What this book is about:
This book follows Marianne as she discovers, at sixty, what life is really about.
I know that sounds like a trite and boring description, but I thought and thought about it and it was the best way to concisely describe the plot that slowly sinks its talons in and doesn’t let go until the very last page. It feels like a coming of age story, except Marianne is sixty and not sixteen.
What I liked:
- The opening – the first sentences and pages grabbed me by the hair. Brilliantly and beautifully written.
- The characters – while at points I kind of lost who was who, I still feel the characters are so fully human and broken and beautiful. It’s the kind of book that makes you long for this kind of community just one time in your life. Of course, for your whole life would be ideal, but even if it was for just a season, that might be enough.
- The conflict – divine in its simplicity and so relatable, I thought, even though my life couldn’t look more different than Marianne’s. We all have those times or seasons when we feel that we’re drifters or imposters and that it’s only a matter of time before we’re found out and cast out.
What I didn’t like:
- I’m not sure I can find much I don’t like about this book. It wasn’t AS gripping as some books I’ve read, where I binge until the last page, but even when I picked it back up, I was sucked right back into the stories and characters.
Overall thoughts and opinions:
The reviews inside the cover of this book don’t lie. It is brilliant. It makes me want to get lost and travel to Brittany to find myself, to play an accordion by the sea, and be bold. Marianne’s journey felt so real and so tangible that it could easily have been a brilliantly written biography. The ebb and flow of story and the realistic tug between her former life and the life she has discovered is emotionally tense and raw. Even when she makes the absolute worst mistake of the ENTIRE BOOK, I couldn’t help but feel like I understood.
Part of me wanted her to make a different choice, but I couldn’t fault her for making the choice she did. Marianne is SO well developed and is so real and so broken and so human – she resonated with me. I think that even if nothing very dramatic happened in the whole book, just being with her would have been enough.
The author weaves multiple themes together seamlessly throughout – love, self-discovery, friendship, and even a bit of women’s lib. I enjoyed this book from beginning to end. It’s such a delight to read books that are so well written and I feel honored to have been part of their journey. It simply inspires me to work and work at my own stories so that they will reach this point – where people pick them up and can’t put them down. Where they feel entirely lost within a story or a world or a character.
I give Little French Bistro five stars.
I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.
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