The Little Paris Bookshop
Booklist Reviews 2015 May #1
Although an accomplished author in her native Germany, George is just now seeing her first novel translated to English. From his floating bookstore along the Seine, the Literary Apothecary, Jean Perdu intuits the perfect book to heal whatever heartbreak afflicts his customer-patients. Yet it is his own that he cannot heal as he lives a Miss Havisham–like existence, blocking off rooms in his apartment and even avoiding thinking the name of a former love. However, an encounter with a new tenant forces him to read an unopened letter, and the devastating contents compel him to finally leave Paris and sail south so that he may finally move past his heartbreak. While the pacing lags occasionally, George's writing is strongest when describing the wonderfully provincial towns off the Seine River, highlighting a France often forgotten behind the noise of Paris. Books triumph as instruments of healing but also as beacons, connecting strangers at the most fundamental level. Through its well-drawn characters, this novel carefully explores these relationships between lovers, friends, and family, and the painful sacrifices made selflessly for them. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.
PW Reviews 2015 April #4
A bookseller embarks on a quest for his own happy ending in George's novel. Jean Perdu's Literary Apothecary is unique among Paris bookshops, and not just because it's a barge moored on the Seine. Perdu has the uncanny ability to prescribe the perfect book to cure any spiritual malady: heartbreak, loneliness, ennui. But for 21 years—ever since the woman he loved walked out of his life—Perdu has lived an ascetic, routine-filled existence, and he's never opened the farewell letter she left for him. When he's finally compelled to read it, the unexpected contents spur him to hoist his anchor and take the bookstore barge on a trip upriver to Avignon, in search of closure and forgiveness. Max Jordan, an eccentric young author paralyzed by writer's block, hitches a ride as the boat is pulling out of port. Along the way the pair encounters a host of other quirky characters, who feed Perdu incredible cuisine, help unravel a long-unsolved literary mystery, and teach him to feel joy again. Though George's prose is sometimes a bit overwrought and the "physician, heal thyself" plot device has been done to death, her cast of engaging characters keeps the story moving. Her sumptuous descriptions of both food and literature will leave readers unsure whether to run to the nearest library or the nearest bistro. Agent: Cecile Barendsma, Janklow & Nesbit Associates. (June)[Page ]. Copyright 2014 PWxyz LLC