On a beautifully restored barge on the Seine, Jean Perdu runs a bookshop; or rather a ‘literary apothecary’, for this bookseller possesses a rare gift for sensing which books will soothe the troubled souls of his customers.
The only person he is unable to cure, it seems, is himself. He has nursed a broken heart ever since the night, twenty-one years ago, when the love of his life fled Paris, leaving behind a handwritten letter that he has never dared read. His memories and his love have been gathering dust – until now. The arrival of an enigmatic new neighbour in his eccentric apartment building on Rue Montagnard inspires Jean to unlock his heart, unmoor the floating bookshop and set off for Provence, in search of the past and his beloved.
My View (no spoilers)
The Little Paris Bookshop is actually a boat called the Literary Apothecary and sits on the bank of the Seine. Jean Perdu it’s owner firmly believes that there are certain books for certain people. He prescribes books as a doctor would prescribe medicine and it works. The trouble is, it is Jean’s heart that needs healing as much as his customers.
When he reads a letter that he was meant to find 20 years ago Jean decides to go on his own quest and sets his boat that has been tethered for 20 years afloat. Sailing down the Seine he takes the reader on a journey as he seeks his own heart and answers.
He takes with him his friends and each have their tale to tell and their journey to travel.
The Little Paris Bookshop is beautifully written and captures the spirit of France, the sights, sounds, traditions and romance. It is the sort of book you can get lost in. It is a novel, a travelogue, a recipe book and a self help book all in one.
The book started very strongly but then dragged in places and unfortunately I found the end mildly disappointing However saying that, it is beautifully written with warm characters that touch your heart. I would definitely read again.
☆ ☆ ☆
Reviewed by: Sammi O’Neill
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