and uncomplainingly while I've been mired in
copyedits and proofreads. Thank you for encouraging me in my storytelling since I was a little girl telling Farmer Pea tales
in the back seat!
Thank you to Al, for quite literally making all of this possible. For holding the baby; for putting stuff on hold to help
me; for talking me through plot crises at three
. and on walks and
drives and over dinners we've gone out for and holidays we've taken to
from the bookÂ .Â .Â . for your wisdom; your support; your belief; your encouragement. For reading through almost as many drafts
of this book as I have myself, biro in handâeven when knackered from a day's work or baby wranglingÂ .Â .Â . or both. You say
twenty percentâI say I owe you everything.
studied English literature at Durham University and University College London and worked for several years as a fiction editor
in the publishing industry. She is the author of five novels, including
The Guest List
The Hunting Party
. She lives in London.
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously
and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead,
is entirely coincidental.
the paris apartment
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Published in 2022 by HarperFiction, an imprint of HarperCollins UK.
first u.s. edition
Cover design by Grace Han
Cover photograph Â© Elisabeth Ansley/Trevillion Images
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data has been applied for.
Digital Edition FEBRUARY 2022 ISBN: 978-0-06-300307-1
Print ISBN: 978-0-06-300305-7
ISBN 978-0-06-322792-7 (international edition)
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