Last week we enjoyed John Reid’s reading recommendations – this week Karen Jones shares with you two books she loves and a third she is eagerly anticipating.
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When I discovered The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George, I fell in love. It was as simple as that!
It is the sweet, whimsical story of bookseller Jean Perdu who has a bookshop set up in a barge which travels along the Seine. He has a book for every troubled soul, and the story is one of revelation and joy – as well as discovering love. I was hooked, as it was brilliantly translated from the German. I could not wait for the next one.
And there is was – The Little Breton Bistro (aka Little French Bistro). Again set initially in Paris, disenchanted Marriane hurls herself into the Seine to escape a loveless marriage, and by an odd set of coincidences finds herself working in a little Breton Bistro. There she reinvents herself into the woman she should always have been. I wanted to be Marriane, but to at least read about her and dive into her world was almost enough.
And then one night whilst choosing a book for book club I stumbled upon The Book of Dreams also written by Nina George. I was so excited I had us all order it, to only find that it is not due out until mid-April. Alas. But I was sure that I saw a review. And I’m pretty sure it was one written by our Starts at Sixty editor Karen O’Brien Hall. But was I dreaming? I’ve searched in vain on the website but maybe Karen had a review copy, in which case I am exceedingly envious.
However, good things come to those who wait. When you connect to an author’s writing style and emotional wavelength, then a bond is forged. Nina George writes in such a way that her style resonates with me deeply. She engages her readers and helps them to escape the mundane and the monotonous. She offers an escape hatch to those drowning in the minutiae of life and crippling narrow choices. Her héroes and heroines do the thing we would all love to do. They run away and re-invent themselves and it’s their second-hand courage that enthrals us so. We can get inside their lives and live vicariously.
So I eagerly await The Book of Dreams. I love it when I am in love with a book before I even read it. When the cover is part of the story and when the blurb or synopsis creates anticipation for more. Away from the humdrum into a world abounding in magical realism and dreams – take me away Nina George.
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Do you share Karen’s love for Nina George’s books? Tell us about an author you have fallen in love with, whose works you eagerly anticipate?