Book Review

The Little Paris Bookshop

tlpbNina George
Crown Publishing Group, Jun 2015
Originally published in German as Das Lavendelzimmer
Translated by Simon Pare
Kindle ed, 320 pages,
Genre(s) Women’s Lit
Source Purchased

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.”

Monsieur Perdu calls himself a literary apothecary. From his floating bookstore in a barge on the Seine, he prescribes novels for the hardships of life. Using his intuitive feel for the exact book a reader needs, Perdu mends broken hearts and souls. The only person he can’t seem to heal through literature is himself; he’s still haunted by heartbreak after his great love disappeared. She left him with only a letter, which he has never opened.

After Perdu is finally tempted to read the letter, he hauls anchor and departs on a mission to the south of France, hoping to make peace with his loss and discover the end of the story. Joined by a best-selling but blocked author and a lovelorn Italian chef, Perdu travels along the country’s rivers, dispensing his wisdom and his books, showing that the literary world can take the human soul on a journey to heal itself.

Internationally bestselling and filled with warmth and adventure, “The Little Paris Bookshop” is a love letter to books, meant for anyone who believes in the power of stories to shape people’s lives. “From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author:
Born 1973 in Bielefeld, Germany, Nina George is a prize-winning and bestselling author (“Das Lavendelzimmer” – “The Little Paris Bookshop”) and freelance journalist since 1992, who has published 26 books (novels, mysteries, and nonfiction) as well as over hundred short stories and more than 600 columns. George has worked as a police reporter, columnist, and managing editor for a wide range of publications, including ngHamburger Abendblatt, Die Welt, Der Hamburger, “Politik und Kultur” as well as TV Movies, and Federwelt. Georges writes also under three pen-names, for ex “Jean Bagnol”, a double-andronym for Provence-based mystery novels.

In 2012 and 2013 she won the DeLiA and the Glauser-Prize. In 2013 she had her first bestselling book “Das Lavendelzimmer”, translated into 27 languages and sold more than 500,000 copies.

In November 2011, Nina George established the “JA zum Urheberrecht” (YES on Author’s Rights) initiative, which supports the rights of authors, artists, and entertainers and is dedicated to resolving issues within the literary community as well as establishing fair and practical rights-license models for the web-distribution. 14 writers’ associations and 27 publishing partners have since joined the JA…-Initiative. George supports the “Initiative Urheberrecht” (Author’s Rights Initiative— as well as the “gib 8 aufs Wort”-campaign of the VG Wort.

In August 2014 George initiated the Amazon protest in Germany, where over 2000 German-speaking authors – Nobel prizewinning Elfriede Jelinek or Bestselling author Nele Neuhaus – signed an open letter to Jeff Bezos and Amazon, protesting against the banned-book-methods of the giant retailer in the Hachette/Bonnier-dispute.

In 2015, George founded the Initiative Fairer Buchmarkt e.V., which supports questions of law in the daily business of authors – for example in contracts, fees or author’s rights and e-Business.

George is Member of PEN, Das Syndikat (Association of German-language crime writers), the Association of German Authors (VS), the Hamburg Authors’ Association (HAV), BücherFrauen (Women in Publishing), the IACW/AIEP (International Association of Crime Writers), the GEDOK (Association of female artists in Germany), PRO QUOTE and Lean In. Nina George sits on the board of the Three Seas Writers’ and Translators’ Council (TSWTC), whose members come from 16 different countries.

Nina George teaches writing at Literaturbüro Unna, Alsterdamm Kunstschule, Wilhelmsburger Honigfabrik, where she coaches young people, adults, and professional authors. George also moderates (bilingual) readings and works as a speaker.

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My Disclaimer: I purchased this book at full price. I am providing an honest review for which I am receiving no compensation of any kind. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

My Review: ✭✭✭✭⭒
This book could have not been written by an American writer. There’s just something about it that says it was written by a European writer. They really write differently. There is an intimate knowledge of their countries and customs that Americans simply don’t have. It does show in their writing.

This book has something I haven’t seen in awhile. That’s a true dedication. One where it is set formally at the front with intent and quotes and such. This book is dedicated to the departed and to those who go on loving them. Nina George lost her father, who she was very close to, shortly before writing this book.

Jean Perdu (John Lost) is the owner of La pharmacie litteraire (The Literary Apothecary) where he prescribes the correct books for people. La pharmacie litteraire is a converted river barge, basically a floating bookshop.

Monsieur Perdu has two women in his life. One is from twenty years ago and she left him a letter he never read. Since her time, Monsieur has had no other woman, until Catherine literally fell into his life. Now she is collecting postcards and waiting.

Monsieur has finally read Manon’s letter and must make this voyage and find closure to their relationship. It is a quest for answers, for peace.

The author used diary entries from Manon, Monsieur Perdu’s first love, to bring her into the story. I felt that really helped to bring her presence into the story and to keep her real while all the action was going on during the river cruise. The pace was a bit uneven, but the storyline was great and the characters were interesting. Each one added something to the story. I was left with a quiet, mellow feeling that I wanted to hold on to.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough to any reader of women’s lit. To readers of books, it will be fun following the book discussions. To travelers, you can follow the river cruise. And to romantics, there is plenty of romance!

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