READING GROUP GUIDE
- Discuss David’s actions at the train station and the ensuing social media frenzy to uncover his identity. Do you see this action
as the catalyst for the events that take place in the rest of the novel?
- Grace and David have opposite reactions when they learn about the pregnancy. Did David’s reaction give you any clues to
how he might behave in the future? What did you make of Grace’s special project she was making for her baby?
- How did Grace’s time spent at university affect the course of her life? What role did her parents play in her path?
- When Grace plays the cello, she finds herself in an almost trancelike state. What effect do you think playing music has on her?
Are there any activities you enjoy where you feel the same way?
- Grace decides to read Nadia’s diary out of an abundance of curiosity. Do you agree with her decision to read the diary? And
how does the information that Grace discovers through reading affect her relationship with Nadia?
- Discuss David’s confession in Paris, and Grace’s reaction to the news. Did you have your suspicions about David, or did his
confession come as a surprise to you? How would you have reacted if you were in Grace’s position?
- Grace is determined to fix Alan’s violin after the incident in the music shop, but Mr. Williams tells her to focus on the
Cremona cello. Why do you think he made that decision?
- On page 156, Grace thinks, “It dawns on me like daybreak that there are no winners in love affairs, however well-meaning.”
Do you agree with that sentiment? In your opinion, is Grace happier before or after the Paris confession?
- After running into Shota in Cremona, Grace has a renewed sense of confidence and contentment. How much of this change
can be attributed to the setting, and how much to the chance encounter with an important person in her past?
- In Chapter 21, we discover the truth about Nikolai Dernov. What did you think of Grace’s reaction to the news? How does
this change the way she views the past?
- After a surprise win at the Cremona Triennale, Grace confronts one of her biggest fears. What factors contributed to her
overcoming her anxiety?
- Compare Grace’s relationships at the beginning and end of the novel. How have Grace’s social needs evolved over time?
- Discuss Grace’s relationship with Nadia. Does Grace see Nadia as a daughter figure, or a friend? How do you think Grace
will continue to support Nadia in the future?
- Mr. Williams and Grace have experienced similar heartbreak, but reacted in different ways. What can they learn from each
other when it comes to love and friendship?
- At the end of the novel, Grace must say goodbye to Paris one last time. What else is she saying goodbye to, and how does this
mark a new beginning for her?
ENHANCE YOUR BOOK CLUB
- The city of Cremona, Italy, plays a large role toward the end of Goodbye, Paris. Dive into the rich musical history of the area
and learn more about the coveted art of violin making. Bonus points: Read The Art of Violin Making by Chris Johnson or
watch the documentary Strad Style or the film The Red Violin.
- “La Follia” and the “Libertango” define Grace’s attitudes in life throughout the course of the novel. Dig in to the origins of
both songs: who were the composers, and what were the songs originally intended to evoke? Bring recordings of each song to
book club and listen to them; how do they make you feel?
- Part of the joy that Mr. Williams brings into Grace’s life is the joy of hearty, homemade food. Task a member (or two
or three!) of your book club to make some of the dishes mentioned in the book, including biscuits, cheesy pastries, and
- Paris has served as inspiration for a number of authors. Discuss how other books characterize the city, and how they compare
to Goodbye, Paris. Suggestions include: A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway, The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy, and The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery