The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

June 30, 2015 Contemporary Fiction, Psychological 9

Bonjour Bookworms!

You know how deep down everyone wants to own a bookstore on a river barge? I didn’t know that was a thing I wished for either, until I read The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. I pinky promise this review will be honest in spite of the freebie.*

littleparisbookshopMonsieur Perdu runs a little bookshop. In Paris. (Clever title, no?) It’s located on a river barge and he fancies himself a “literary apothecary.” He has the uncanny ability to match people with the books they emotionally need to read. Pretty cool gift, if I do say so myself. The problem with Perdu is that he’s shut himself off emotionally from the world for the past twenty years thanks to a heartbreak from which he never recovered. He never could bring himself to read his “Dear Jean” letter in all that time. Once he’s finally tempted to read the parting words of his lover, Perdu pulls up his anchor and sets off on a quest to put his tortured soul to rest.

I have mixed feelings on this book, you guys. It reminded me of a cross between The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry (review) which I loved, and The Alchemist (review) which I did not. Perdu’s business and neighbors and family were delightful. I absolutely adored the idea of literature’s healing properties and Perdu’s gift for connecting people with books. However. There was a lot of introspective soul searching, which is great, if you like that sort of thing. Unfortunately, I’m a big pragmatic cranky pants who thinks people are, in general, better off dealing with their problems with the help of therapists and/or pharmeceuticals than uprooting their lives and seeking their fortunes with half baked ideas and no preparation. I am, apparently, one thousand years old and devoid of sentiment. My apologies. If your heartstrings are less jaded than mine, The Little Paris Bookshop might be a huge win for you.

Talk to me Bookworms! Do you think subscribe to the belief that literature has healing properties?

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

9 Responses to “The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George”

  1. Megan M.

    I have the same crankyfeels about big, life-changing journeys. I just watched the movie “Hector and the Search for Happiness” (read the book a few years ago) and he goes to China and Africa and stuff and I was like, I’d like to go to another country and make connections with total strangers, but that would never happen to me. I would spend the entire trip afraid to speak to anyone and feel lonelier than ever. They should call them “feel-bad” movies. LOL

  2. AMB

    Monsieur Perdu has such a wonderful superpower! You have a version of this literary matchmaking ability too: Your balanced review told me that this book probably isn’t the best choice for me. The premise is interesting, but I can’t stand introspective soul searching in novels.

  3. Michelle

    Soul-searching voyages can be a good thing, but it is one of those situations where the reader has to be in the right mood for it. As for you question on whether literature has healing properties, my answer is a resounding yes! We’ve all read a book that has touched us profoundly as the perfect book for our soul at that time.

  4. Katie @ Doing Dewey

    You’re right! I would love to own a bookstore on a river barge – or anywhere else, for that matter! I really enjoyed Brida by Paulo Coelho, so this might be a good book for me 🙂

  5. Laurie

    i just reviewed this myself yesterday–and had the same opinion as you. I wished the entire novel haD focused on Perdus ‘transperception’ and the people he touched. The trip down the Seine was a bit much.

  6. Catherine

    Once again, we’re on the same page. I started this and was utterly charmed but by 1/3 through I thought it was so florid and mushy I set it down. I am not ready to say it’s a DNF but I will have to be in the right frame of mind to finish it.

Talk to me, Bookworms!

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