“The Little Paris Bookshop” by Nina George (2015)
Genre: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary
Page Length: 392 pages (hardcover edition)
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.
Internationally bestselling and filled with warmth and adventure, The Little Paris Bookshop is a love letter to books, meant for anyone who believes in the power of stories to shape people’s lives. (description from Blogging For Books)
The Little Paris Bookshop is not only about a man trying to heal after losing his love, but the work he does as a literary apothecary. The book sends messages to its readers about the importance and power of having books in one’s life. Perdu constantly talks about how books are healing, provide an escape from everyday life, fuels imaginations, takes you on thousands of journeys, and much more.
The book was full of amazing quotes about literature and reading which continued to stay with me even after I finished the book. One of my favorite quotes from the novel was:
“Books are more than doctors, of course. Some novels are loving, lifelong companions;some give you a clip around the ear; others are friends who wrap you in warm towels when you’ve got those autumn blues. And some…well, some are pink candy floss that tingles in your brain for three seconds and leaves a blissful voice. Like a short, torrid love affair.” (George, pg. 29)
While the book is about literature it also focuses heavily on the theme of “love”. It brings up the questions such as, “What does it really mean to be in love?”All of the main male characters are at different stages of life so it offers readers a more varied perspective on love and relationships.
The Little Paris Bookshop is a calm piece of literary fiction and at times it was a bit too slow-paced (for me) in various parts of the novel. But the action and plot does move a lot quicker as you reach the latter part of the book.
I loved the vivid description of scenery and appreciated the detail George took to recreate landscapes I’ve only seen in pictures and characters that readers will enjoy. An added bonus to the novel is that all of tasty recipes and Perdu’s book remedies mentioned in the story are included in the back of the novel for readers.
An entertaining book that takes us on the journey of love, France, and reading. I hope one day I’ll get to visit a literary apothecary or boat bookshop one day!
FTC Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for a fair and honest review.