The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Crown; 1st Edition (June 23, 2015)
Amazon Book Description: 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.
Reading Sara Review: I knew that I would love writing this review from the beginning of this book. The book is meant for book lovers. This story is for anyone who not only loves happy endings, but loves happy endings with characters who journey to find themselves and truly deserve the happiness that they achieve.
Monsieur Perdu runs what I would personally consider a dream – a bookshop on a boat along the Seine in Paris. Perdu does more than just sell books to his customers – he “prescribes” books that will help people find their path to resolution for whatever ails them (a literary apothecary). He resides in an apartment building with a cast of characters. He mostly keeps to himself until a new tenant, Catherine, moves in. While helping Catherine recover from a divorce by giving her furniture (and books, obviously), his own wounds begin to open.
This leads Monsieur Perdu to cast off down the Seine in his boat to find closure and redemption for something he did not do 20 years ago. On each leg of the journey, he is joined by others who are also searching for something (escape, new love, new beginnings). The boat becomes somewhat of a sanctuary for those who are lost, living among books that can help them (even if it is a How-To Book on tying knots to dock the boat). The literary apothecary becomes their connection to each place they visit – either by trading books for croissants at a local bakery, or simply opening the shop to sell books to locals and tourists.
Through this trip, the reader gets to visit France – the small towns, the interesting people and the incredible food. The reader falls in love with the characters, from the bestselling author Max, who is trying to escape the fame and simply find his next great story, to Salvo, an Italian chef who lost a great love, and certainly with Perdu, who is searching for forgiveness so that he can love again.
It is a wonderful, unique story that opens the imagination to the power of books as something to help us heal throughout our lives. But it also tells a story of the path to self-forgiveness through friendship and open hearts. This was a lovely story, and one that I will certainly place on my “books to re-read” list.
“Reading – an endless journey; a long, indeed never-ending journey that made one more temperate as well as more loving and kind.” – Nina George, The Little Paris Bookshop
As an incredible bonus, at the end of the book are a few French recipes that I cannot wait to try!
Wine Recommendation: I recommend a Rhone-blend for this lovely book. As far as I know, Luc’s vineyard does not actually exists – and you cannot actually purchase the Manon wine. If you discover that it does in fact exist, please buy me some. In the meantime, because the end of this book takes place in Provence, luckily, a place that I recently visited – I recommend trying Châteauneuf-du-Pape’s sibling wine, a Rasteau. Rasteau received their own AOC (appellation d’origine controlee, translated to controlled designation of origin, an important French wine certification) in 2010. It is part of the Côtes du Rhône region, a personal favorite for wine for myself. Primarily known for their reds, they also have some great whites & rosés. These wines will be fruity, strong and transplant you to Southern France in an instant.
Picture borrowed gratefully from : http://www.laithwaites.co.uk/product/Red-PRD-Red-still-wine/Domaine-Martin-Rasteau-2010/63732