Firstly I would like to say thank you to NetGalley and Little Brown Book Group UK for sending me this proof copy in return for my honest review.
I really liked the initial idea of this book, especially the book barge and the setting of Paris, France. I was also drawn to the main character, Jean Perdu, and his talent to find the perfect book for someone (described in the book as a ‘book apothecary’) as well as his mysterious past, which was captivating to read about and discover.
If I am honest, the novel didn’t grab my attention at the start – it was a bit slow – but I stuck with it, and found some moments that were both engrossing and heartbreaking. However, my overall impression was confusion.
The plot grew hugely as the novel developed, but I felt that it didn’t flow – it was as if the writer had thought of some ideas separately and then tried to fit them together, without much transition. As a result, the novel felt very long. The plot ideas were clever and interesting but not always flowing enough. I felt the small addition of French recipes at the end fitted in nice and was quite a pleasant surprise.
Overall, I did enjoy this book but perhaps not as much as I hoped to.