The Little Paris Bookshop: A Novel

The Little Paris Bookshop: A Novel

by Nina George

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Overview

The Little Paris Bookshop: A Novel by Nina George

Monsieur Perdu can prescribe the perfect book for a broken heart. But can he fix his own?
 
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.


From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553418781
Publisher: Crown/Archetype
Publication date: 06/23/2015
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 3,130
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

NINA GEORGE works as a journalist, writer, and storytelling teacher. She is the award winning author of 26 books, and also writes feature articles, short stories, and columns. The Little Paris Bookshop spent over a year on bestseller lists in Germany, and was a bestseller in Italy, Poland, and the Netherlands. George is married to the writer Jens J. Kramer and lives in Berlin and in Brittany, France.

www.nina-george.com
@nina_george • @jean_perdu


From the Hardcover edition.

Read an Excerpt

1

How on earth could I have let them talk me into it?

The two generals of number 27 Rue Montagnard—Madame Bernard, the owner, and Madame Rosalette, the concierge—had caught Monsieur in a pincer movement between their ground-floor flats.

“That Le P. has treated his wife shamelessly.”

“Scandalously. Like a moth treats a wedding veil.”

“You can hardly blame some people when you look at their wives. Fridges in Chanel. But men? Monsters, all of them.”

“Ladies, I don’t quite know what . . .”

“Not you of course, Monsieur Perdu. You are cashmere compared with the normal yarn from which men are spun.”

“Anyway, we’re getting a new tenant. On the fourth floor. Yours, Monsieur.”

“But Madame has nothing left. Absolutely nothing, only shattered illusions. She needs just about everything.”

“And that’s where you come in, Monsieur. Give whatever you can. All donations welcome.”

“Of course. Maybe a good book . . .”

“Actually, we were thinking of something more practical. A table, perhaps. You know, Madame has—”

“Nothing. I got that.”

The bookseller could not imagine what might be more practical than a book, but he promised to give the new tenant a table. He still had one.

Monsieur Perdu pushed his tie between the top buttons of his white, vigorously ironed shirt and carefully rolled up his sleeves. Inward, one fold at a time, up to the elbow. He stared at the bookcase in the corridor. Behind the shelves lay a room he hadn’t entered for almost twenty-one years.

Twenty-one years and summers and New Year’s mornings.

But in that room was the table.

He exhaled, groped indiscriminately for a book and pulled Orwell’s 1984 out of the bookcase. It didn’t fall apart. Nor did it bite his hand like an affronted cat.

He took out the next novel, then two more. Now he reached into the shelf with both hands, grabbed whole parcels of books out of it and piled them up beside him.

The stacks grew into trees. Towers. Magic mountains. He looked at the last book in his hand. When the Clock Struck Thirteen. A tale of time travel.

If he’d believed in omens, this would have been a sign.

He banged the bottom of the shelves with his fists to loosen them from their fastenings. Then he stepped back.

There. Layer by layer, it appeared. Behind the wall of words. The door to the room where . . .

I could simply buy a table.

Monsieur Perdu ran his hand over his mouth. Yes. Dust down the books, put them away again, forget about the door. Buy a table and carry on as he had for the last two decades. In twenty years’ time he’d be seventy, and from there he’d make it through the rest. Maybe he’d die prematurely.

Coward.

He tightened his trembling fist on the door handle.

Slowly the tall man opened the door. He pushed it softly inward, screwed up his eyes and . . .

Nothing but moonlight and dry air. He breathed it in through his nose, analyzing it, but found nothing.

——’s smell has gone.

Over the course of twenty-one summers, Monsieur Perdu had become as adept at avoiding thinking of —— as he was at stepping around open manholes.

He mainly thought of her as ——. As a pause amid the hum of his thoughts, as a blank in the pictures of the past, as a dark spot amid his feelings. He was capable of conjuring all kinds of gaps.

Monsieur Perdu looked around. How quiet the room seemed. And pale despite the lavender-blue wallpaper. The passing of the years behind the closed door had squeezed the color from the walls.

The light from the corridor met little that could cast a shadow. A bistro chair. The kitchen table. A vase with the lavender stolen two decades earlier from the Valensole plateau. And a fifty-year-old man who now sat down on the chair and wrapped his arms around himself.

There had once been curtains, and over there, pictures, flowers and books, a cat called Castor that slept on the sofa. There were candlesticks and whispering, full wineglasses and music. Dancing shadows on the wall, one of them tall, the other strikingly beautiful. There had been love in this room.

Now there’s only me.

He clenched his fists and pressed them against his burning eyes.

Monsieur Perdu swallowed and swallowed again to fight back the tears. His throat was too tight to breathe and his back seemed to glow with heat and pain.

When he could once more swallow without it hurting, Monsieur Perdu stood up and opened the casement window. Aromas came swirling in from the back courtyard.

The herbs from the Goldenbergs’ little garden. Rosemary and thyme mixed with the massage oils used by Che, the blind chiropodist and “foot whisperer.” Added to that, the smell of pancakes intermingled with Kofi’s spicy and meaty African barbecued dishes. Over it all drifted the perfume of Paris in June, the fragrance of lime blossom and expectation.

But Monsieur Perdu wouldn’t let these scents affect him. He resisted their charms. He’d become extremely good at ignoring anything that might in any way arouse feelings of yearning. Aromas. Melodies. The beauty of things.

He fetched soap and water from the storeroom next to the bare kitchen and began to clean the wooden table.

He fought off the blurry picture of himself sitting at this table, not alone but with ——.

He washed and scrubbed and ignored the piercing question of what he was meant to do now that he had opened the door to the room in which all his love, his dreams and his past had been buried.

Memories are like wolves. You can’t lock them away and hope they leave you alone.

Monsieur Perdu carried the narrow table to the door and heaved it through the bookcase, past the magic mountains of paper onto the landing and over to the apartment across the hall.

As he was about to knock, a sad sound reached his ears.

Stifled sobbing, as if through a cushion.

Someone was crying behind the green door.

A woman. And she was crying as though she wanted nobody, absolutely nobody, to hear.

2

“She was married to You-Know-Who, Monsieur Le P.”

He didn’t know. Perdu didn’t read the Paris gossip pages.

Madame Catherine Le P.-You-Know-Who had come home late one Thursday evening from her husband’s art agency, where she took care of his PR. Her key no longer fit into the lock, and there was a suitcase on the stairs with divorce papers on top of it. Her husband had moved to an unknown address and taken the old furniture and a new woman with him.

Catherine, soon-to-be-ex-wife-of-Le-Dirty-Swine, possessed nothing but the clothes she had brought into their marriage—and the realization that it had been naïve of her to think that their erstwhile love would guarantee decent treatment after their separation, and to assume that she knew her husband so well that he could no longer surprise her.

“A common mistake,” Madame Bernard, the lady of the house, had pontificated in between puffing out smoke signals from her pipe. “You only really get to know your husband when he walks out on you.”

Monsieur Perdu had not yet seen the woman who’d been so coldheartedly ejected from her own life.

Now he listened to the lonely sobs she was desperately trying to muffle, perhaps with her hands or a tea towel. Should he announce his presence and embarrass her? He decided to fetch the vase and the chair first.

He tiptoed back and forth between his flat and hers. He knew how treacherous this proud old house could be, which floorboards squeaked, which walls were more recent and thinner additions and which concealed ducts that acted like megaphones.

When he pored over his eighteen-thousand-piece map of the world jigsaw in the otherwise empty living room, the sounds of the other residents’ lives were transmitted to him through the fabric of the house.

The Goldenbergs’ arguments (Him: “Can’t you just for once . . . ? Why are you . . . ? Haven’t I . . . ?” Her: “You always have to . . . You never do . . . I want you to . . .”) He’d known the two of them as newlyweds. They’d laughed together a lot back then. Then came the children, and the parents drifted apart like continents.

He heard Clara Violette’s electric wheelchair rolling over carpet edges, wooden floors and doorsills. He remembered the young pianist back when she was able to dance.

He heard Che and young Kofi cooking. Che was stirring the pots. The man had been blind since birth, but he said that he could see the world through the fragrant trails and traces that people’s feelings and thoughts had left behind. Che could sense whether a room had been loved or lived or argued in.

Perdu also listened every Sunday to how Madame Bomme and the widows’ club giggled like girls at the dirty books he slipped them behind their stuffy relatives’ backs.

The snatches of life that could be overheard in the house at number 27 Rue Montagnard were like a sea lapping the shores of Perdu’s silent isle.

He had been listening for more than twenty years. He knew his neighbors so well that he was sometimes amazed by how little they knew about him (not that he minded). They had no idea that he owned next to no furniture apart from a bed, a chair and a clothes rail—no knickknacks, no music, no pictures or photo albums or three-piece suite or crockery (other than for himself)—or that he had chosen such simplicity of his own free will. The two rooms he still occupied were so empty that they echoed when he coughed. The only thing in the living room was the giant jigsaw puzzle on the floor. His bedroom was furnished with a bed, the ironing board, a reading light and a garment rail on wheels containing three identical sets of clothing: gray trousers, white shirt, brown V-neck sweater. In the kitchen were a stove-top coffee pot, a tin of coffee and a shelf stacked with food. Arranged in alphabetical order. Maybe it was just as well that no one saw this.

And yet he harbored a strange affection for 27 Rue Montagnard’s residents. He felt inexplicably better when he knew that they were well—and in his unassuming way he tried to make a contribution. Books were a means of helping. Otherwise he stayed in the background, a small figure in a painting, while life was played out in the foreground.

However, the new tenant on the third floor, Maximilian Jordan, wouldn’t leave Monsieur Perdu in peace. Jordan wore specially made earplugs with earmuffs over them, plus a woolly hat on cold days. Ever since the young author’s debut novel had made him famous amid great fanfare, he’d been on the run from fans who would have given their right arms to move in with him. Meanwhile, Jordan had developed a peculiar interest in Monsieur Perdu.

While Perdu was on the landing arranging the chair beside the kitchen table, and the vase on top, the crying stopped.

In its place he heard the squeak of a floorboard that someone was trying to walk across without making it creak.

He peered through the pane of frosted glass in the green door. Then he knocked twice, very gently.

A face moved closer. A blurred, bright oval.

“Yes?” the oval whispered.

“I’ve got a chair and a table for you.”

The oval said nothing.

I have to speak softly to her. She’s cried so much she’s probably all dried out and she’ll crumble if I’m too loud.

“And a vase. For flowers. Red flowers, for instance. They’d look really pretty on the white table.”

He had his cheek almost pressed up against the glass.

He whispered, “But I can give you a book as well.”

The light in the staircase went out.

“What kind of book?” the oval whispered.

“The consoling kind.”

“I need to cry some more. I’ll drown if I don’t. Can you understand that?”

“Of course. Sometimes you’re swimming in unwept tears and you’ll go under if you store them up inside.” And I’m at the bottom of a sea of tears. “I’ll bring you a book for crying then.”

“When?”

“Tomorrow. Promise me you’ll have something to eat and drink before you carry on crying.”

He didn’t know why he was taking such liberties. It must be something to do with the door between them.

The glass misted up with her breath.

“Yes,” she said. “Yes.”

When the hall light flared on again, the oval shrank back.

Monsieur Perdu laid his hand briefly on the glass where her face had been a second before.

And if she needs anything else, a chest of drawers or a potato peeler, I’ll buy it and claim I had it already.

He went into his empty flat and pushed the bolt across. The door leading into the room behind the bookcase was still open. The longer Monsieur Perdu looked in there, the more it seemed as though the summer of 1992 were rising up out of the floor. The cat jumped down from the sofa on soft, velvet paws and stretched. The sunlight caressed a bare back, the back turned and became ——. She smiled at Monsieur Perdu, rose from her reading position and walked toward him naked, with a book in her hand.

“Are you finally ready? asked ——.

Monsieur Perdu slammed the door.

No.

3

“No,” Monsieur Perdu said again the following morning. “I’d rather not sell you this book.”

Gently he pried Night from the lady’s hand. Of the many novels on his book barge—the vessel moored on the Seine that he had named Literary Apothecary—she had inexplicably chosen the notorious bestseller by Maximilian “Max” Jordan, the earmuff wearer from the third floor in Rue Montagnard.

The customer looked at the bookseller, taken aback.

“Why not?”

“Max Jordan doesn’t suit you.”

“Max Jordan doesn’t suit me?”

“That’s right. He’s not your type.”

“My type. Okay. Excuse me, but maybe I should point out to you that I’ve come to your book barge for a book. Not a husband, mon cher Monsieur.”

“With all due respect, what you read is more important in the long term than the man you marry, ma chère Madame.”

She looked at him through eyes like slits.

“Give me the book, take my money, and we can both pretend it’s a nice day.”

“It is a nice day, and tomorrow is the start of summer, but you’re not going to get this book. Not from me. May I suggest a few others?”

“Right, and flog me some old classic you’re too lazy to throw overboard where it can poison the fish?” She spoke softly to begin with, but her volume kept increasing.

“Books aren’t eggs, you know. Simply because a book has aged a bit doesn’t mean it’s gone bad.” There was now an edge to Monsieur Perdu’s voice too. “What is wrong with old? Age isn’t a disease. We all grow old, even books. But are you, is anyone, worth less, or less important, because they’ve been around for longer?”

“It’s absurd how you’re twisting everything, all because you don’t want me to have that stupid Night book.”

The customer—or rather noncustomer—tossed her purse into her luxury shoulder bag and tugged at the zip, which got stuck. 

Perdu felt something welling up inside him, a wild feeling, anger, tension—only it had nothing to do with this woman. He couldn’t hold his tongue, though. He hurried after her as she strode angrily through the belly of the book barge and called out to her in the half-light between the long bookshelves: “It’s your choice, Madame! You can leave and spit on me. Or you can spare yourself thousands of hours of torture starting right now.”

“Thanks, that’s exactly what I’m doing.”

“Surrender to the treasures of books instead of entering into pointless relationships with men, who neglect you anyway, or going on crazy diets because you’re not thin enough for one man and not stupid enough for the next.”

“It’s absurd how you’re twisting everything, all because you don’t want me to have that stupid Night book.”

The customer—or rather noncustomer—tossed her purse into her luxury shoulder bag and tugged at the zip, which got stuck.

Perdu felt something welling up inside him, a wild feeling, anger, tension—only it had nothing to do with this woman. He couldn’t hold his tongue, though. He hurried after her as she strode angrily through the belly of the book barge and called out to her in the half-light between the long bookshelves: “It’s your choice, Madame! You can leave and spit on me. Or you can spare yourself thousands of hours of torture starting right now.”

“Thanks, that’s exactly what I’m doing.”

“Surrender to the treasures of books instead of entering into pointless relationships with men, who neglect you anyway, or going on crazy diets because you’re not thin enough for one man and not stupid enough for the next.”

She stood stock-still by the large bay window that looked out over the Seine, and glared at Perdu. “How dare you!”

“Books keep stupidity at bay. And vain hopes. And vain men. They undress you with love, strength and knowledge. It’s love from within. Make your choice: book or . . .”

Before he could finish his sentence, a Parisian pleasure boat plowed past with a group of Chinese women standing by the railing under umbrellas. They began clicking away with their cameras when they caught sight of Paris’s famous floating Literary Apothecary. The pleasure boat drove brown-green dunes of water against the bank, and the book barge reeled.

The customer teetered on her smart high heels, but instead of offering her his hand, Perdu handed her The Elegance of the Hedgehog.

She made an instinctive grab for the novel and clung to it.

Perdu held on to the book as he spoke to the stranger in a soothing, tender and calm voice.

“You need your own room. Not too bright, with a kitten to keep you company. And this book, which you will please read slowly, so you can take the occasional break. You’ll do a lot of thinking and probably a bit of crying. For yourself. For the years. But you’ll feel better afterward. You’ll know that now you don’t have to die, even if that’s how it feels because the guy didn’t treat you well. And you will like yourself again and won’t find yourself ugly or naïve.”

Only after delivering these instructions did he let go.

Reading Group Guide

Please note: In order to provide reading groups with the most informed and thought-provoking questions possible, it is necessary to reveal important aspects of the plot of this novel—as well as the ending. If you have not finished reading THE LITTLE PARIS BOOKSHOP, we respectfully suggest that you wait before reviewing this guide.

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The Little Paris Bookshop: A Novel 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 59 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a journey. I loved traveling along with these charactersvas they found their way back to themselves. Wonderful read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I so enjoyed this book. The characters were charming and enchanting. I wished I could be sailing with them to Provence. I could hear French music in my ear as I read.
CPAC2012 More than 1 year ago
Jean Perdu, owner of the renowned Literary Apothecary on the margins of the Seine, sets sail aboard his cargo book barge searching for the remainder of the life the woman he loved twenty one years ago has left behind. Accompanying him is Max Jordan, France's most famous author under 30, who is suffering with writer's block and under his newfound fame. Soon other characters join the pilgrimage along France's waterways. Paris and books, need I say more? Yes, indeed I do. I thought The Little Paris Bookshop would be reminiscent of Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, which I loved; instead, I was somewhat disappointed. The Little Paris Bookshop is an uneven book. I liked the story of Mr. Perdu; how he dealt with his grief, and the trip he embarked on to find himself again. I also liked the language: rich and smooth like velvet, the descriptions of French towns and life in the southern coast, and food recipes. I didn't like, however, Manon's diary entries or the passages involving her, at least until the very end when her story finally came together. I don't think her character, despite being drawn out of memory, was that well defined. The book would have been better off without those passages, again until the end, because it was then that Manon’s journey and choices finally made sense. The ending was nice, positive and all wrapped up with a colorful bow, but I liked it very much particularly because it was a good departure from the grief so talked about during the earlier chapters. DISCLAIMER: I received from the publisher a free Galley of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Fredreeca2001 More than 1 year ago
This novel starts out as a 5 star read. The prose is absolutely fantastic. I love Perdu and the barge/bookstore. But, after Perdu finds a letter from his lost love, the book went downhill from there. Perdu is the owner of a bookstore on a barge (very unique). He is a sad man, not really living, totally lost. He realizes he has made a terrible mistake and the best way he knows to cope is to take the barge/bookstore on a trip. The story has a fabulous start. I was enraptured with Perdu and his lost love. However, as the story went deeper, it became more convoluted and I completely lost interest. This is a story about grieving, loss and growth throughout life. As I said earlier, the prose is fantastic. I marked many passages. But, it is almost as if the author changed course in the middle. I see a lot of promise in this author. I look forward to reading her as she develops. I received this novel from Netgalley for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I finally gave up on this book. There were more parts of the story that caused me to lose interest than there were to pique my interest.
Deb-Krenzer More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars This was a great story with some really great characters. Jean is a bookseller who sells books off of a barge that has been anchored on the Seine for over 20 years. One day he decides that he is going to travel and try to relieve himself of the grief he is feeling. He has just found out that the love of his life died 22 years ago. Max, a tenant from his apartment building, has just written a number one best seller and his publisher is looking for another one. He has major writer block. He just happens by as Jean is pushing off, he jumps on, he needs a journey as well. Along the way, they pick up Salvo who is looking for the love of his life, Vivette, and he joins the crew. The adventures that these guy have are pretty crazy and they definitely run into some quirky characters. Each character does find something, but it may or may not be necessarily what they were looking for. While I did thoroughly enjoy this book, I took off a half star, because I felt it bogged down somewhat a little bit before the ending. It had been pretty much on an even pace throughout the whole book until then. I would like to thank Blogging for Books for giving me a copy of this book to read and review in exchange for an honest review. I definitely recommend the book.
PJtheEMT4 More than 1 year ago
The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George is a newly published fiction novel about a bookshop owner who not only sells books, but prescribes books which he feels are "the only remedy for countless, undefined afflictions of the soul." (George, 2015 p. 23).  Owned by a quaint middle aged man named "Monsieur Perdu", who calls himself a "literary apothecary", almost analogous to a pharmacist that dispenses medications for illness , a psychologist that diagnoses medical conditions or a doctor that treats a disease. This book is translated from the original German Das Lavenddelzimmer by Knar Verlag, and was considered a  bestseller in Germany.  The idea behind this book- its storyline- is unique and original.  It is intriguing to consider the possibility that books might be like medication to the emotions, or the spirit.  While it is true, many read for pure enjoyment and entertainment, not too many readers stop to think about the emotional connection that the right book may give- and that words do have power.  It is part of the human condition to want to relate to others- and just as music draws in many as it tugs at the emotion- books have that potential as well.  This book is unexpected, and will draw in readers who simply read for the love of reading.  But this book is more than just entertainment- it is a springboard to engage the reader to think about deeper issues and to reflect on the fact that books themselves are more than words, but rather they reflect experiences and emotions that we, the reader may be able to relate to when there is no one around to share.  As the book mentions- that book may in fact provide healing for those seemingly inconsequential feelings and emotions that are often beyond the scope of the medical profession.  Books reflect the idiosyncrasies of emotion and thought as well as universal emotions as well.  It leaves a lasting impression that there may exist the right book that does indeed touch our soul- and that instead of a soul mate or a counselor, our needs can be fulfilled in a book.  As a blogger I received a copy of this book published by Crown publishers for the purpose of writing this review.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lovely read. Kept me on the edge of my seat.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For anyone looking for answers to life's difficult questions, here is your prescription.
Norddesigns More than 1 year ago
I had such high hopes for this book and wish it were really a tale about love and the power of reading to heal. Instead it is a story about a man who never got over his love affair with a women who was married to a man who claimed to love her while accepting her desire for other men. Maybe its a French thing, but I didn't find the story very romantic.
GiltBuckram More than 1 year ago
“Do you know that there’s a halfway world between each ending and each new beginning? It’s called the hurting time, Jean Perdu. It’s a bog; it’s where your dreams and worries and forgotten plans gather. Your steps are heavier during that time. Don’t underestimate the transition, Jeanno, between farewell and new departure. Give yourself the time you need. Some thresholds are too wide to be taken in one stride.” -Samy Le Trequesser This is one of the most beautifully written books I’ve read in a very long time. Jean Perdu is a middle-aged, book aficionado. He owns the Literary Apothecary, which is a barge that hasn’t moved from the River Seine in over two decades. Inside this magical floating book store, Perdu tells his customers what to read, as sort of a cure for what’s ailing them. Many people go into the store, mind set on what they’re looking for, and leave with a book they didn’t know existed. Perdu’s a book doctor of sorts. Enter Max Jordan, young author who writes of romance, yet has never experienced true love before. He’s a best-selling author, who shies away from his audience…women. Not because he’s not interested, because as every inexperienced young man, he’s afraid of them. Max and Perdu live in the same building and only have a surface relationship. Jean Perdu is a very sad and lonely man. The only woman he’s ever loved left him twenty years ago and he’s never recovered, dodging places where they shared many memories. This story begins with a table. His lovely neighbor, Catherine, has just been abandoned by her good for nothing cheating husband. She needs furniture. What is Perdu to do, but lend a hand? He provides her his old table and thinks he’ll never hear another thing about it. Catherine finds a very old, unopened letter, in the table drawer, addressed to Perdu. When she gives it to him, he’s astonished. He had forgotten he put the letter away all those years ago, thinking his old lover, Manon, had written the typical lover farewells. The letter reopened his never fully-healed wound. He finally decides to read the heartbreaking truth, but what he discovers is much, much worse. Manon delivered a very different message, one of which Perdu can never repair. He flees in search of what he’s not sure, but as fate would have it, the young Max Jordan jumps aboard the Literary Apothecary and decides to leave with Perdu. The spur of the moment trip leads them to another man searching for answers; a burly, Italian chef named Salvatore Cuneo. The three men have adventures and heartaches that eventually lead them to what they're searching for. Nina George, I applaud you for the story you were able to convey with your charming prose. I rarely come along a book I thoroughly enjoy as much as I did The Little Paris Bookshop. I dog-eared twenty pages or more, in total awe of how deep and creative the thoughts and ideas you provided. The story is of love, loss, regret, and the journey to find the meaning of life. Perdu’s story taught me no matter how big my regrets are there is life after them. Perdu made himself suffer for twenty years; it doesn’t have to be that way, be sorry, forgive yourself and move on. Don’t waste your life beating yourself up. After the Epilogue, I found a little treasure that included recipes that Salvatore Cuneo made in the novel and a literary pharmacy! Jean Perdu’s Emergency Literary Pharmacy “Fast-acting medicines for minds and hearts affected by minor or moderate emo
FrancescaFB More than 1 year ago
This was one of the most beautifully written stories... very reminiscent of Under the Tuscan Sun. I loved every page of it! Nina George masterfully blends the realities of hope and joy, heartbreak and tragedy, humanity, sorrow and loss, pride, foolishness, lost love, hopelessness, and new love.
Anonymous 29 days ago
This was not my usual genre (detective or historical fiction )but the author's ability to convey emotions was amazing ! I couldn't help reading fast but letting the feelings just wash over me. A gem!
sandrabrazier 3 months ago
Monsieur Perdu has a bookstore on a barge that is moored on the Seine River, in the middle of Paris. It has not gone anywhere in over twenty years. And neither has he! His life has been at a standstill since Manon, the love of his life, left him. This is ironic, because, rather than heal himself, Monsieur Perdu prescribes very specific books for very specific maladies. Consequently, he calls his barge the Literary Apothecary. He heals everyone, but he has never been able to heal himself. Then one day, tired of the life he had been living, if you can call it living, he unmoors the barge, and he heads down the Seine and away from Paris! This is an amazing book. I don’t know if I feel this way, because this book is everything I love. It describes various books and a sincere love for them, it describes my beloved France, and it describes love. Our author, Nina George, paints, with her well-chosen words, a perfect visual picture of the south of France, allowing me to finally verbalize why the south of France is my favorite place in the entire world. And the characters in this book are wonderful! I feel as if I know them, as they float through their lives. This book is beautifully written, and the descriptions are worthy of being called poetry. Needless to say, this is my favorite book of the many dozen I have read this year. It is so amazing that I look forward to experiencing it, again.
Anonymous 5 months ago
I really liked this book about Jean Perdu. Who ever heard of a book store on a barge? Who knew that Jean had been misguided about a lost love, but a journey for truth would help him find friends and a deeper love. A good story to be enjoyed.
osaka 8 months ago
Why is this a bestseller? This book dragged for me. I couldn't connect with the storyline and characters. Gave up after 100 pages. I was hoping for better.
nolenreads More than 1 year ago
What a delightful story about a man who has suffered a huge loss, twenty years ago. Why can't he get over it? With things only going from bad to worse in his life he discovered reading as an escape. Soon the man created a boat full of shelves of books. When people would come in to get a book he would help them decide on a book that they really want, not necessarily the one they came in to buy. Then one day the man discovers love in an odd and unexpected way. But he can't love anyone else because of - what? He decides running away would cure everything. Does it? Recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The characters take the reader on a journey of fascinating discovery, not just about the characters. The readers learns about herself through the journey. You will want to read slowly and catch everything. Finally a book of wonderful older characters who learn about new beginnings and love. .
Delphimo More than 1 year ago
An interesting book, but at time, very slow. A love story displaying a twist. The story begins with a downtrodden middle-aged man, Jean Perdu (John Lost), who runs a floating bookshop. Just as the reader thinks the story will go nowhere, Jean breaks free from his depression and begins a boat trip through the waters of France with 2 cats, a challenged author, and a lovesick chef. The adventures along the way expose the personalities of the three men and show that life does not end so early. The language and characters enhance the story, and many of the scenes create vivid memories. Women play a minor role in the story, as the thrust of the story centers on men and their relationships. When I reached the end of the story, I felt that the story needed additional chapters.
nacostaNA More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
GratefulGrandma More than 1 year ago
A trip through time and the French Countryside. I am in agreement with many of the other reviewers. I liked this book, but I wanted to love it. When I read about a bookseller who personally matches books to the reader, I was intrigued. I enjoyed that part of the story."T he soul seer" was one description of Jean Perdu as he tried to get to know his customers before selling them a book. He was a lonely, sad man who opened like a flower in this book. He realized that life must go on and it is okay to forgive yourself and others and to love again. With that said, it took a long time to get there. I did love many of the descriptions of places, feelings and books in the story, but there were so many. The characters were very well drawn and you get to know them as well, some I liked, some I did not. I really enjoyed the relationship between Jean and Max as they got to know each other and became the father and son neither of them had. Overall this was a good story, just a bit long and more of a romance/drama/rebirth story than what I was expecting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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HabNH More than 1 year ago
I could not find anybody to read this book including myself. I gave it away to a book sale. The early pacing of the narrative and character development left me beyond puzzled and confused. And frankly I didn"t care so I quit reading this novel, something I almost never do.