As I've mentioned before, we're going to Paris for our 10th anniversary this June. I'm thus on a tear on books about Paris, and I was excited to see this come up on Blogging for Books.
But, sadly enough, except for the first few chapters, it's not a book about Paris, or it's quaintness, or even so much about "...a literary apothecary [who] from his floating bookstore in a barge on the Seine...prescribes novels for the hardships of life." (from the book jacket)
But that's not really the story. It's more of a journey story, about the trip down the Seine that that man takes when he finally reads a long-sealed letter from his long-lost love, and the people (and cats) who join him on the way.
I never got a really good sense of those people, so I did not come to care about them or the changes that ensued. I got a slightly better sense of place for the journey down the Seine, but even that was transient. And unfortunately, the book that plays the strongest role in the story is, alas, a fiction.
I wanted this to be a great story, that combined love, and loss, and travel, and books. It wasn't, but I don't hold that against it. It was a good read, a book I am glad I read, but not a seminal one.
More info here: http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/241309/
About the author: http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/authors/223097/
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.