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Publisher's Summary

Woodrow McIlmore, the town's golden boy and local gynecologist, is married to his beautiful high school sweetheart, Milan, and seems by all appearances to be leading the perfect life with his two children and extended family and friends. But when Wood's daughter announces that she is smitten with a college classmate and intends to marry him, her parents are stunned. Their daughter's beloved is none other than the son of Wood's lost love, Duff, romantic chemistry has repeated itself in the next generation!

The impending wedding will lead the free-spirited Duff, now an IHOP waitress, to return to the town and the man she left behind, for the first time in twenty years. As Wood's and Duff's reckless behavior progresses, they are forced to question whether their rediscovered passion is worth shattering their children's future and Milan's faith in her husband, and abandoning the friendships and values that they have clung to since childhood. As one of the group says to Wood, "See, it's not just you having an affair. Now we're all having an affair."

During this one tumultuous year, there is a revelation of sexual identity, an unexpected death, a birth, and a wedding, bringing about as many changes as the national discount superstore that is destroying the very heart of the town. The six friends will be forced to decide what in their lives is worth keeping and what needs to be thrown away, and how they can save for their children not only Main Street, but the things that were learned there.

©2004 Linda Bloodworth Thomason; (P)2005 Recorded Books, LLC

Critic Reviews

"Poignant, welcoming, and warmly funny, this is an irresistible page-turner." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

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  • Overall

Deeply moving, a great listen

One of my favorite Audible selections. Opening with a funeral, ending with a wedding, with a wealth of humor, tragedy, and original characters, the story ends all too soon. Bloodworth introduces a handful of memorable, flawed players you will be glad to know, without once falling into the trap of predictability. Very well read, too. The female reader manages to create unique vocal characters without slipping into caricature, as women readers often do when creating male voices. I heartily endorse Ms. Bloodworth's fiction debut and look forward to her next release.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Characters and story line that lives on...

I absolutely loved this book. The writer brought the characters to life and the reader took them one step forward by endearing them to your heart. Well written...excellent message.

Makes you want to go to Paris Arkansas, even if it is just in your imagination!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Nancy
  • Northbrook, IL, USA
  • 08-28-06

I love Paris!

This book was without a doubt the best book I have listened to in a long time. I laughed; I cried. I couldn't stop listening. The narrator did an excellent job with both male and female characters. I hope that Linda Bloodworth Thomason write another book very soon.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Wonderful!

I felt like I was in Paris Ark! I loved the characters, cried and laughed, hate it ended! Great book!

  • Overall
  • Kathleen
  • Highland Village, TX, USA
  • 06-23-07

Outstanding

Some books just lend themselves to listening. Liberating Paris is just such a book. Laugh out loud funny - it is doubly so through the narrator's use of accent and inflection. The characters were multi dimensional, their weaknesses and moments of nobility clearly visible. You cannot help but love and weep for each one of them. Weeks later I can summon up some of the quotes and chuckle to myself or shake my head. I just loved this book.

  • Overall
  • Paul
  • Highland Park, IL, USA
  • 09-24-06

Funny, touching

I enjoyed this story about a small town in Arkansas. There's a lot more going on than whether a big box retailer is ruining Main Street. It's a story about the lives of some very good, though very flawed people, about their loves and their dreams and ambitions, and how sometimes those loves and dreams crashed. But still they carry on in a town that most of America doesn't know exists. The author achieves the big prize for novelists: She brings the characters to life. Plot is easy compared to character. You really feel like you know the characters in her story, that you've even grown up in the little town of Paris. A great, entertaining effort, and a very touching story.

  • Overall
  • Frank
  • Little Rock, AR, USA
  • 10-20-05

Liberating Paris

An incredible story of small town USA and what the late 20th century and 21st century has down to the idleaic Norman Rockwell picture of small town USA. Just awesome. A must read.