Sunday, December 15, 2019

Book Review: The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George (contemporary romance)

Set in France, The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George is about enduring, transcendent love--for people and books.
'"Books are my friends... I think I learned all my feelings from books. In them I loved and laughed and found out more than in my whole nonreading life."' (p. 71)
Jean Albert Victor Perdu falls in love with Manon Morello (married name Basset). Love for her consumes him. Unfortunately, their love affair is cut short when Manon dies of cancer. Without her, Jean becomes numb. 
'"All the love, all the dead, all the people we've known. They are the rivers that feed our sea of souls. If we refuse to remember them, that sea will dry up too."' (p. 227)

Jean's memories of Manon are behind a door he cannot open. But he is still a compassionate man. Concern for others propels him to find a solution for their problems by matching books to readers.
He 'wanted to treat feelings that are not recognized as afflictions and are never diagnosed by doctors.' (p. 23) 
Jean opens a bookstore--the Literary Apothecary is a barge moored on the Seine.

One day, twenty years after Manon's death, when Jean is fifty, he hears a woman crying. He finds the perfect book for her. But the feelings Catherine awakens in him he is ill-equipped to face. So Jean jumps on his book barge and sails away...

But this is just the beginning of the story.
'"We have to live the important things, not read them."' (p. 316)

I picture you reading The Little Paris Bookshop as you sip eggnog, munch shortbread cookies, and roast chestnuts on an open fire. It's a feel-good read.

Nina George
Translated from German by Simon Pare
Published in the United States by Broadway Books, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House
Published in 2015

photo by ldyck

Next Sunday evening...

A Christmas Present
It's not the present. It's what you do with it that counts.

photo by ldyck

Sharing my author's journey...

I've been giving author readings since the early 2000s. I've read at festivals and over the radio. 

Sharing my writing on stage is something I enjoy doing. But...

as a child with dyslexia, I was ridiculed and made to feel small when I read in class. So, for me, preparing for an author reading means not only practicing the text but also addressing emotional issues. I take steps to ensure that the stage is a safe place for me. And I'm very pleased to write that the more readings I give the stronger I feel. 

On November 30th, I participated in a Storyteller's Evening on Mayne Island (my island home). I'd prepared an introduction but felt so comfortable on stage that I didn't refer to my notes. In my natural voice, I read clearly and at a well-practiced pace. I gave an error-free professional reading. I'm so proud of how well I did. It was a testament to how far I've come. And I look forward to offering more readings in the future.