The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
Monsieur Perdu calls himself a literary apothecary. From his floating bookstore in a barge on the Seine, he prescribes novels for the hardships of life. Using his intuitive feel for the exact book a reader needs, Perdu mends broken hearts and souls. The only person he can't seem to heal through literature is himself; he's still haunted by heartbreak after his great love disappeared. She left him with only a letter, which he has never opened.
After Perdu is finally tempted to read the letter, he hauls anchor and departs on a mission to the south of France, hoping to make peace with his loss and discover the end of the story. Joined by a bestselling but blocked author and a lovelorn Italian chef, Perdu travels along the country’s rivers, dispensing his wisdom and his books, showing that the literary world can take the human soul on a journey to heal itself.
My thoughts -
Well, this novel was a delightful surprise. I received it as a Christmas gift, and guessed from reading the synopsis that I would enjoy it. I was certainly right about that.
This book feels VERY French. Now, I've never been to France, so I could be very wrong about that - but reading this book felt like taking a trip across the ocean and experiencing life in a Paris apartment, and in the countryside of Provence. There was just something about the pace - the tone - the language that was slower, more deliberate than an American novel. This book was about the experience of reading as much as it was the story, and I loved the experience.
This book is, of course, a celebration of the love of reading. It was such fun to read the references peppered throughout to various great books of history. It is also a book for readers who love the written word, and the way a story looks and sounds on the page. I found myself purposefully reading slower, to savor the time I spent in this world.
I had not heard of this book before my friend gave it to me, so I likely would not have found it without her. I am thrilled The Little Paris Bookshop found it's way into my life. It was a lovely, heartbreaking, and spirit-lifting experience. Definitely recommended.
Finished - 1/29/17
Source - my shelves, via Maria Z.
MPAA rating - PG-13
My rating - 5/5