The Little Paris Bookshop Book Review

The Little Paris Bookshop: Book Review by Arlene

4 stars


The Little Paris Bookshop Review





I could not think of a better opening line for my review of The Little Paris Bookshop than a quote by Cicero: “A room without books is like a body without a soul.”

People who love books and bookstores will appreciate the notion that certain books stay with you and you never forget them. The Little Paris Bookshop is on a floating barge called Lulu on the River Seine and beckons all book lovers to come on board.

This novel will take you on a personal adventure of the heart starting with one man and ending with multiple story lines of interesting lives of the characters who become the personal friends who join him throughout this unique little book.

I say unique because the imagination of the author Nina George provides for us an interesting concept and, I say little because this novel is 370 pages set in a smaller than average hardcover.

When you finish the novel you will be given additional pages filled with wonderful recipes from the cuisine of Provence and Marseilles prepared by Salvatore Cuneo who has joined Jean Perdu on his floating barge down the rivers of France.

If you can, picture yourself sitting in a big comfy chair by the fireside with the fire burning and a cup of coffee or tea nearby, and an afghan if needed and this little book in your hands as you begin reading.

You will be introduced to Monsieur Jean Perdu who likes to think of himself as a literary apothecary.

He owns a floating bookstore on a barge on the river Seine.  When you come on board he will prescribe for you a book or many books for the hardships of life you may be suffering. He will know the exact book a reader needs.

Monsieur Perdu mends broken hearts and souls. You will discover as you begin to know this man his life is the only life he cannot mend.

His heart was broken by Manon, the love of his life. She just suddenly disappears and she left him after 5 years, with only a letter that he chose to never open.

Manon is his lost love and haunts his life for almost 21 years.

He denies himself the love and company of any  other woman for all that time until he gets a request from Madame Bernard, the owner, and Madame Rosalette, the concierge of the house at number 27 Rue Montagnard where he has lived for more than 20 years.

The request was for a table for a new resident of 27 Rue Montagnard; a wife thrown out of her house by her husband  and left her with nothing.

Jean lives with practically no furniture in his apartment, but behind a locked door there is a table he can provide for Catherine, the new tenant.

Catherine finds the unopened and unread letter taped to the table addressed to Jean Perdu and returns it to him.

Catherine persuades Jean to finally read the letter.

Catherine and Jean begin a relationship of their own. This relationship is emotionally intimate but not physically intimate.

Jean has denied himself physical contact with any women since Manon left him. Catherine becomes the only woman who might possibly end that denial for Jean and they begin a journey aboard the floating bookshop to find out where and what happened to Manon and her reason for leaving.

Along the way they are joined on board with Max and author himself and a chef Salvatore. None of them have any real money to speak of and the situations they encounter along the way make this novel a fun read.

My recommendation

Without giving it all away, I can tell you Jean discovers all the answers and reasons he has longed for all these years. This is a novel of complex tales that examine the emotions  of the heart of love and loss and grief.

I did find it to be a bit unbelievable that a man would deny himself love of any kind for 21 years of his life and at the same time, be available to help anyone who came to his  bookshop searching for answers to their life’s problems in the books he “prescribes” for them.

That being said, I found the cast of characters as a whole to be intriguing enough to keep me reading and wanting more!

I would recommend this book to all you book lovers out there! It is a fun and enjoyable novel.

The Little Paris Bookshop ended perfectly for me.  And Jean!

You will find as an added treasure to this novel at the end of the book:

Jean Perdu’s
Emergency Literary Pharmacy

Fast – Acting Medicines for Mind and Heart affected by Minor or Moderate Emotional Turmoil


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18 thoughts on “The Little Paris Bookshop Book Review

  1. I just love the idea of a floating bookshop. That’s so cool! I have heard of this title before but never picked it up to read it myself. I also really like the sound of it being one of those reads you can sink into a comfy chair and really enjoy taking the time to read. I’m always on the lookout for good recipes so knowing there are a couple at the end is just a bonus for me.

    1. Hi Olivia,
      Thanks for your thoughts on this interesting novel. It brought together a cast of intriguing characters. It was a pleasurable book to read away from the mystery, crime, religious genres recently read. Sometimes we need a book just like this one! So nice to hear from you!

  2. Wow this sounds like an amazing book Arlene. I fell in love with the opening quote : “A room without books is like a body without a soul.” That makes so much sense to me and I also love reading.

    How is the language in this book? I’m from Sweden originally so some books are harder for me to read with tough words that I’ve never heard before.


    1. Hi Marcus
      Thanks for your comments as I cannot imagine a life without books!
      In my opinion this book is easy to read and I do not think you would have a problem even though there is some French and Italian language thrown in as expression.

      I appreciate your thoughts and thanks again!

  3. Boom! I love first lines so much.

    Neuromancer & The Pillars of the Earth have my favorite first lines ever. I’ll be honest, this isn’t my go-to-reading-category but you’ve peaked my interest (luckily I’ve got 2 audible credits left) and will be starting this when I mow the lawn tomorrow. Also Thank you, it’s apparent that you’ve actually read through the book instead of skimmed it or read other reviews.

    Your insight is amazing and I’d love to get some feedback on some of my stories.

    Keep reading and keep writing

    1. Hi Elliot.
      You mention Ken Follett’s The Pillars Of The Earth that has been sitting on my desk along with his sequel World Without End waiting for me to read them. That task seems daunting but I plan to start them soon.

      Thanks for mentioning Pillars as it has stirred me into reading these books. Follett is one of my favorite authors.

      Yes, I always actually read our selections and try to give my personal and honest opinion on them. We are trying to give our readers a variety of genres in our monthly choices.

      Thank you for your comments!

  4. Sounds like a wonderful book! What a great concept- literary apothecary. I guess books can solve some problems 🙂

    Have you found a book that you read helped you with your problems?

    Thank you for such a wonderful review!

    1. Hello Eloah,
      I find some books can take us away from some issues in life that we all need to get away from at times. I do not think any book can solve our particular problems but they can impart other ways to look at the ways we may be trying to solve those problems.

      Sometimes we have to get away from ourselves and step back from whatever may be going on in our life that is not going so well and possibly find a different path to follow.

      Thank you so much for your comments.

  5. Hey Arlene,

    I like books but I am more of a text book person myself, but I just know my girlfriend is going to love the Little Paris Bookshop book as a gift!

    And I have to say that I am looking forward to trying out some of those recipes that you mentioned come with the book. 😉 It’s a win win. hehe.

    Keep up the awesome work! Thanks you for sharing this awesome review.

    1. Hi Marc,
      Thanks for your positive comments on my review.

      How lucky can you get?? Your girlfriend receives a unique book gift from you and you get to try out all those recipes for the both of you to enjoy. Sounds like a happy lovely experience for two!


  6. What an awesome review! I love the quote you chose “A room without books is like a body without a soul.” It is so true. It sounds like an interesting book, similar storyline to “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho in the sense that it starts with one male character who meets others and multiple interesting characters along the journey!
    Thanks for the great review,

    1. Hello Mike,
      I have not read The Alchemist yet so I appreciate knowing it is a similar genre to The Little Paris Bookshop. I have had that one on my to read list for awhile so I will get to it now.

      You know how it is… So many books to read and so little time!! Thanks so much for your comments! We love to hear from our readers and what they think of our selections.

  7. This sounds like a wonderful book! We are on vacation in europe right now and it’s the perfect time for me to download a new book to my kindle (i never leave home without it LOL). I am going to definitely consider this one. I personally am a sucker for dramatic stories, heartfelt stories that tug on your emotions. Great review.

    1. Hello Hillary,
      I sincerely hope you are enjoying your vacation! Thank you for taking the time to comment on my review.

      The Little Paris Bookshop is the perfect vacation book – easy to read and add an interesting storyline to the mix and you have it! I appreciate your comments!

  8. I have such a fascination for culture. Living where I do, we are considered a melting pot. I get to see so many customs and ethnicity. I am especially fond of French culture. Call me a romantic. This book is quite intriguing. Despite Jean’s 21 years of abstinence, which does seem a bit hard to relate, still there seems to be a lot of complexity and heart to this book. Plus, I love that their are recipes. RECIPES! Thank you for taking the time to review this book and for sharing with us your thoughtful insight.

    1. Hi Lonna,
      I think you would enjoy the descriptive narrative of this novel. Floating down the rivers of France with the narration of the scenery, the tastes and smells of the French and Italian cuisine, the flavors of the wines brought it all together as this story unfolded.

      I have to agree with you on the 21 years of abstinence being a bit of a stretch. It was for me also. I think though it gave the drama of Jean’s sorrow an understanding place to the story.

      Thank you for stopping in and sharing your thoughts with us!

  9. What a well written review! It made me really interested, I loved how you began everything with Cicero’s wonderful quote.

    In the last years I only read Sci-fi, horror and Mystery/Crime books, but I think I’m going to give this book a chance. Who doesn’t love a well written novel with great story telling? Thank you for the review!
    I like your book review website and you will see me a lot in your comments section.

    1. Hello Basem,
      It is very nice to hear from you! I think a real book lover would enjoy this unique book. The characters come alive on the page for us and I feel that is what we all look for in a great book. It does not matter what the genre is – science fiction, historical fiction, mystery, or an interesting love story.

      I appreciate your comments and look forward to hearing from you again!

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