The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Part 1: From The Book Cover
"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.
Part 2: Recommendation
I feel like I can't properly review books when I listen to audiobooks. Why? Because I can't take down notes and memorable quotes or lines from the audiobook version because my memory is not that great and I can't write or type fast enough and usually, I'm crocheting or working at my day job when I listen to audiobooks. But I will try my best here.
I finished this book last June 26, 2017 and a month later, I'm still not sure how I feel about this book enough to write a coherent review. By this time, I have listened to a lot of audiobooks and I do enjoy them especially when I'm driving for more than 30 minutes. This book was narrated by Steve West, Emma Bering and Cassandra Campbell and they were excellent. The book was well-written, the plot is a bit on the slow, relaxed and meandering pace and the two main male characters: Jean Perdu and Max Jordan, a young novelist are very realistic to me. Jean Perdu is a little sad character but you can see him change and finally move on while Max Jordan is a very adorable young man, always helpful despite his own issues. As for Perdu's greatest love, Manon, the chapters that are from her point of view, presented as journal entries never failed to startle me mainly because I just want to get back to Perdu's and Max's adventures and who they get to meet next. I honestly did not want to hear about Manon and as each of her journal entries came to light, the more I found her to be selfish, untrustworthy and definitely not worthy of Jean Perdu's undying love and devotion, even after Jean finally read her last letter to him. In my eyes, she was deemed unworthy of the good-hearted, literary apothecary. And here comes Catherine, Perdu's second chance at love and romance and she was portrayed as another broken-hearted woman, crying over how her ex-husband left her and that was the last thing that was mentioned about her before the great adventure and sure, Jean was constantly sending her a postcard from wherever port they ended up anchoring in but it's always been one-sided. We never get to picture Catherine growing and overcoming her heartache and divorce and we never knew what she was thinking and feeling every time she received a postcard from Jean. Even though she was brave in the end to go and be with Jean, in my head, she will always be that vision of a broken woman whose husband left her for another woman. I wish there was more to Catherine in this book other than that sad, crying image seared in my brain.
If you want a sweet, slow, meandering book and to savor it, and take your time with, this would be it.
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