Alexis: While I didn’t enjoy The Little Paris Bookshop as much as The Book of Dreams by Nina George, I still really enjoyed reading it!
Summary: In Paris, a fifty-year-old man named Monsieur Perdu runs a bookstore on a barge, which floats on the Seine. He calls it the Literary Apothecary, because he treats books as medicines to cure people of their broken hearts. But Perdu is harboring twenty years of heartache, after the love of his life left him without any explanation, except for a letter, which Perdu hasn’t been able to bear to even read. Until one day, when he finally reads the letter, and decides to finally start living his life.
What I liked: I loved Perdu’s journey. While he physically journeys down the Seine in his bookshop, he emotionally breaks out of the depressed funk that he’s been stuck in for twenty years. His character arc was perfect.
I enjoyed George’s lyrical writing style, and how the book veers towards magical realism in some parts. For example, Perdu is always able to somehow read his customers and understand what book they need.
The overall bookish feel of this book was wonderful, and you can really feel George’s love of books seep into Perdu’s character.
The secondary characters are vibrant and oftentimes outlandish. I enjoyed reading about Perdu meeting them and finally creating connections with people after all his years of loneliness.
What I didn’t like: I really wasn’t a fan of Manon’s character. Her diary entries gave me a good glimpse into her character, and I figured out early on that I didn’t like her. She just seemed so immature and erratic, and sometimes the way she talked about Jean felt too manipulative. What I did enjoy about her diary entries were her descriptions of Jean, because it showed what Jean was like when he was young.
Overall, I loved reading about Perdu’s journey. This book is about love lost and love found, finding yourself, and the power of books.
VERDICT: 4 starsZ