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p29_n63_Clipart_Book_1_Little_Paris_BookshopThe Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George, Crows Publishers 2015. 381pp.

Monsieur Perdu loves books and runs a floating bookstore on a barge on the Seine not far from Paris. He not only sells books but he interacts with his customers and finds the perfect book for them. One that might make them feel better about themselves, help them solve a problem or a book that they just plain love.

He himself though is stuck in the past at a time when the woman he loved left him. She did leave a note, but he never read it. Then one day he gives an old desk of his to Catherine, a woman next to his flat, who has just been left by someone she loved. She finds that old letter in a drawer and persuades Perdu to read it, which changes everything. His long suppressed emotions finally come to life again and he begins to fall a little in love with Catherine.

Before he can move forward again though, he has to move back and settle the past. He makes his barge ready and starts south along the Seine to find what happened to Manon, his lost love. He is joined by an author who wrote a wildly successful first book. Now everyone is anxiously awaiting his next book but he is stuck and panicking. Along the way they are joined by a chef who is looking for someone he also lost.

This novel is rather magical at times and there is so much varied and wonderful scenery and many often humorous adventures along the way. It sounds a little corny to say but it is a lovely and very charming book. – C.M.

p29_n63_Clipart_Book_2_Good_Night_Mr._WodehouseGood Night Mr. Wodehouse by Faith Sullivan. Milkwood Editions 2015. 439 pp.

This novel is the life story of an admirable woman living in a small town. The book begins in 1900 when Nell Stillman is 24. She and her husband Bert, and baby son Hillary, live in a little town in Minnesota. They are renting an apartment above a meat market, and Bert works in a livery stable. But he dies, suddenly, leaving Nell bereft and fearing the future. But the president of the school board, knowing that Nell has a teaching certificate, offers her a teaching position that is vacant. She thankfully accepts, and will be teaching third graders for thirty-seven years. Nell’s life will not be an easy one, but the way she handles difficulties and survives a real crisis is part of the story. She has a sense of humor too. An important part of her life is reading. At stressful times she retreats with a book.  Her favorites are those by P. G. Wodehouse, a very popular humorist author of that era.

This is also a story of life in a small town in the early and mid 1900s. As in any community there are delightful people and very annoying people. Nell’s little boy Hillary (whose name is shortened to Hilly) grows up to be a fine young man. His friends and Nell’s friends are all characters in the story.

After America enters the war in 1917, there are parts of the story that become tragic.

In some ways this is an old-fashioned story but it is also heartwarming. Years ago I read some of the P. G. Wodehouse books and loved them. I hope I can locate one or two now. Our library perhaps? – P.M.

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