Wednesday, February 10, 2016

'The Little Paris Bookshop'

It's not often that stories can make me cry.  Tears of joy, tears of terror, tears of sadness. How about tears of familiarity? 

People have been recommending the book, 'The Little Paris Bookshop', for a while now, and once I put it on my 'hold' list at the library, I had to wait a good while for it.

Once I got the notice that it was waiting for me, I ran down that day and picked it up.  It was a story that I won't forget anytime soon.

It is at once a gentle, yet passionate, tale of a Parisian man who is drowning in memories of his lost love.  Before she took off, she left a letter, but her lover couldn't bring himself to read it.

But, twenty years later, he rediscovered it and read it, which led to the journey of a lifetime.

I realized from the very first paragraph that author Nina George is an extremely talented writer.  She pulled my heartstrings.  She made me cry.  She made me concentrate on lifelong regrets, and guided me toward a reconciliation of what I had done, and what I was too fearful to try.

This is a deep book, folks.  It's not a pretty romance.  It's not a 'bromance', either (two men accompany him, and they each have their own reasons for the journey)  It's a journey of enlightenment; a journey to find things lost and delight in things found.  Her characters touched me deeply.

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. But the only person he cannot heal is himself.  He's still haunted by the heartbreak after his great love disappeared.  She left him with a letter that he has never opened.

Author Nina George

After finally reading the letter, he lifts anchor and travels to the south of France, hoping to discover the end of the story.  Joined by a young bestselling, but blocked, author, and a lovelorn Italian chef, Perdu goes on a journey to heal his soul.

I cannot recommend this novel enough.  It is warm, full of wisdom, and has a few surprises. And, yes, it is romantic.

What do you expect from a story set in a floating bookstore (with two cats!) on a river in France?

'The Little Paris Bookshop', by Nina George, is available at your local library or favorite bookstore.  ISBN 9780553418774 Published by Crown Publishing, a division of Penguin Random House.