Book Review of The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley
The Paris Apartment is a well-named psychological thriller – the focus of the action is almost entirely within a single apartment inhabited by the dysfunctional Meunier family. The reader is introduced to them when Jess turns up to meet her brother Ben, only to find that he has gone missing.
The story is part who-dunnit and part why-did-they-dunnit with the various twists and turns of plot, that you’d expect of a thriller. The reader is invited into a world of subterfuge, lies and deception where very little is as it originally seems. Sophie, the elegant and sophisticated step-mum chooses to hide her origins, and the concierge, also has plenty of reasons to be hesitant about revealing who she really is.
The characters in the Meunier family are all caught up in the life of Ben, a charming, if somewhat disingenuous, journalist. They all have a different reason to slowly realise that they’d rather Ben wasn’t in the apartment that his friend Nick, son of the bully Jacques Meunier, had invited him to live in. Jess, his sister, is repeatedly warned to leave things well alone, but determined to discover what has happened to her brother, she refuses, despite the danger this frequently puts her in.
Book Club Questions on Lucy Foley's The Paris Apartment
- Discuss the plot twists in The Paris Apartment. What events did you anticipate or fail to see coming?
- Which member of the Meunier family do you have most sympathy for and why? Discuss.
- Discuss the relationship between Sophie and the concierge.
- Do you think Sophie was fully aware of the relationship between the concierge and Sophia?
- Mimi’s bicycle accident was deliberate, so a suicide attempt. What factors do you think led to her poor mental health?
- Ben is presented as quite an enigmatic character. How would you sum him up? Discuss.
- What key themes are explored in The Paris Apartment?
- What issue most resonated with you as a reader?
- Will you read The Night Train – the sequel to Lucy Foley’s The Paris Apartment? Why or why not? Discuss.
- Do you think the novel The Paris Apartment would resonate differently with the reader if it had been set in a different city, for example the Glasgow apartment? Discuss the reasons for your viewpoint.
- Who did you judge most harshly in Lucy Foley’s The Paris Apartment and why?
Book Club Questions on The Paris Apartment (if you haven't read the book!)
- In The Paris Apartment Theo says to Jess that he suspects she has a tendency to be reckless. Who do you think in the bookclub has the most reckless tendencies?
- Jess is determined to get to the bottom of what happened to her brother, even though it means that she is often in danger herself. Do you consider this brave or foolish? Would you put yourself in danger to solve a mystery?
- The Paris Apartment has a sequel, called The Night Train, where the main protagonist continues her adventure across Europe. Do you enjoy reading books if you know there is a sequel, or do you feel that there is a sense of incompletion?
- In The Paris Apartment Jess finds herself attracted to characters who she neither likes nor admires. How common a phenomenon do you think this is?
- The Paris Apartment can be categorized as a pyschological thriller. What is the best pyschological thriller that you’ve read?
- The Meunier family has more than one ‘family secret’. Do you have any ancestral family secrets that you’d be willing to share?
Personal Response to The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley
Stylistically, Lucy Foley’s The Paris Apartment reminded me very much of Lisa Jewell’s The Family Upstairs. There are even similarities in plot structrure and both Lisa Jewell and Lucy Foley wrote sequels to their novels where we learn more about the protagonists. Although I don’t read many thrillers, The Paris Apartment did what it advertised on the tin. It was an interesting page-turner, with manageable short chapters, making it, in my view, a quick and fun holiday read.