I was in a wait list lull for my next audio book, so I trolled through a friends Read list on Goodreads and came up with this one. A book about a man who runs a “Literary Apothecary,” sign me up!
The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George is about losing love and being lost in stagnation. Twenty-one years ago, John Perdu woke up alone and from that moment on he shied away from feelings. Monsieur Perdu never drank, never indulged in good meals, he didn’t dance, didn’t socialize–he walled himself off from emotions. Instead of enjoying life, Monsieur Perdu lived in his spartan apartment and followed a strict routine that largely revolved around running his book barge, the Literary Apothecary, on the Seine.
Monsieur Perdu’s routine is upended when he reads a long forgotten letter from his lost love and he learns that didn’t abandon him like he thought, she left to die. Perdu feels like he is drowning and he knows he has to do something… anything. Without thinking Perdu jumps on his book barge and casts off, taking an unlikely companion with him. Now Perdu and a famous young author in-hiding are on an adventure of a lifetime.
Will Monsieur Perdu forgive himself and his dead love? Will he be able to regain the life he lost? And will he be able to put the past behind him, move forward and feel?
This book had some great quotes! My favorite being, “Books keep stupidity at bay.” There were so many snippets in this book that you can feel are true even if you’ve never heard them put into words before. That being said, I think I would have preferred to read this book over listening to it. I was itching to get out my pencil and scribble in the margins (gasp!).
One thing that struck me as odd about this book was the setting. The book is meant to be set in modern times and yet it felt so old fashion. Yes, there was the occasional mention of cell phones and computers but the character interactions, the actions of Perdu and his internal dialogue felt old fashioned. I realize that he is around 50 but he felt like a character out of time. Maybe this is meant to help show how stagnant his life had become; how frozen in time. Thoughts anyone?
This book makes me want to pick up and go. It makes me want to ditch the great cities and roam the French countryside. I want to tango and eat and read.
Ultimately, this wasn’t the most exciting book but it wasn’t meant to be. This is a book to pick up when you feel lost so that you can find your way together. This one gets 3.5 stars from me and probably would have gotten more if I read the print version instead of the audio book. Thought provoking and spurs introspection.
That’s all for now!