A little delayed but here is the long-awaited book review of The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George that I had finally finished reading some time over the week.
I must admit that the book was pretty damn amazing. Why? Because no matter how desperate I wanted to finish reading the book and keep up with my 2016 Goodreads Reading Challenge, I also wanted to take my time with it. It was quite a dilemma, indeed.
What I liked about the book was the writing style. It was casually-written, injected with lots of bookish humour and dry sarcasm. The kind of dry Bitish wit that mocks your intelligence but you know they’re just kidding. They don’t mean to put you down or ridicule you. They just want to make you laugh.
I also loved how literary it was, with the author leaving a smattering of bite-sized pieces of quotes in books written by dead (or still alive) bestselling authors. Monsieur Jean Perdu’s occupation as the literary apothecary where he turned a little barge into his floating book clinic on the Seine had sealed my love for the book. Possessing the ability to heal the soul just by suggesting the right titles to his customers did seem like a dream job for book lovers like myself. Imagine being able to heal a broken heart or lovesickness with the right book. That’s just fantastic! I’d love to have a job like that.
Backcover story by Goodreads:
On a barge on the Seine, Jean Perdu runs a bookshop, or rather a ‘literary apothecary’, for this bookseller possess a rare gift for sensing which books will soothe his customers’ troubled souls.
The only person he is unable to cure, it seems, is himself. For twenty-one years he has nursed a broken heart – and never dared open the letter his love left behind. But the arrival of an enigmatic new neighbour inspires Jean to unlock his heart, unmoor the floating bookshop and set off for Provence, in search of the past and his beloved.
The Little Paris Bookshop had been neatly divided into three sections which only a reader can tell where it began and where it ended.
For the most part, we see Monsieur Perdu trying his best to accept reality while struggling to come to terms with the death of his lover, Manon. He is surrounded by caring people, mostly his neighbours on No. 27, Rue Montagnard and one particular woman who has taken a liking to him, and vice versa. Then, some action started seeping in after Perdu had finally read the letter that Manon had left to him, and he decided once and for all that he would go on a journey to find out what really happened. Of course, no journey is complete and perfect without a partner. That partner turned out to be none other than young author Max Jordan, another struggling individual but more towards finding the right path on how to overcome writer’s block. Throw in another quirky individual by the name of Salvador Cuneo and voila! You’ve got yourself a trio of sorts who were all on the hunt for what life really meant to them.
Towards the ending, you will find that the journey hadn’t just been Perdu’s alone. It had been a discovery for the other two boating partners that had inadvertently gone along with Perdu. To each his own, I would say. Because eventually, Perdu, Max, and Cuneo had found what they were really looking for in life, and what had life really meant to them. Touching, it was. And meaningful too.
And because the book was so sweet and lovely, with a hint of cocoa and cinnamon, I will be keeping it instead of selling it off on Carousell. Now to get on with my current read: Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff.