J. Byrne Murphy’s ‘Le Deal’ Proves That Living Abroad Comes With Its Own Set of Challenges [REVIEW]

A leap of faith and a move to Paris lead a young entrepreneur to success in Le Deal. (Photo courtesy Canva)

Have you ever found yourself wondering what it would be like to pack up and move to another continent? While your innate sense of adventure may relish the thought, what would the realities of the situation be like? Obviously each nation has its own way of doing things, its own culture. But what challenges might you encounter? Find out in J. Byrne Murphy’s Le Deal.

J. Byrne Murphy's LE DEAL
Lyons Press

In this book that is part business story and part autobiography, we find out how a young Murphy moved his wife and baby girl to Paris with little more than an entrepreneurial idea to start a chain of high-end fashion outlet malls throughout Europe. After all, the idea had caught fire across the US, so why not do the same across the pond? How hard could it be? Little did he realize just how naïve he was.

As Murphy introduced his idea to European officials, he and his company meet up with some heavy hitters in the political arena. The French prime minister, a soon-to-be German chancellor, a suspiciously Mafia-like potential partner in Italy, and even the Royal family in Great Britain. Each encounter teaches Murphy and his team a new lesson, all reminding him that international business is far more complicated than tackling a new start up back home in the US.

Still, despite the odds, Murphy’s business, McArthurGlen Europe, eventually took root and began to grow like a sprawling vine that eventually wove its way through the European continent. Ultimately, it bore 11 centers that welcomed nearly 40 million shoppers per year, created 8,000 jobs, and generated approximately 1 billion dollars in sales! His passion project also became the idea behind a brand-new industry which drew new competitors out of the woodwork.

Now, I’m not a businessman. I have never dreamed of working in international business or even taken a college course in the subject. But I do love a great story, especially one about an underdog with a dream, and that is what this book is. As you read through Le Deal, you’ll find yourself cheering for this young family who took a leap of faith and set out on an adventure that had more than its share of problems. And while Murphy wasn’t out slaying dragons while building his destiny, he did grapple with the highest echelons of power in nations he knew little about, which is probably even more impressive when you get down to it.

We have oftentimes thought we would love to move to Europe. The idea of starting life anew as ex-pats sounds fun and exciting. But Murphy reminds all of us that we had better carefully investigate the places we contemplate relocating to, especially if we are thinking about working there or starting a business of our own. There’s a reason this book has become a popular must-read in business school courses across the country. Murphy lived it, and he knows that no matter how much homework you do ahead of time, no matter how prepared you think you are going into a new culture, you better brace yourself for loads of surprises and more than a few shocks.

Engaging, thought provoking, and brutally honest, Le Deal is a book about the hard-won wisdom the Murphy family learned during years of trial and error. But most of all, it proves that if you’re willing to embrace new adventures and work really hard, your impossible dreams really can come true.

J. Byrne Murphy
J. Byrne Murphy
(Photo by Marjorie Hardy)


J. Byrne Murphy was one of the founders and Depute Chief Executive of McArthurGlen Europe. He spent eight years in an ultimately successful struggle to implant the concept of designer outlet centers in Europe, featuring brands ranging from Gucci and Prada to Polo and Nike.

Murphy is an entrepreneur who has started up several European ventures. Recently, these have included a data center operation in Scandinavia, and the redevelopment of a 15th-century palazzo in Florence, Italy, into one of Europe’s first private residence clubs.

He is a cum laude graduate of Harvard and received his MBA from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. After living in Europe for 12 years, Murphy now resides in the Washington, D.C. area with his wife, Pamela, and their four daughters.

By J. Byrne Murphy
304 pp. Lyons Press. $26.95

Purchase Le Deal direct from Jathan & Heather Books or from one of these fine online retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Half Price Books, Hudson Booksellers, IndieBound, Powell’s, or Walmart.

Le Deal is brought to you in association with TLC Book Tours.

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

3 Responses to J. Byrne Murphy’s ‘Le Deal’ Proves That Living Abroad Comes With Its Own Set of Challenges [REVIEW]

  1. Pingback: Review: Le Deal, by J. Byrne Murphy | Bibliotica

  2. Sara Strand says:

    Thank you for being on this tour! Sara @ TLC Book Tours

  3. Pingback: J. Byrne Murphy, author of Le Deal, on tour April/May 2021 | TLC Book Tours

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