The Strays of Paris

Listen to a sample

What to expect

Sunshine in book form’ Daily Mail

‘A joyfully escapist celebration of friendship and freedom’ Mail on Sunday

‘Delightful, heartwarming . . . An especially welcome reminder of the bright spots even in dark times’NPR

Paras is a spirited young racehorse living in a stable in the French countryside. That is until one afternoon when she pushes open the gate of her stall and, travelling through the night, arrives quite by chance in the dazzling streets of Paris.

She soon meets a German shorthaired pointer named Frida, two irrepressible ducks and an opinionated crow, and life amongst the animals in the city’s lush green spaces is enjoyable for a time. But everything changes when Paras meets a human boy, Étienne, and discovers a new, otherworldly part of Paris: the secluded, ivy-walled house where the boy and his nearly one-hundred-year-old great-grandmother live quietly and keep to themselves. As the cold weather of Christmas nears, the unlikeliest of friendships blooms between human and animals.

But how long can a runaway horse live undiscovered in Paris? And how long can one boy keep her all to himself? Charming and beguiling in equal measure, Jane Smiley’s novel celebrates the intrinsic need for friendship, love and freedom, whoever you may be . . .

From Jane Smiley, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Thousand Acres, The Strays of Paris is a captivating story of a group of extraordinary animals – and one little boy – whose lives cross paths in Paris.

Critics Review

  • A marvellous novelist

    Guardian
  • Sunshine in book form

    Daily Mail
  • As delightful as it is surprising . . . A joyfully escapist celebration of friendship and freedom

    Mail on Sunday
  • Absorbing and warming

    New Statesman
  • If you’re looking for a feel-good escape, try this

    New York Times
  • An immersive fable . . . Beguiling . . . A comforting read at the end of a difficult year — a winter’s tale full of wit, warmth, and charm

    The Economist

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to get tailored content recommendations, product updates and info on new releases. Your data is your own: we commit to protect your data and respect your privacy.