The Little Paris Bookshop
by Nina George
I initially had mixed feelings when I started The Little Paris Bookshop. But as I fell further and further into the story, I was swept away with it’s beauty and depth. The story opens with an introduction to Jean Perdu, a book seller on a barge in Paris named the Literary Apothecary. He believes that books can heal any ailment and “prescribes” them to his customers. He says at one point,However, he is struggling with his own inner grief over a love lost twenty years ago. This initially annoyed me because she was referred to as “–” instead of her name, Manon. He soon discovers a letter from her, written twenty years earlier, and it moves him deeply because he discovers she left him all those years ago because she was dying of cancer. Around this same time Perdu meets a young author, Max, who is experiencing writers block after his first book’s huge success. They form a sort of bond when Perdu drops everything to take his barge to Manon’s place of death and meet her husband (Jean and Manon were having an affair). The rest of the book follows his story of grief and how he deals with grief and loss and finding love and peace. One of the characters says the following to Jean about grief:
I loved the story and his journey. I haven’t read a book dealing with loss and grief and I found it moving and enlightening. I got completely invested in the characters and lost in their story. The things I didn’t love were the intro and not naming __, it made it hard to follow. I also found some of the language a little too flowery and some of the men’s emotions were a little hard to believe at times. That being said, there was so much beauty and depth and truth that I was swept away.
Summing it up: I recommend this book. While there were aspects that were annoying or hard to believe while reading, overall my lasting impression was moving and beautiful. I especially loved reading the interview with George at the end of the book. At one point she talks about “the readers’ club” and it resonated with me:
All the best, Abbey