A book about books with a bookseller as a protagonist- wouldn’t that make for an absolutely perfect storyline? A wise bookseller haunted by his tragic love affair-the premise of the story seemed like sheer magic. I was hooked by the cover and the blurb but the book failed to live up to my expectations.
Monsieur Jean Perdu is a fifty years old bookseller who lives in Paris. From his floating bookstore ‘literary apothecary’ in a barge on the Seine, he sells books as medicines to the readers. Using his intuition, he prescribes books to mend heartbreak, loneliness and grief. However, books are not able to heal him after he lost the great love of his life twenty years ago. Manon left without a word and left only a letter which he never opened. For twenty years, he has lived like a recluse and finally when he reads the letter, he sets out on a journey along with the young author Max Jordan to make peace with his loss.
The first few pages of the book were quite magical. As someone who loves books, Jean Perdu and his literary apothecary immediately appealed to me. Unfortunately, the book turned out to be a sappy romance (I wonder if we can even call this a romance!). I really struggled to finish the book as the story didn’t make much of a sense to me.
I feel the book is more of a glorification of infidelity and it would be wrong to call it a romance. Perdu is unable to get over a passionate tryst with a married woman and all this happened twenty years ago! Throughout the book, Perdu is reminiscing about his beloved Manon but as a reader, you will fail to understand Perdu’s love for her. There’s not even a shred of charisma or decency in her character. You can call me orthodox but I just couldn’t relate to Manon who has a loving husband but keeps running back to Perdu in Paris for a few months every year.
At the end of the day, The Little Paris Bookshop was just not my cup of tea. The setting was decent, the story had potential but the author failed to stay true to what it sets out to promise. It was not the engaging tale I’d hoped for going in. Not recommended as life is too short to read the books that you struggle with.
Title: The Little Paris Bookshop
Author: Nina George
Originally published: 2 May 2013
Genres: Contemporary romance
Page Count: 392
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