I’m always in the mood for books about books. The Little Bookshop on the Seine is a charming story about escapism, finding our own voice, and the love of books. It’s the perfect curl-up-by-the-fire Winter read.
It’s The Holiday on the Champs-Élysées in a great big love letter to Paris, charming old bookstores and happily-ever-afters!
When bookshop owner Sarah Smith is offered the opportunity for a job exchange with her Parisian friend Sophie, saying yes is a no-brainer—after all, what kind of romantic would turn down six months in Paris? Sarah is sure she’s in for the experience of a lifetime—days spent surrounded by literature in a gorgeous bookshop, and the chance to watch the snow fall on the Eiffel Tower. Plus, now she can meet up with her journalist boyfriend, Ridge, when his job takes him around the globe.
But her expectations cool faster than her café au lait soon after she lands in the City of Light—she’s a fish out of water in Paris. The customers are rude, her new coworkers suspicious and her relationship with Ridge has been reduced to a long-distance game of phone tag, leaving Sarah to wonder if he’ll ever put her first over his busy career. As Christmas approaches, Sarah is determined to get the shop—and her life—back in order…and make her dreams of a Parisian happily-ever-after come true.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
The Little Bookshop on the Seine was a charming cozy read. Having just been to Paris for the first time last month, while it was Fall, The Little Bookshop on the Seine brought back all the nostalgia. I already knew I was going to love Sarah’s passion for books, but her infectious love affair with Paris won me over. The Little Bookshop on the Seine is, unsurprisingly, a book about people who love books. But it’s also a book about transformation. Finding out who we are, embracing a new opportunity to re-invent ourselves.
In the beginning, I think what overwhelmed me in The Little Bookshop on the Seine is how much Sarah needs to find her own voice. After she takes on Paris, she has to figure out who she is in this new setting and she lets a lot of people take advantage of her. Part of it is that she isn’t used to this different pace of life or the ways people can just take advantage of you, but it’s also that Sarah feels, in some way, like she doesn’t take center stage. We’re rooting for her to finally speak up, but also wondering how long it will take.
The second half of The Little Bookshop on the Seine is where the book takes flight. In the beginning, like Sarah, we’re sort of meandering and a bit lost. It’s almost reflective of her own psyche, being unsure of where she stands, and her own future. But in the second half, all these side characters are allowed space to bloom, to be more complicated, and Sarah is finally starting to realize she has to speak up for herself. It’s a romantic book, but it’s primarily about finding yourself and the magic of a city that binds us.
Paris becomes its own character. And we are reminded of the realness of books, the preciousness of their pages, and the power they have to connect people. The Little Bookshop on the Seine shows us that we hear stories differently, take different answers from them as the next person. It’s a fast read that will transport you to the banks of the Seine. Find The Little Bookshop on the Seine on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound & The Book Depository.