STARRED REVIEW
July 2015

Writing his own love story

By Nina George
Jean Perdu is a self-described literary apothecary. From his barge-turned-bookshop on the Seine, he doesn’t just sell books; he prescribes them as a pharmacist prescribes medicines, matching books to their perfect readers to help customers overcome life’s difficulties. And he does so with near perfect success. The only exception to the rule is Perdu himself.
Share this Article:

Jean Perdu is a self-described literary apothecary. From his barge-turned-bookshop on the Seine, he doesn’t just sell books; he prescribes them as a pharmacist prescribes medicines, matching books to their perfect readers to help customers overcome life’s difficulties. And he does so with near perfect success. The only exception to the rule is Perdu himself.

Haunted by the love of his life, Manon, who left him more than 20 years ago, Perdu has distanced himself from reality: He avoids romance entirely, refuses to utter Manon’s name and leaves her final letter unopened. His imagination tells him that she left him because she got tired of him.

An encounter with his grieving neighbor across the hall, Catherine, a soon-to-be divorcée, finally drives Perdu to open the letter. What he discovers shocks him to his core and sends him cross-country to rediscover and make peace with the life he has lost. By barge, lock and dam, he travels all the way to the South of France, befriending a distinctive cast of characters—and staying in touch with Catherine via letter—along the way. 

Nina George’s The Little Paris Bookshop, already a bestseller in Germany, Italy, Poland and the Netherlands, is a beautiful story of grief, companionship, forgiveness and building a life worth living. A vulnerable, relatable tale of great love and loss, missed opportunities and moving on, The Little Paris Bookshop is, like the books its main character recommends, medicine for the wounded soul.

 

This article was originally published in the July 2015 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

Trending Reviews

Get the Book

Sign Up

Stay on top of new releases: Sign up for our enewsletters to receive reading recommendations in your favorite genres every Tuesday.