Jane Smiley’s The Strays of Paris is a captivating story of a group of extraordinary animals – and one little boy – whose lives cross paths in the city.
Paras is a spirited young racehorse living in a stable in the French countryside. One afternoon she pushes open her stall and arrives quite by chance in the dazzling streets of Paris. She meets a German shorthaired pointer named Frida, two irrepressible ducks and an opinionated crow, and life among the animals in the city’s lush green spaces is enjoyable for a time. But everything changes when Paras meets a boy, Étienne, and discovers an otherworldly part of Paris: the secluded, ivy-walled house where the boy and his great-grandmother live quietly and keep to themselves. As the cold weather of winter nears, the unlikeliest of friendships blooms between human and animals.