But what about the story?
A book therapist, Jean Perdu, meets a distraught Catherine, and through this interaction discovers something dramatic about a previous relationship with Manon that requires him to go to Provence and confront people and issues. He is joined by a stressed out novelist, a passionate Italian and of course his cats. The history unfolds through the pages of a journal, written by Manon.
There were parts that were gorgeous. The writing is engaging and the story flows like the river they are sailing. There are also moments, elegantly captured in time and space that will stay with me for their beauty and poignant value.
I struggled to relate to the book recommendations, however. It wasn’t that I hadn’t read the books, but for me they didn’t really make much sense, and the fact that the man was a book therapist was not central to the novel. Neither was Paris. So don’t read this to know more about Paris or about book therapy (which is kind of how the book has been sold). It is a story about people, how they connect in beautiful ways, and learn to make peace with the worlds they find themselves in. And why fill the last few pages with recipes? I don’t really get it.
A beautiful book, somewhat mis-sold by the title and the publishers’ blurb.
3 out of 5 stars