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Book Review: The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

Book Review: The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

The Little Paris Bookshop is the story of Jean Perdu, a French bookseller with a unique talent for telling his customers exactly what book they need to ‘cure’ them. Running his floating bookstore on a barge on the Seine in Paris, Perdu lives a monotonous life that has lost its colour. When he is forced to read a long-forgotten and unopened letter from a former lover, Perdu resolves to fight the demons of his past and find a way to move forwards in life.

Keep reading for The Little Paris Bookshop review… 

This is more than just a story of long lost love. It is a story of friendship, discovering yourself, healing old wounds and, most of all, learning to love again. I am not the type to fold down the corners of pages or scribble in my books – you won’t be able to tell which books are new and which have been read on my shelves! However, for The Little Paris Bookshop, I pulled out a pack of sticky labels and started bookmarking my favourite pages.

This book is full of beautiful quotes that really spoke to me and I imagine a lot of other readers felt the same way. Nina George has an amazing way of pinpointing exactly why I love to read and why love can sometimes be so painful. She captures what it is to be heartbroken, to mourn, to be lost and her writing can mend broken hearts.

I truly wish that characters like Jean Perdu existed as I’m sure the world would be a much better place. If only somebody could tell me exactly what book I needed every time I entered a bookstore! How much time I would save…

Perdu is a simple man that you cannot help but fall in love with from the beginning. Not in a romantic way, but in the way you become very fond of someone unique. When we first meet him, he seems to have given up on finding new opportunities in life and is merely whiling the rest of the his life away. After all, Perdu means ‘lost’ in French!

Then, he finds purpose again and becomes a man on a quest, a man searching for what has been missing from his life for the past 20 years. The Little Paris Bookshop is a story of self-discovery and you’re rooting for Perdu the whole time, praying he finds the peace he deserves. It is not often that I find characters I would truly like to meet and spend time with in real life, but Jean Perdu is definitely one of them.

When I first started reading this The Little Paris Bookshop, I was convinced that it was going to become my new favourite book. Having finished it, I’d still rank it pretty highly amongst all the books I’ve ever read but I couldn’t help but feel a burgeoning sense of disappointment as I delved deeper into this book. I don’t want to give any of this book’s secrets away but the love story wasn’t at all what I was expecting and some of the actions of a certain character were downright immoral.

My problem with this character was that their actions were not really punished by the author, though, to be fair, they were not condoned either. This was the only flaw of the novel I found with the novel but it did mean that I was left feeling incredibly frustrated around the middle passages. This is a real shame as both the beginning and the end contain some really beautiful passages of writing.

In the end, this book didn’t turn out to be the story I expected it to be at all. If you think that Jean Perdu hops on his barge and sails off in his floating literary apothecary to find his long lost lover, then you would be wrong. It is rare that a book of this genre surprises me but I don’t think anyone could predict the plot of The Little Paris Bookshop before reading it. This is now my all time favourite book set in Paris and I’d highly recommend it! 

Have you read The Little Paris Bookshop? If so, what did you think of it?

Buy The Little Paris Bookshop:
Amazon | Book Depository

If you liked this post, check out these:
Best Books Set in Paris
Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple Review
The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa
A Guide to Paris in Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Books Like Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

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Laura is a culture and travel blogger based in London. She studied French at Oxford University and now studies Law in London. She’s an avid reader and traveller and loves to combine the two with literary travel. Find her tips and reviews on the best reads, eats and destinations on whatshotblog.com.

Find me on: Web | Twitter



  1. Spit Up is in Style
    13th June 2016 / 9:10 PM

    I haven’t read this book, but your review has made me add it to my wishlist!

  2. Sandra Mo
    14th June 2016 / 8:40 AM

    OOOh I like stories that are set in Paris ! I will read it for sure! keeping it for later because I already have so many books to read !

  3. Janella Panchamsingh
    14th June 2016 / 1:22 PM

    The cover of the book is so pretty. I would use it for decor

  4. Angela Milnes
    14th June 2016 / 2:45 PM

    sounds like a fabulous book! One i’d enjoy most likely.

  5. Lily Travella
    14th June 2016 / 3:31 PM

    I haven’t read this book but you saying about the genuine surprise makes me want to read it! I’m not a huge reader to be honest but would love to get more into it.

  6. Tori Gabriel
    14th June 2016 / 7:00 PM

    This sounds like a good book. I’m intrigued about the “immoral” character though it would annoy me that they get away with it. I like my fiction to deliver some karma.

  7. 14th June 2016 / 7:22 PM

    This sounds like a really good book, and am a little intrigued now, will have to add it to my wish list x

  8. Beautyqueenuk
    14th June 2016 / 8:04 PM

    OOh now I am intrigued by this, I have looked at it a few times x

  9. Melanie Edjourian
    14th June 2016 / 9:33 PM

    It’s a shame the book was not as good as you expected it to be.

  10. 14th June 2016 / 10:12 PM

    I love it when books are not predictable, so maybe I would enjoy it more? I will have to check it out!

  11. 14th June 2016 / 10:46 PM

    This has actually been on my Amazon wish list for a while now, might need to pick it up soon x

  12. 14th June 2016 / 10:57 PM

    Ohh I like the sound of this – it is always good when you can’t predict an ending to a book. x

  13. 15th June 2016 / 12:16 AM

    The concept does sound interesting to me. It’s too bad that it was a little disappointing. I wonder if I’d like it.

  14. 15th June 2016 / 5:37 AM

    That sounds like a book I would enjoy, I love things that are based in an older time and deal with addressing the past and the way they lived.

  15. Hungry_Healthy_Happy
    15th June 2016 / 8:51 AM

    It’s a shame that you were a little disappointed with this. It sounds like something I would like though.

  16. 15th June 2016 / 3:36 PM

    i do love the cover of this. the sound of this is something i would read. i am in need of new reads for my travels!

  17. Emma Bee
    15th June 2016 / 3:54 PM

    great picture at the start 🙂 i went through a phase of reading books set in Venice thorugh the ages, perhaps you could try them too!
    I love it when you read a book and its not how you expected, but seems a slight shame that you were a little disappointed. I seem to be in a rut with my reading at the moment 🙁

  18. 15th June 2016 / 5:47 PM

    Beautiful cover. A shame you were not so impressed though.

  19. Hannah Heartss ❄️⛄️
    15th June 2016 / 8:18 PM

    I really like the cover – shame it didn’t turn out as expected!

  20. Bernadette
    16th June 2016 / 5:49 AM

    Sounds like it would be a good add for my summer reading. I have an ever growing list! The story sounds different and something fresh.

  21. 16th June 2016 / 6:43 AM

    Sounds like my kind of book, I love that it covers not only lost lover but friendship and healing old wounds

  22. 16th June 2016 / 9:29 AM

    This sounds like a book I would enjoy, I’m going to have to add it to my ever growing list of books to read!

  23. 16th June 2016 / 11:13 AM

    It sounds a lovely read, one to order from the library to take on holiday this summer, maybe on a weekend to Paris?

  24. Harriet @ Toby&Roo
    16th June 2016 / 11:16 AM

    Such a shame that you felt a little disappointed, but at least you enjoyed it still! H x

  25. Jessica
    16th June 2016 / 4:52 PM

    Looks like a great read. And even the cover can easily attract readers.

  26. mummyslittlemonkey
    16th June 2016 / 8:06 PM

    You have such an eloquent way of describing books – you make me want to read every one of them (even the ones you don’t rate that highly, haha!). Completely in love with all your photos too. x

  27. 16th June 2016 / 11:19 PM

    Sounds interesting! I’m looking for some new books to read, this sounds like one I would like to give a go!

  28. 17th June 2016 / 12:02 PM

    This sounds like just my kind of book. It’s a shame you didn’t enjoy certain aspects of the storyline but you’ve still made me want to read it!

  29. Louise
    17th June 2016 / 9:03 PM

    This book sounds amazing, plus the cover is so cute! I wish I’d seen this post sooner so I could have bought it on holiday with me to read x

  30. 19th June 2016 / 12:41 PM

    Ooh this sounds good, I’ll add to my ever-increasing ‘to-read’ list!

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