“The Little Paris Bookshop” by Nina George
(First publication: 2013 / This edition: Broadway Books 2015)
Taken before a job interview—coffee to ease up the nerves.
We’ll forever be what we once were for each other.
I received this book from Crown Publishing a few days ago. It was good timing because I needed something to dig me out of the intense reading slump Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods” had put me in.
It probably wasn’t the best choice. It was… alright. I liked that it was a chill read—it’s a story set all over France, mainly about a guy—Jean—who’s a book-consultant-medic-doctor (read it and you’ll understand what I mean). He ends up going on an adventure through the waterways in France after he realizes a mistake he made over twenty years ago and is on his path to “heal”. Along the way, he ends up learning more about himself, making friends, and learning to “survive” and be “alive” again. What I liked about him is that he is so passionate about books, and throughout the story, books are “namedropped” and I enjoyed the fact that I have read/recognized/loved most of them.
It was a nice read—I just kind of sped through it. I did find it a little exhausting, because I felt like there were too many “words of wisdom” or “this is philosophical/insightful/mind-blowing” phrases put in. And, it’s pretty much all about love. So I guess when it’s too many “words of wisdom” + “love”, it just feels a bit overwhelming and sappy. It felt too “Nicholas Sparks” for my liking and I just didn’t feel anything. (I have ice flowing through my veins. I hate anything overly dramatic and cheesy.) Everything felt like a teenage love or drama movie—or one about an old couple or something, I don’t know. I just didn’t really like that.
I guess I’d have to say that I feel very indifferent about this book. It wasn’t bad, but I just felt like nothing was really happening. I couldn’t emotionally connect to any of the characters, even though the story was pretty much bursting out of the pages with dramatic, sorrowful, gasping-for-air tears.
What I enjoyed about this book, though, were the sceneries it elaborately described about different towns in France. It makes me miss France and want to go back to explore all these towns the author wrote about—especially Provence. So, yes, I’d recommend it to those that need some travel inspiration or those that are about to set off to explore that lovely country.
Here are some of my favorite lines from the book:
I think I learned all my feelings from books. (pg.71)
The reality of love is better than its reputation. (pg.320)