“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.”
These were the words spoken by Jean Purdu in Nina George’s, “The Little Paris Bookshop.” Monsieur Purdu could “prescribe” someone the perfect book for how they were feeling or for what was lacking in their lives. But his own life was empty and had been stuck in a bad place for 20 years.
This book took me on an unexpected journey. Enticed by the idea of a little bookshop on a barge in the water, “The Literary Apothecary,” I expected romance and details surrounding the possibilities of the stories and magic they would bring to people when read. Instead, I found myself reading about romance AND also friendship. An unexpected friendship between men, from different places in life. Hearts had been broken, hearts were still searching and all perhaps hoping for their soul mate. The beautiful, very touching friendship between the group of traveling companions unfolded within the pages brilliantly.
I really enjoyed the vision of the bookshop, the resident cats, the ethnic cooking on board when they gained a chef, the travel along the water and the events that transpired when the Literary Apothecary literally turned into an escape vehicle. An escape from pain, fear and confusion as it steered them toward clarity, healing and peace. But what spoke to me the most was just the vision of the men allowing themselves to be vulnerable with one another in a loving friendship.
I liked this story a lot and would recommend it to a friend. In addition to it being a great story, there are beautiful quotes from Purdu, thoughts and reflections that I found myself pausing to take in and reflect on for a while before moving on.