2015 A very bookish Christmas Book Reviews Carina UK Rebecca Raisin
Book Review: The Little Bookshop on the Seine by Rebecca Raisin
Author: Rebecca Raisin
Published: October 16th 2015 by Carina UK
Amazon | Amazon UK
Blurb: Le Vie En Rose
Bookshop owner Sarah Smith has been offered the opportunity to exchange bookshops with her new Parisian friend for 6 months! And saying yes is a no-brainer – after all, what kind of a romantic would turn down a trip to Paris? Even if it does mean leaving the irresistible Ridge Warner behind, Sarah’s sure she’s in for the holiday of a lifetime – complete with all the books she can read!
Picturing days wandering around Shakespeare & Co, munching on croissants, sipping café au laits and people-watching on the Champs-Elysees Sarah boards the plane. But will her dream of a Parisian Happily-Ever-After come true? Or will Sarah realise that the dream isn’t quite as rosy in reality…
First of all I would like to thank the publisher for sending me a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*
Review: The Little Bookshop on the Seine is the first book on a new series by Rebecca Raisin set in Paris. But it is also part of the Gingerbread Café Series too. In fact, it follows the new adventure of Sarah Smith, who runs the little bookshop on Ashford, where the Gingerbread Café Series takes place. Also, Rebecca already wrote a novella about her, called The Bookshop on the Corner, where Sarah met the gorgeous and adventurous Ridge Warner. So, if you have read this series, you'll be happy to meet again with its lovely characters, but if this is your first book by Rebecca Raisin, do not worry. It can be perfectly read as a stand-alone and any background information necessary to the story is seamlessly added to this book.
Basically we have Sarah, an introvert who lives with her nose in her books. She has never ventured out of her little village where she finds the comfort of her friends and her bookshop. But when a French friend who also runs a bookshop offers her an exchange, she cannot resist the Parisian pull. As you can expect, Sarah's adventure doesn't have the best of starts, she is overwhelmed by the size of her new city and how busy Once Upon a Time, the bookshop she is supposed to manage, is. Her resolution to enjoy her new life falters more than once and the uncooperative staff don't help either. But as Christmas approaches and thanks to her new friends and confidantes we start discovering a new side of Sarah, ready to take the world (or at least Once Upon a Time).
What I liked the most of this story was obviously its setting. I've been in Paris but never during Christmas. Rebecca captures perfectly the spirit of this beautiful and enigmatic city, with its secretive and elegant inhabitants and to picture it all during such a special time like Christmas! I want to take a plane there right now.
Also, I found very interesting to read about the characters that occupied the old bookshop on the Seine, Once Upon a Time, from the regular staff, the sporadic staff, to its regular costumers and the artists that used it as its inspiration. They all had their own story to tell too. I especially liked reading about certain best-seller writer who spends the days in the conservatory of the shop writing his epic love stories. And of course, the bookshop itself had so many stories to tell. I could perfectly picture its hidden treasures in its multiple and diverse rooms.
My least favourite part was probably Sarah's own love story. She is still madly in love with her boyfriend Ridge, but their relationship is struggling with all the distance between them and their very different goals in life. I think Ridge was not supportive enough for Sarah and I couldn't really feel the chemistry between them. But I have to admit that I was happy with the ending.
If you are looking for your next Chrismtas read, I can highly recommend you pick The Little Bookshop on the Seine, I mean, who doesn't want to spend Christmas in Paris, more precisely, in a hundred-year-old bookshop with a thousand stories to tell. A bookworm's dream come true!