Review: The Little Paris Bookshop
Nina George, translated by Simon Pare
The end of this book was such a sad moment for me. There’s a relationship that develops between the book and the reader that you just want to go on even though the story has been told and you know it done. It’s all about love, loss, and healing. It’s written for those that have learned what those words mean. Maybe the last few pages revisits those themes within the reader one last time. Yes, breathing does come easier now.
The bookshop Perdu operates from a barge sits on the Seine and is as unique as his approach to his customers. He can read the needs of his customers and points them to the books that would most help them and refuses to sell them ones he feels can harm them. It is a case of “physician heal thyself” though, and through a series of events and some well-crafted characters he meets along the way, who in their own ways mirror Perdu’s need, healing does come. (You knew it would so that’s not a spoiler.) There’s lots of room for the reader to reflect too. And as others have noted there are many quotable lines to savor as well. It also makes me want to travel to France to follow the route to the Sea which the tourism department probably appreciates.
The translation reads smoothly and I trust that the author was pleased with the work. Does a 50 year old French man mellowed out on pot say “Crikey” often? (203). This is the only spot that just didn’t work for me. Or maybe I’m not familiar enough with what’s happening on the Continent.
Recipes? Yes, there are recipes for of the foods described in the text. The book is not entirely fiction. Lavender ice cream sounds very interesting. Garlic flan? I need to read more cookbooks. Of course, it will remind the reader of dinners and conversations in the book and engage them more fully with the experiences of the characters.
So go buy or borrow a copy of this book and enjoy it as much as I have.
I received this book form the publisher in return for a review.