Welcome to a weekly post, Throwback Thursday. This weekly book review post is a way to share some old favourites, books that were published over a year ago and most importantly those books that have been languishing on the to be read pile for far too long!
Sarah Smith has been offered the opportunity to exchange bookshops with a Parisian friend for six months. Saying yes is a no-brainer – after all, who would turn down a trip to Paris?
Even if it does mean leaving the irresistible boyfriend behind, Sarah’s sure she’s in for the holiday of a lifetime – days spent surrounded by novels in a gorgeous bookshop and the chance to watch the snow fall on the Champs-ÉlysÉes.
But will her dream come true or will Sarah realise that a fairytale Christmas in the city of love isn’t quite as rosy in reality…
We all dream of a Parisian style happily ever after. In Rebecca Raisin’s 2015 release, The Little Bookshop on the Seine, her leading lady, Sarah Smith is given a chance to fulfil this dream. A bookshop swap affords Sarah with the opportunity to trade her own bookshop in the small town Ashford, for a Paris based bookshop for a six month period. Sarah hopes this temporary move to Paris will strengthen her relationship with her investigative reporter boyfriend Ridge. At the same time, Sarah’s unconditional love for books will be combined with the perfect working holiday! The Little Bookshop on the Seine is a wonderful tribute to Paris, bookshops, friendship, love and personal growth. Words cannot express how much I absolutely adored this novel!
I first spied The Little Bookshop on the Seine at a recent local fiction festival held in my home town of Perth. This sparking little gem of a novel quickly caught my eye and a chat with the genuinely lovely author sold me. As a huge Francophile and booklover, a novel that combines two elements I hold dear to my heart had me entranced. I purchased the book immediately and although I had never read any of Rebecca Raisin’s books before, I had a strong feeling this book was for me. I was not wrong on this hunch, I have a huge book crush on Rebecca Raisin!
From the outset, based on the cover, title and blurb, I had an initial feeling that The Little Bookshop on the Seine was going to be a straightforward cosy style romance. Well I was very wrong indeed! I will say this contemporary fiction novel with romantic elements, coming in the form of side narrative threads. The Little Bookshop on the Seine primarily focuses on the very intriguing life journey of Sarah Smith, the central character of the story. When we first are acquainted with Sarah she seems a little naive, but as the Paris opportunity beckons this slightly naive and less confident young woman gains her wings in the city of love and she soars. It really is such a rich and fulfilling character journey to follow. Those who are hard core romantics will not be disappointed, there is a beautiful love story full of heart and emotion between Sarah and Ridge. The tussle between personal priorities and true love between Sarah and Ridge will tug at your heartstrings. Love is also in the air, Parisian style, for the secondary character set of The Little Bookshop on the Seine. This added bonus keeps all romance readers very happy indeed!
There were some wonderful resounding themes that I was able to draw from The Little Bookshop on the Seine. From self confidence, friendship, love, travel and exploration, to self belief. All of these themes work well to ensure the narrative is full, engaging, surprising and full of unexpected possibilities. Paris has a formidable presence in the novel and I felt this strongly. Raisin breathes life into the pages of her novel so that Paris emerges as a full bodied extra character. I loved reading about some familiar and also some less familiar sights of Paris. The culinary delights, quaint shops and the Parisian people Sarah encounters along the way adds so much vibrancy to the novel. A standout for me was Anouk, the antique jewellery shop owner, this was so well done by the author. I just adored Anouk and her shop! Rounding off the sensational atmosphere this novel evokes is the gentle insertion of a festive flavour. What a bonus to set you in the mood for Christmas, which is only a few weeks away now!
I am convinced that Sarah and I are kindred spirits, I took an immediate liking to Sarah and I found so much connection between our worlds, despite our varied life circumstances! I enjoyed my time with Sarah and her acquaintances so very much. I must admit I didn’t want to leave the pages of this novel, even though I was grinning from ear to ear with the ending Raisin issued.
Rebecca Raisin has dazzled me with her passionate story of Paris, books and love. The Little Bookshop on the Seine is solely deserving of a five star rating. I’m off to seek out the rest of Rebecca Raisin’s books and I assure you, I will be at the head of the line for her next new release!
***** 5 stars
The Little Bookshop on the Seine by Rebecca Raisin was published on 16th October 2015. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
Learn more about the author of The Little Bookshop on the Seine, Rebecca Raisin here.
The Little Bookshop on the Seine is book #137 of the Australian Women Writers Challenge