Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Most unusually this week...

...I have a book review as my post.  Whether this will become a regular feature or not, I’m not sure yet.  Perhaps you might comment and let me know what you think.

The Seine, Paris

The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain

If you’ve read my post from September 18th,  ( Sunday Sojourn, Paris ) you'll know that, like fellow author Jennifer Wilson who owns the blog on which the post appears, Paris is a favourite city of mine.  So, coming across ‘The Red Notebook’ by Antoine Laurain was an absolute gem of a find.  And where better to read such a little book than the city of its setting?  So I did!

Laure, a single lady who works as a gilder, has her handbag snatched late one evening as she is returning to her apartment block in the city.  In desperation she runs to the hotel across road to beg for a room with the promise of paying once she can get the locks on her door changed and go to her bank to get some money.  The next morning things don’t quite work out as planned.
Laurent is the owner of a Paris bookshop called ‘Le Cahier Rouge’ and yes that does make you assume at the outset that this is the notebook of the title.  Maybe it is… maybe not! Sorry, but I’m not telling!  On his usual route from his own apartment building, via his regular café, to the bookshop, Laurent finds the discarded handbag in a skip beside the road.  He muses for a moment or two but then retrieves the bag and decides to return it to its rightful owner.
The rest of the story you will have to read for yourselves, but I can guarantee you that the journey around the city that Laurent takes in his efforts to find Laure, the obstacles he encounters and the miscommunications, misunderstandings and interventions from unexpected sources along the way, make this one the most amusing little love stories I have read in years.
The constant ’will they, won’t they’ question kept me on the edge of my seat.  The pace of the story never flags but somehow also manages to be as serene as the majestic setting which is so beautifully described.  The characters walk off the page and I found myself so utterly immersed in the story that I read it in one day.
A brilliant little book!

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