Welcome to day 14 of my #FrenchVillageBookworm advent calendar where I am sharing a book a day between now and Christmas.
My review today is for The Little Bookshop On The Seine (The Little Paris Collection, Book 1) by Rebecca Raisin, a lovely novel that I enjoyed escaping into in the dark days following the November attacks in Paris. This book was perfect, Sarah, the main character, loves books with a passion, she becomes absorbed in her books, they speak to her and she is happy in their presence. This was just what I needed and the bonus was that it was set in Paris.
We join Sarah (from The Bookshop on the Corner ) as she agrees to a six month bookshop exchange with her Parisian friend Sophie who owns an established, bustling bookstore in Paris with more nooks, crannies and floating temporary staff than you could imagine. This is the first in the Little Paris Collection from Rebecca, but those who have read The Gingerbread Café series will recognise plenty of characters, although this book can be read as a stand-alone novel.
Life in Paris is certainly very different from what Sarah is used to in her small town of Ashford in the US and she soon learns there is a vast difference between the American way and the French way, the small town way and the big city way. Sarah finds herself in the heart of Paris at Christmas and although all the old Paris clichés are present, I loved it for that. There are snippets of hidden Paris, typically Parisian characters and tasty patisseries on every corner. I enjoyed the mix of characters and liked the fact that it wasn’t all peachy in Paris when she first arrived. She feels alone, but she can’t give up, Paris won’t let her. Sarah had to work hard to be accepted but ultimately finds herself and happiness, with the help of a little Paris magic. There was lots to make me smile while I was reading and plenty of little sub plots to try and guess where they were leading to along the way. I especially enjoyed the mystery of the old and forgotten love letters and the will-they-won’t-they romance with her too good to be true, but often absent, boyfriend Ridge.
I did think it was slightly let down by typos and mistakes that should have been picked up by the editor, but it was a great escape to Paris and I’m looking forward to the other books in the Little Paris Collection. I’ve also gone on to read (and enjoy) The Bookshop on the Corner and Christmas at the Gingerbread Café .