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The Little Paris Bookshop: A Novel Paperback – March 22, 2016
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New York Times Bestseller
A Barnes and Noble Best of 2015 Selection
A LibraryReads Favorite of the Favorites Selection
"If you're looking to be charmed right out of your own life for a few hours, sit down with this wise and winsome novel...Everything happens just as you want it to... from poignant moments to crystalline insights in exactly the right measure."—Oprah.com
“The settings are ideal for a summer-romance read…Who can resist floating on a barge through France surrounded by books, wine, love, and great conversation?”—Christian Science Monitor
“[A] bona fide international hit.”—New York Times Book Review
"Warmhearted...A charming novel that believes in the healing properties of fiction, romance, and a summer in the south of France."—Kirkus
"Engaging... [George's] sumptuous descriptions of both food and literature will leave readers unsure whether to run to the nearest library or the nearest bistro."—Publishers Weekly
"Uplifting... An international best seller, this one will make you happy."—The Independent
"The Little Paris Bookshop is an enchantment. Set in a floating barge along the Seine, this love letter to books - and to the complicated, sometimes broken people who are healed by them - is the next best thing to booking a trip to France."—Sarah Pekkanen, author of Catching Air
“Simultaneously heartbreaking and heartwarming, Nina George’s impressionistic prose takes the reader on a journey not just through the glories of France and the wonders of books, but through the encyclopedic panoply of human emotions. The Little Paris Bookshop is a book whose palette, textures, and aromas will draw you in and cradle you in the redemptive power of love.”—Charlie Lovett, author of The Bookman’s Tale
"Nina George tells us clever things about love, about reading that 'puts a bounce in your step,' about tango in Provence, and about truly good food. . . . One of those books that gets you thinking about whom you need to give it to as a gift even while you're still reading it, because it makes you happy and should be part of any well-stocked apothecary." —Hamburger Morgenpost (Germany)
“Enchanting and moving ... Rarely have I read such a beautiful book!”—Tina magazine (Germany)
From the Hardcover edition.
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.
@nina_george • @jean_perdu
From the Hardcover edition.
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Jean Pardue (John Lost--get it?) is a book seller with a broken heart. The love of his life, Manon, walked out on him over twenty years ago. She left a letter, which he put in a drawer unread. Then he sealed up her favorite room in his apartment and went on with his unhappy life. He owns a bookstore that is located on a moored barge. He has a special intuition for matching the perfect book to a person. He uses books to heal other people's emotions, but not his own. In helping a new neighbor, Jean ends up reading Manon's letter. He is gutted and decides to pull anchor and pilot his barge to her hometown. Like one of those road trip comedy movies, Jean picks up various emotionally wounded passengers along the way. I did not care for this plot line and sadly it takes up most of the book. I don't think it is a spoiler to say that Jean (and everyone he encounters on his journey) find whatever emotional peace they are looking for. The book is also interspersed with Manon's travel diary, which gives some insight into her and her choices.
People describe the writing in this book as beautiful and poetic. I found it to be too flowery and emotionally overwrought. There is a heavy dose of romance in this book, which is not my favorite genre. The story is also long--almost 400 pages--and was in want of some good editing. I also found the ending too neat, tidy, and happy to be believable. I don't want to be too specific, as that would be a spoiler, but Jean's blossoming relationship with Manon's family is just ridiculous. Who are these sainted people? There was an excerpt of the author's new book at the end. I did not read it. Maybe I am just a jaded and cranky old bat, but I did not enjoy this book.
Although it's not the book for everyone, ten ladies in Houston embraced a trip with Jean Perdu on a bookstore barge for a spirited and spirit-filled journey on the Seine River in France. It was filled with romance, regret, love lost and love gained, excitement, the thrill of passion, beauty, history etc., all the ingredients needed for an intriguing tale. The characters have depth, they're lovable and they hold a place in/for the story. There's mystery throughout and it all ties up in a neat package at the happy, yet teary, ending. The book gives plenty of food for thought about what we really want/need in life and what's really important.
The book is trimmed in that there were no loose ends or unnecessary characters. Like a puzzle, everything and everyone was in the story for a good reason. The book left me feeling good about life in general and how much I appreciate and love the friends, family and people around me. "The Little Paris Bookshop" was translated into 27 different languages, and I can certainly see why.
This novel is enchanting, warm, and filled with memorable characters. There are so many beautiful literary quotes in this book anyone who loves to read will be delighted by it, not to mention the wonderful quotes about the power of reading. Further the French countryside is alive and beautiful as rendered by George. She is a wonderful wordsmith.
The only regret I have about this novel is that I do not have a hard copy only a digital one. For if I had a hard copy I would return to many passages over and over again. This is a beautiful novel.