When I came across this book, it caught my eye immediately. It’s set in France, it’s about a bookshop and the cover reminded me of an all-time favorite book. How did you expect me to resist a book that clearly was calling my name?
“There are books that are suitable for a million people, others for only a hundred. There are even remedies—I mean books—that were written for one person only…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.”
Monsieur Perdu calls himself a literary apothecary. From his floating bookstore in a barge on the Seine, he prescribes novels for the hardships of life. Using his intuitive feel for the exact book a reader needs, Perdu mends broken hearts and souls. The only person he can’t seem to heal through literature is himself; he’s still haunted by heartbreak after his great love disappeared. She left him with only a letter, which he has never opened.
After Perdu is finally tempted to read the letter, he hauls anchor and departs on a mission to the south of France, hoping to make peace with his loss and discover the end of the story. Joined by a bestselling but blocked author and a lovelorn Italian chef, Perdu travels along the country’s rivers, dispensing his wisdom and his books, showing that the literary world can take the human soul on a journey to heal itself.
Internationally bestselling and filled with warmth and adventure, The Little Paris Bookshop is a love letter to books, meant for anyone who believes in the power of stories to shape people’s lives.
Unfortunately my excitement remained only in the idea of this book.
I promise this next line isn’t a spoiler because the story of Perdu’s lost love is told early on (but still, a warning has been issued). Alright, here we go. Books that romanticize affairs are a no for me (thanks book club for helping me put that into words!). I get that there are some books that have that as part of the plot line, so I’m not saying I will never read a book where this is a part of the story. That’s reality and it can also bring about beautiful stories of redemption. This book didn’t do that for me and instead romanticized it and I can’t get on board with that. (It was a bit too descriptive for my preference when it came to flashbacks of Perdu and his lover and other scenes as well). Had I’d known, I probably wouldn’t have picked this one up.
Plus Manon (the woman) was incredibly selfish. I won’t say exactly what caused me to think this because it’s a bit more of a spoiler, but after a few pages of learning about her my thoughts were “Wait. What? How am I supposed to root for that?”
I also thought there would have been more about books and their healing, but a majority of it wasn’t. The ending did have some closure and I think it was good that there was more than a simple epilogue, but it came a bit too late for me and I never connected with the characters.
What’s something you’re not a fan of in books?
(Thank you to Blogging for Books for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)