The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
Published by Abacus
23rd April 2015
On a beautifully restored barge on the Seine, Jean Perdu runs a bookshop; or rather a 'literary apothecary', for this bookseller possesses a rare gift for sensing which books will soothe the troubled souls of his customers.
The only person he is unable to cure, it seems, is himself. He has nursed a broken heart ever since the night, twenty-one years ago, when the love of his life fled Paris, leaving behind a handwritten letter that he has never dared read. His memories and his love have been gathering dust - until now. The arrival of an enigmatic new neighbour in his eccentric apartment building on Rue Montagnard inspires Jean to unlock his heart, unmoor the floating bookshop and set off for Provence, in search of the past and his beloved.
Having recently read The Bookshop That Floated Away it was then odd to find myself reading a very similar tome but of a fictional nature. The Little Paris Bookshop is a literary apothecary (bookshop) set on a barge on the banks of the river Seine in Paris. Jean Perdu is the owner, and the books that he sells to you might not be the books that you go to purchase, for he has a gift that means he can sense which titles you need in your life.
Unfortunately this is not something that can be applied to his own situation. He lost the love of his life decades ago and has never been able to let her go. All he has left is an unopened letter from her. A spark between himself and the new neighbour upstairs causes him to rethink his past and face the demons that have been stopping his heart from mending.
Along with two other travellers, each carrying their own baggage, this unlikely trio set sail along the Seine hoping to find what their souls are ultimately searching for. Jean Perdu is a loveable character and the barge bookshop is one that I would love to visit, if it actually existed. The Little Paris Bookshop is an enjoyable read.