Hello! It’s been a bit longer than usual, I’ve been a bit slower with reading this week as I’ve been focusing on my course. I’m nearly through it now though, which means that I’m getting back to reading! So I’m finally getting to sit down and write some reviews on a couple of books that I’ve finished reading over the past week or so. The book that I’m reviewing for today’s post is not a new read for me. I’ve read it once before years ago and I loved it. Then recently I have seen it on a bookstagram posts and I really wanted to re-read it. So I did.
The Little Paris Bookshop is a contemporary fiction novel and also a romance novel too. The edition that I own was published in April 2015 by Abacus, spanning 320 pages. It was translated by Simon Pare. I’ll pop the synopsis, copied from the back of the book, below for you so you can get a sense of the plot.
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.
But when an enigmatic new neighbour moves into his eccentric apartment building on Rue Montagnard, Jean is inspired to unlock his heart, unmoored the floating bookshop and set off for Provence in search of the past – and his beloved.
Throughout this book, we follow Jean Perdu as he comes to terms with 20 years of loss and grief. Up until meeting his new neighbour, he has always been able to keep his feeling and emotions in check. All of the dangerous memories that could bring everything crashing down stored safely behind a door that must never be opened. But now, it is open and all the feelings and memories are rushing out. Jean sets out on a trip, that he should have done years before in search of the past, to help him come to terms with what could have been and what now is.
This book to me, is a little slice of comfort. I have always had a soft spot for Paris and France in general. It was the first country I ever visited out of my home country on my own. The language was the first I learned after my native tongue. This book captures Paris and other aspects of France so perfectly. When I read it, it almost feels like I am back there, walking the streets and listening to the sounds and smelling the smells that make Paris what it is. It makes me feel so content. Which is probably one of the big reasons why I love this book so much.
I also love the idea of a literary apothecary. If you love books anywhere near as much as me, you’ll probably know how powerful a good book can be. You’ll know, how comforting and almost medicinal the process of reading is when you have any inner turmoil going on. It takes you away from yourself for a moment and let’s you breathe. I wish something like this was a thing everywhere. You could walk in and have a chat, and you get a book or two that will help you for whatever you need right then. It’d be great!
There are a few things with this book that I’ve seen other people put off by, like the pace is a little slow in places, but I believe that what the book is saying can overcome that, at least for me, and make it worth it. This book is very much about living, and I find it’s very hard to find a book about that. It’s easy to write about death or dying, it happens in every murder mystery or tragic romance book. But it’s not often we get a book about living. Realising the error of not being present and overcoming our emotions and problems to the point we are simply existing. I think this book, at least gives a very noble attempt at doing that.
All in all, I love this book. I love it’s message and that little sense of comfort that it gives me when I read it. It’s something that I will read over and over again. It’s such a lovely sentimental read to me. I also found another book on my shelf that I haven’t read, by Nina George called The Little Breton Bistro and that seems to be similar and I’m looking forward to sitting down to read that too! I’d definitely recommend giving The Little Paris Bookshop a go and seeing what you think. I personally, think that it’s lovely!
Star Rating /5