I finished the book club book ahead of my normal time! I'm so excited. Last month I had to lock myself in the house the weekend before to finish before Monday night's meeting and the month before I didn't finish on time. This month I finished almost 2 weeks early! Granted, I was listening to the audio rather than reading it to myself, but I already had enough books started and couldn't afford to add another paper book to the mix. I have to keep reading so I have things to tell you about, right?
The quote that so many reviews have used from the book is this:
“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.”
What a hook! And this book didn't disappoint. I laughed and cried and laughed some more. I know, cried?!? I didn't actually cry, but there were a couple places where I thought it might be appropriate to tear up. My mother says I'm not really human with human emotions and that is why I don't cry in those places. Meh, at least I knew that other people may have cried, right? That's close enough for me.
Jean Perdue is a bookseller who's store is a barge moored in the Seine river in Paris. He calls himself a Literary Apothecary because he can pick the exact right book to heal whatever is ailing your soul. While he is his out healing all of Paris with his books, though, he is suffering heartache of his own that he hasn't managed to heal in 20 years. His great love left him but he never opened the letter she sent after. Jean is finally pushed to open the letter and finds out why she left. This sets him off on an adventure through the south of France to find the answers that will mend his own soul.
I loved the interesting and somewhat unexpected characters that Monsieur Perdu meets along the way. It was great how the author worked in his memories of his time with Manon to complete the story and eventually wrap it all up in the end. I think this book is a good choice for anyone who has a little time to spend with it. It is a bit of a complicated story, though, and there were a few times that I found that I wasn't paying enough attention while I was at home and had to go back and re-listen to a couple places. I would recommend you read this when you have time to really sit down and read or listen when you aren't distracted by family or friends or neighbors or whoever else may come in and distract you. If you get the audio, be aware that the book is based in France and the narrators have French accents. It took me a little while to get used to it and sometimes I thought the accent was a little too thick for my poor Okie comprehension.
All in all, I thought this was a pretty good story, even for a love story. It was a little sappy at times, but not so much that I didn't want to finish it. Check it out! Let me know what you think!