On Writer Wednesday, I discuss another author and his or her book. Today’s pick is The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George. I had seen this book reviewed by many, including friends on Goodreads, so I was curious. I was also intrigued by the premise. There’s a barge in Paris that’s a bookshop, where the owner does not merely sell books, but prescribes them in his literary apothecary for specific ailments. How interesting!
While the book was about that, it was also about a lot of other things- things like a twenty-year broken heart, sacrifice, and above all, learning to live again, when one has stopped doing so. No longer truly living is exactly what Perdu has done. His name, Jean Perdu, is translated as John Lost.
Although different than I had expected it to be, this book flowed with literary style and I highlighted a few passages on my reader. That’s a good sign. I don’t often highlight on my reader unless I’m editing work. When I highlight an already published book, it’s because I want to remember what’s been said. Here’s some of what I highlighted..
“Perdu reflected that it was a common misconception that booksellers looked after books. They look after people.”
” ‘Imagine if you had to buy beautiful words before you could use them.’…. ‘And “I love you” would cost the most.’ ‘And twice as much if it’s not used sincerely.’ ‘The poor would have to steal words. Or play charades rather than speak.’ ‘We should all do that anyway. Loving is a verb, so… do it. Less talk and more action. Right?'”
” ‘We all live in wishabelness,’ she said. ‘Each in a different kind.’ ”
“Your color is missing here. It would make everything shine all the more brightly.”
Lastly, I looked up Nina George to find out more about the author and I discovered that she’s German. I lived in Germany for nine years when younger, near the border of France, and something about the way that she wrote the book and the ideas expressed within it on living clicked when I found out that she was German and now lives in France. I also think that while the title is what first drew me to this book, the original German title is fitting: The Lavender Room. Lavender plays an important part in this book, is multi-layered, and accurately conveys the tone of the book. In the shadows, lavender is dull, the way that Jean Perdu’s life is in the beginning. By awakening, stepping into the sunshine (literally, I’m sure you’ll agree, for those who have read it) that lavender bursts alive. In a way, then, Perdu is that lavender room as well. The experiences within that room shape his life and only when he changes the furniture and décor is his room fit for living again.
Have you read this book? What are your thoughts on it?
My best to you all,