By Nina George
Rating: 4/5 Stairs
This summer, I requested a lot of titles to review. They all sounded fantastic. And I thought I had a lot of time to read them. Turns out, I didn’t. I started The Little Paris Bookshop and then set it aside for just a bit in favor of something else. The days turned to weeks, and then to months. I finally got back to it a few weeks ago. Here’s where it gets interesting for me.
You see, the premise of the story is that Monsieur Jean Perdu is not a book seller. No, Monsieur Perdu is a soul healer. He can tell in a matter of minutes what is ailing your soul, and recommend the book you need.
“You see Jordan,” said Perdu, taking a different tack, “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.”
Perdu owns and run the Literary Apothecary, his floating bookstore located on a barge moored on the Seine. The love of his life walked away without explanation twenty-one years ago, and he has lived a simple life without enjoyment ever since, prescribing books to those who come to him.
When I stopped reading last summer, Perdu had just discovered the reason for his love’s abandonment. Shocked and hurt, he lifts anchor and begins a journey down the Seine, towards southern France. His journey of grief.
Fast forward to December. My regular readers know that this is a difficult month for me. My dad passed away 25 December 2014. It is hard for me to find the right words to explain here the significance of me picking this book back up at the time I did. To renew my reading at the point when Perdu begins his journey of grief at this particular time of the year, and at this particular time in my life.
Truly, this book was doing what Perdu does fictionally – it made a diagnosis and offered therapy to me.
The book is full of beautiful quotes. In fact, I could just fill the review entirely with book quotes.
The Little Paris Bookshop wasn’t quite a Five Stair book for me, and I think that is because at times the story felt a little choppy. But taking this journey with Perdu, watching him begin to live again, learning to enjoy life was beautiful. Overall, I loved it.
While I do feel bad that I did not get this read in a timely manner as I should have, I don’t regret it. This book came to me at a time when I needed it most.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Crown Publishing for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.