The Little Paris Bookshop

little paris bookshop cover image The Little Paris Bookshop

by Nina George
General Fiction
Crown Press
Hardcover, 400 pages

In a somewhat slight, but agreeable, homage to the disappearing independent bookshop, George deftly paints the incomparable romance that is Paris. Bookseller Jean Perdu has a book barge on the Seine and a knack for knowing just exactly which book would heal whatever affliction that his customers might be experiencing. He sees himself as a latter day psychotherapist and a sweet and gentle one at that. He says, “I wanted to treat feelings that are not recognized as afflictions and are never diagnosed by doctors. All those little feelings and emotions no therapist is interested in, because they are apparently too minor and intangible.” Things like “the feeling that washes over you when another summer nears its end” or a “nostalgia for the air of your childhood. Things like that." In Portuguese it would be called saudade; in French it is called la vie. The novel is not unlike The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin another melancholy, but uplifting, novel of contemporary bookstore life. Both are a pleasure to read.