3.2 out of 4 stars.
Do not judge a book by its cover!
This book hit me hard. Not because it was enjoyable but rather the opposite. I had such high hopes because it seemed to incorporate everything that I would love. Paris, smart characters, reading, bookshops, and soul-searching. However, it fell very flat for me. Why Nina George, why?!
Monsieur Perdu runs a book shop near the Seine. He believes that he is not just a salesman but more of a doctor. He has the ability to listen and give a customer a book that will change their life. He is able to “read” their emotional state and donate an antidote. The problem is that he cannot work this same magic on himself. He has read thousands of books but is still left with the problem of a heartbreak. He has loved only one woman nearly twenty years ago and it ended due to her leaving him with just a letter. Monsieur Perdu refuses to open it up and read it.
This book starts off so strong and leaves the reader hoping that Monsieur Perdu will find what he is looking for. He has set up such a romantic life for himself. Who wouldn’t want to be wrapped up ever day in the waves of the Seine, the breathtaking classic literature in his shop, and the smell of a bakery making croissants next door? I couldn’t wait to have 300 pages full of all of that to take me to another world.
Sadly, Nina George chose to have the book set up so we leave that love and light behind and instead go on a wacky journey on a boat with Monsieur Perdu and a lackluster gang of characters. Nothing screams Paris and we feel as though we are just trapped on that small size wooden box without any daydreaming.
I know everyone can agree that there is nothing better than given the opportunity to find a hidden gem in a book that you were skeptical about. In “The Little Paris Bookshop” the book cover was adorable and the beginning seemed like a fairytale. Unfortunately, this was not a hidden gem but a clear win in terms of attracting attention and falling short.
Unlike other flops I have read this one made me specifically very sad because it hit close to home. I often imagine that one day I will find a book that will feel like an extension of myself. I will receive advice from it the advice that my friends and family are not able to give. I will want to read it every year to remind myself that I am not alone as long as I have this book.
Close but no cigar in “The Little Paris Bookshop” and with Monsieur Perdu.