Little Paris Bookshop: A Novel, The

Nina George
“There are books that are suitable for a million people, others for only a hundred. There are even remedies—I mean books—that were written for one person only…A book is both medic and medicine at once. It makes a diagnosis as well as offering therapy. Putting the right novels to the appropriate ailments: that’s how I sell books.”   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.

Reviews

Reviewed: 2017-01-02
Angsty, sappy love story. I was thrilled, THRILLED when I heard about this book. A floating bookshop on the Seine? A bookseller that can recommend the right book for just what the customer needs? A lost love that sets off a journey to find out what happened and to seek peace?
 
Admittedly I wasn't into the love story, but this honestly reminded me of 'Chocolat' for booklovers. Having once been a bookseller I loved the idea of Monsieur Perdu somehow having the knack of knowing exactly what book would suit the buyer. And I also needed something much lighter to read after 'Midnight's Furies.'
 
Sadly, once again, the hype is not warranted. Perdu is a cranky guy who sells books off his boat. He had a great love once, but she left him. A neighbor finds a sealed letter and convinces Perdu to read it. The contents sets in motion an adventure involving a bestselling author and an Italian chef to find out more about what happened. They find out about each other. Perdu finds peace. Etc.
 
But I got bored. I've never really been into romances, and Perdu's relationship with Manon ate away at him. We are treated to plenty of flashbacks, but honestly Perdu comes across as a cantankerous, and perhaps bitter middle-aged guy. Neither their love story nor the overarching one compelled me to continue turning the pages to find out what happens next.
 
I really loved the premise, but the execution fell flat. It's also a translated work and I wonder if that has something to do with it. Recommend the library. It may work for others, but I am sad to report it did not for me.
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