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.
Published this week, I’ve seen a lot of love on social media for this book and it’s quite a sweet tale of friendship, self-discovery and lost and new love.
I’ll be honest, I was looking for a lighter read after reading some heavier topics recently and wrongly judged the book by its title and cover. I was expecting something light and fluffy – my mistake! This book is a journey of looking for redemption – literally and figuratively.
Jean Perdu runs The Little Paris Bookshop on a barge in Paris, sounds idyllic doesn’t it but on the inside he’s troubled. He seems like a nice guy, he helps people with his book healing suggestions but he’s living in the past and allows this letter that he has from his lost love to rule over him everyday. I found his mournful state through 80% of the book to be quite frustrating and I did begin to lose interest in parts. I just wanted to shake him to snap him out of his melancholy and get him to move on with his life; even his name means lost and that’s what he is…continually lost!
But what this book did give me was some lovely descriptions of the French countryside and waterways and I suppose a sense of hope and I think if I’d read it at another time in my life I may have enjoyed it more.
Many thanks to the publisher for approving me for an advanced copy via Netgalley.
Connect with the author Nina George