One Parisian summer
A building of separate lives
All that divides them will soon collapse...
'It'll open your heart and your mind. It certainly did mine' The Pool
In a forgotten corner of Paris stands a building.
Within its walls, people talk and kiss, laugh and cry; some are glad to sit alone, while others wish they did not. A woman with silver-blonde hair opens her bookshop downstairs, an old man feeds the sparrows on his windowsill, and a young mother wills the morning to hold itself at bay. Though each of their walls touches someone else's, the neighbours they pass in the courtyard remain strangers.
Into this courtyard arrives Edward. Still bearing the sweat of a channel crossing, he takes his place in an attic room to wait out his grief.
But in distant corners of the city, as Paris is pulled taut with summer heat, there are those who meet with a darker purpose. As the feverish metropolis is brought to boiling point, secrets will rise and walls will crumble both within and without Number 37...
'Confident and brilliant. She will immerse you in a world I dare you to turn away from.' Lisa O'Donnell, author of The Death of Bees
Fran Cooper grew up in London before reading English at Cambridge and Art History at the Courtauld Institute of Art. She spent three years in Paris writing a PhD about travelling eighteenth-century artists, and currently works in the curatorial department of a London museum. These Dividing Walls is her first novel.
An engaging debut that throws light on a hidden side of Paris. — Woman & Home
Confident and brilliant — Lisa O'Donnell
This book played into my acute nosiness, throwing open the doors to the fictional lives of the residents of number 37 . . . It'll open your heart and your mind. It certainly did mine. — The Pool
A multi-layered novel, elevated by fine writing, in which our traditional view of Paris is debunked to show a less familiar side of the city. Cooper's expertly realised characters, both sympathetic and not, have stories that are interwoven with aplomb. — Daily Mail
Cooper has written a Ship of Fools for today, bringing forth the poetry and pathos of ordinary lives. — The Lady
The Paris of this skillful yet tender debut novel is not the Paris of our Eurostar mini breaks. — Red Online
Cooper's characters are what make this novel so readable. — The Herald
The writing tantalizingly evokes the sights and sounds of Paris while also giving us an eye-opening perspective of a side of the city that we don't know much about. It is a nuanced portrayal of relationships and the whole spectrum of human emotions. — Book Riot
This beautifully written debut is about love and loss. — Nina Pottell, Prima
Timely and thoughtful, it's perhaps one of the first novels to reflect back the state of our current society. — The Idle Woman blog
I absolutely loved this book and I can't wait to read more from the author who I'm sure has a glittering career ahead of her. — What Cathy Read Next
The writing is exquisite and discursive. — Isobel Blackthorn
An erudite and engaging read — Bookliterati
Cooper's writing is exceptional. ... It's a beautifully crafted novel. — Book and Brew
An enchanting and beautifully written debut — Jo's Book Blog
It's the voices of various neighbours in their apartment block that make this novel special. — AnOther Magazine
In a Paris tense with summer heat, anger and hate drive its people to drastic action, in this intensely satisfying and timely novel of a city in crisis. — Aileen Smyth, Dubray Rathmines