“Reading—an endless journey; a long, indeed never-ending journey that made one more temperate as well as more loving and kind.”
If this isn’t a book after my own heart, I don’t know what is. Nina George’s story has books, love, and accepting that which you cannot change. It’s quite beautiful.
Jean Perdu owns a barge in Paris, his Literary Apothecary. He sells his clients the books that they need, based on what they’re going through– his own special superpower is determining what that is.
Jean is a quiet man. He doesn’t interact with many people, although he knows his neighbors by what he can hear through his apartment walls. There’s a looming cloud over Jean, of a lost love from two decades before. That loss comes back to meet him when he gives his new neighbor a table, and in it she finds a letter from Jean’s old lover that he never opened.
Jean has always wondered why Manon left him. Twenty years later, having finally read her letter, Jean sets off on an adventure, using the Literary Apothecary as his mode of travel. His neighbor, Max, invites himself to come along. Together the two men set out to find Manon.
Along the way, they meet new friends and enjoy new experiences. Jean is finally able to open himself up to others. He begins to let go of Manon, and find himself instead.
This book is really moving. I love that for Jean, books are medicine– something to prescribe to someone who is hurting or lost or stuck. Although Jean can’t seem to find a book to cure himself, he is able to discover who he is, and let himself feel again. It’s a tale of love and friendship and understanding.
Food and books are two of the important themes in the book, and Nina George adds some extras in at the end. There are recipes for some of the meals that Jean and his friends enjoy. There are also some book prescriptions to check out.
If you love books and food, you should definitely read this.