The Little Paris Bookshop by: Nina George
- © 2015
- 392 pages with Readers Guide and other extras
- Personal rating 3.5/5 stars
Jean Perdu owns a floating bookstore called the “Literary Apothecary” where he “prescribes” people the books he thinks they need instead of the fly by night “smut” that they want to read. His great advice on life is always found in-between the pages of the books he sells and stands by.
Despite the great advice Jean offers to other, he comes faced to face with his own demons when a women moves into his build across the hall from him. She discovers a letter that Jean had not known about for 20 years and soon Jean finds himself faced with the woman from his past and possibly the woman of his future. Too confused and consumed by the emotional tug of war going on in his brain, he makes a bold move and lifts anchor to sets out on a journey that will force him to face all of his emotions. He will be joined by an aspiring young author, two cats, and some other new friends they pick up along the way.
This book tells the story of one man’s passage through the stages of grief and loss of love. Jean comes full circle in a twenty year time span, as he tells the story of a love that he thought he could never feel again. Even though at times the book seems a little drawn out, I really enjoyed reading it. There were lots of references to other great literary pieces of work (some of which I purchased and will be reading next) and it paints a beautiful picture of all the little places down stream of Paris as they float along.
Some of my favorite quotes from the book:
“When the stars imploded billions of years ago, iron and silver, gold and carbon came raining down. And the iron from that stardust is in us today — in our mitochondria. Mothers pass on the stars and their iron to their children. Who knows, Jean, you and I might be made of the dust from one and the same star, and maybe we recognized each other by its light. We were searching for each other. We are star seekers.” – Manon to Jean Perdu, page 136
“Women tell you about the world. Men only tell you about themselves.” Cuneo page 193
“To carry them within us – that is our task. We carry them all inside us, all our dead and shattered loves. Only they make us whole. If we begin to forget or cast aside those we’ve lost then… then we are no longer present either.”…….”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.” thoughts of Cuneo and Jean, page 226-227
“Do we only decide in retrospect that we’ve been happy? Don’t we notice when we’re happy, or do we realize only much later that we were?” Jean to Samy, page 252
“Perdu chuckled. It’ amazing how close you are to your essential self as a kid, he thought and how far from it you drift the more you strive to be loved.” Jean pondering something Samy had shared with him, page 254