402 pages / 2493 KB
I would have given this book 4.5 stars, but after reading a bit about the author, decided to round it up to 5 Stars. There are a couple of places where the pace slows in the middle, and a couple of places where the word used, while correct, seems out of place, out of character. Methinks this was written in German, and translated. Now, on to the good stuff.
Like the title says, this is a story that is about a bookshop. Actually, a more accurate description might be a book barge. Really, it's about Jean Perdu, the owner of the bookshop. He has an uncanny ability to talk to people and recommend the perfect book to mend whatever is bothering them. Everyone but his. He dies of a broken heart. For twenty one years, his heart has been breaking and he can find no cure, until one day when he determines it is time to move the Literary Apothecary (the name of his book shop/barge) from her moorings, and head to the south of France where the woman he loved went when she abandoned him.
Now, I do not, repeat DO NOT, like romance novels. But this is a love story. It is the story of Jean Perdu coming to grips with love, with life, and how he helps and is helped by those he meets along the way as his barge works its way south.
When I finish a novel, I want to feel better for having read it than before I picked it up. This book more than fulfills that criterion. I want to invite the characters to my home, I want to take cooking lessons from one of them (and there are actually a couple of recipes in the back of the book that look yummy!), I want to spend more time with these people. I want to travel on the barge.
If you have ever wondered what it would be like to live and travel in a different culture, if you love armchair travels and mild adventures, then this is the perfect book for you. I had no idea France has such a system of waterways, and now I want to go. I want to see that part of France. I want to travel on the Literary Apothecary. Please, come with me.