Paris: The City of Love

As we all are aware, Paris is "the city of love." It's where romance happens! I've read a few books in the past that are set in Paris. One that I read a few years back was "The Paris Architect" by Charles Belfoure. It's a really good book that I recommend to those of you who like WWII adventures.

More recently I was given a book recommendation from one of my friends at work. She recommended that I read "The Little Paris Bookshop" by Nina George. The summary that she gave me about the premise of the book sounded intriguing so I got it from my university library.

The book was originally written in French. I usually prefer to read books in their original language since it makes them more powerful and you can get a better sense of the original intent of the author. However, my grasp of the French language is limited so I had to make due with the translation. I enjoyed the style of the author and felt drawn in by her writing.

"The Little Paris Bookshop" is the story of a self-titled book apothecary, Jean Perdu. He sells books from his boat in the Seine and prescribes stories to those who visit his shop according to their individual stories. Jean uses his ability to read the souls of his customers to better their lives and show them the stories that help them understand themselves and bring them happiness. However, Jean lives in a darkened world because of the loss of the love of his life twenty years prior to the story. His books do not bring him the solace and joy that he seeks. He does realize, however, that there is a journey he must take that may bring him some closure. He embarks on a journey through France's waterways to find what he is looking for.

I thought that this would be one of those books about books that I love so much. In truth, it is more of a romance. You still get a lot of satisfying passages about books and stories that increase your "to-read" list but we find out more about the heart and life of Jean than about his bookstore.

I always pictured that his floating bookstore would look something like this London Book Barge:

I mean, how cool would it be to float around on the river in a boat full of books?! This is what I picture but I feel like Nina George paints a beautiful picture with words so that we enter Paris and the life story of Jean Perdu.

The characters were written well enough that I could connect with them and their emotions. You feel for Jean in his journey for forgiveness and understanding. There are a few twists and turns in the plot that keep you on your feet and pull you along through the story. I couldn't put this book down!!


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