The Little French Bistro by Nina George
What is it about?
Stuck in a loveless marriage for forty years, 60-year old German woman Marianne Lanz has reached her limit. One evening in Paris, she decides to end it all and makes her way down to the Seine River. She jumps into the river but her attempt is thwarted by a homeless man who saves her and calls for an ambulance. Following a dramatic moment at the hospital, she sets out for the beautiful and picturesque coast of Brittany (aka the end of the world) with only a few Euros and a tile depicting the beautiful coast of Kerdruc.
There, she meets an array of colourful characters who, in one way or another, teach Marianne the power of taking pleasure in life’s small moments and joys. She is reminded of the things she used to be and thus, learn that it is never too late to start over again and live the life she’s always wanted to lead.
What I love:
This book could be seen as depressing as Marianne tries to navigate her way out her loveless marriage. Pity, sadness and melancholy. But, with a careful mixture lightheartedness, joy and empowerment, this book really is an inspiration to anyone who has felt lost in this world. It’s a tale of second chances, a delightful embrace of love and the joys of life. And although I shed a few tears here and there, the story is a very uplifting one. Don’t be fooled by the chick-lit the cover evokes – it is far from that.
Additionally, George writes with passion; not only do you read her words, you feel them. Throughout the novel, I felt like I was there in Brittany, in the cafe among the vibrant locals, by the sea or the breakwater. The characters are also lovable. They go through the same every day situations and make the same mistakes as us. They are well lived. They are mature, full of experiences but still full of wonder – they stick with you.
George also played with my emotions and tossed them around with this book’s so many life awakening quotes, breathtaking prose, vivid scenery and lovable characters.
This is the first book I’ve read by Nina George and I doubt it will be the last one.
What I didn’t love much:
None at all.
No one comes to Paris to die. Everyone wants to live and love here.
Everything was to be experienced at the highest pitch of passion and life. To expect something greater after life was to forget that life was the greatest thing of all.
As long as you can walk upright, you will find a walking stick. As long as you are brave, someone will help you.
You cannot tell love to come and stay forever. You can only welcome it when it comes, like the summer or the autumn, and when its time is up and it’s gone, then it’s gone.
Like life. It comes, and when its time is up, it goes. Like happiness. Everything has its own time.
You know the tragic thing about long life expectancy? You have more time to be unhappy.
If someone suffers and won’t change, they need to suffer.
I was on a quest for death. But life intervened.
If you love all things French (like me) or if you’ve ever felt like you were lost in this ever-demanding world, then I wholeheartedly recommend this book. It’s a MUST for 2018 and for all the years to come.
[Source of Featured Image: Penguin Random House]
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