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
Paras, short for “Perestroika,” is 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 time in 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 ivy-walled house where the boy and his nearly-one-hundred-year-old great-grandmother live in seclusion. As the cold weather and Christmas near, the unlikeliest of friendships bloom. But how long can a runaway horse stay undiscovered in Paris? How long can a boy keep her hidden and all to himself?
Jane Smiley’s beguiling new novel is itself an adventure that celebrates curiosity, ingenuity, and the desire of all creatures for true love and freedom.