GOODREADS SUMMARY | Crown | Hardcover, 400 pp. | June 23rd, 2015 | Adult Fiction | Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
The Quick and Dirty
Bookshop owner Jean Perdu has hidden himself from the world ever since his lover left him many years ago. All that was left of her was an unopened letter to remind him that she existed. His bookshop is a barge moored on the Seine. He calls it, The Literary Apothecary. He prescribes books to people with mental and emotional ailments. Ailments that can’t be named, and for which no medical doctrine can cure.
When he finally found the courage to read the letter, it will set off the proverbial ire to get him to find himself. Because in as much as Perdu is an expert at helping cure people, he can’t seem to find the cure for himself. Along with a successful French author suffering from a debilitating writer’s block, they unmoored the barge to find themselves.
When I started reading this book, I must admit that I immediately drew comparisons to another character with the same occupation as Perdu. I was already recommending it to those who loved AJ Fikry. Unfortunately, I spoke too soon because that’s where their similarities ended.
The Little Paris Bookshop is an ode to the healing quality of books. Perdu has the odd ability of seeing through people, mostly his customers. For him, books are written for specific people at any given situations of their lives. So if one is feeling a little battered with the seemingly endless failed relationships they’ve been having, he won’t necessarily give them a book about how to get over a heartache. He’ll give them a book about how to truly understand themselves.
This book is also about chasing the ghost of his one true love. The one who left him a letter explaining why she left. In truth, readers will be hit hard as soon as they realize the severity of his non-action. Even more heartbreaking that the reason of why she left, to be honest.
Very few books can truly explain why reading a book can be the best panacea for a bad day, or a heartbreak. I’m not talking about non-fiction self-help books. I’m talking about reading another person’s story that we connect with on a different level. I’m having a bit of a hard time explaining myself. But I believe this book is one of those that you have to read to understand.