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Where to find A Café in Paris

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A coming-of-age story. Part romance. Part mystery.

1968—a year of upheaval, assassinations, and revolution on both sides of the Atlantic. From America’s race riots and Vietnam protests to the Sorbonne’s burning barricades to invading tanks occupying Prague to the rise of the Ayotollah in Iran to separatists’ bombs exploding across Quebec.

Meanwhile, World War II still casts its dark shadows across a café called La Joconde, the Mona Lisa,.

Axel Ayres arrived there in search of his dead father's secrets, only to encounter far more hidden stories. On that first night at La Joconde, accompanied by the familiar strains of “Hey Jude,” nursing his Stella Artois and breathing in endless cigarette smoke, he watched and listened, never imagining that many of its patrons would soon touch his life in ways that beckoned the past while charting his future.

Madame Roulade and her old English friend shared fragile, unexpected memories there. Briscome talked of valor and patriotism during two world wars. Ancient Du Maurier tutored French while yearning to see his late wife just one more time. The girl with tawny hair wrote of love, while Robert rhymed with death. Salene painted people with no eyes. Antoinette peered deeply with hers. Lucien bought drinks and welcomed strangers. And the Messiers, the café's owners, served far more than drinks.