I am really conflicted by this book. It’s a bit of a fraud in one sense as I was hoping for a wonderful collection of books to read but what I got was quite different. While there is some useful intertextuality the narrative is mostly about a woman author writing from a man’s focus but as it emerges with a female sensibility. The language and emotions evoked are rich and real with love, sadness, loss and grief explored to a deep and thought provoking level. The river and French life features strongly and I will revisit as the author has expressed a number of beautiful thoughts and probably personal philosophies worth capturing – not all that possible on an audio book. Some will love this book but don’t let the title draw you in for the wrong reasons. Probably 4 stars for those who love rich emotive tales.
On a barge on the Seine, Jean Perdu runs a bookshop, or rather a ‘literary apothecary’, for this bookseller possess a rare gift for sensing which books will soothe his customers’ troubled souls.
The only person he is unable to cure, it seems, is himself. For twenty-one years he has nursed a broken heart – and never dared open the letter his love left behind. But the arrival of an enigmatic new neighbour inspires Jean to unlock his heart, unmoor the floating bookshop and set off for Provence, in search of the past and his beloved.
Trade Paperback UK edition.