I just got back from a nine day trip to Europe and I am exhausted. BUT IT WAS SO BEAUTIFUL. One of the places on this trip was Paris, France. In effort to get [even more] excited about it, I decided to read THE LITTLE PARIS BOOKSHOP which I picked up in a cute little indie bookshop in Lake Placid back in April.
I mean, all Paris affiliations aside, how could I not want to read a book that had this quote on the back?
“There are books that are suitable for a million people, others for only a hundred. There are even remedies—I mean books—that were written for one person only…A book is both medic and medicine at once. It makes a diagnosis as well as offering therapy. Putting the right novels to the appropriate ailments: that’s how I sell books.”
The story of the bookshop barge run by M. Perdu is whimsical, heartbreaking, and very picturesque. When he reads a decades old letter from a long-dead lost love and finds anything but what he expected, he sets off on his book barge to her home town with an American best-selling author trying to find his muse. On their way they join forces with an Italian chef searching for a one night stand from his past on their mutual paths to make peace with loss and find forgiveness in the future.
I loved the road trip vibe of this book. Although it is hardly a youthful Kerouacian wandering tale, the men on a barge weaving their wave toward Provence has a distinct “find yourself in the journey” feel. I also loved the general concept of a bookshop barge. I spent a chunk of time near the Seine while in Paris and there are tons of used book dealers in quaint little green stalls along the street but I didn’t see a single floating bookstore and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t bum me out a little.
I really enjoyed the tone and mood of this book. And deeply appreciated the themes of redemption and self-forgiveness. I thought of the book often as I walked through the bustling streets of Paris that were so full of tourists. I wondered what it was like to be a resident of Paris truly living in on those streets not just oogling the architecture. I recommend it if you’re into a little boat trip heartache and healing.
Also, have a few pictures from my boat tour of the Seine.