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  • Location: Paris, Brittany, Finistere ( Auray, Sainte-Anne d'Auray, Pont-Aven, Kerdruc)

The Little Breton Bistro

Why a Booktrail?

2000s: Go on a journey of a lifetime with Marianne – from Paris to Brittany…

  • ISBN: 978-0349142227
  • Genre: Fiction

What you need to know before your trail

Marianne Messman wants to escape her loveless marriage and the unloving husband she has lived with for more than 35 years. On a visit to Paris, she attempts to commit suicide by jumping off a bridge. She is saved but her husband returns to their home in Germany in the hope that she will return when she is ready.

Marianne however stays in Paris and one day comes across a hand-painted scene of the tiny port of Kerdruc in Brittany, and becomes fixated with the place. Marianne decides to make her way to Kerdruc, and once there meets a host of colourful characters who all gravitate around the small restaurant of Ar Mor (The Sea). She finds a new home here and a new reason for living but the hope is that this will last and that she won’t be tempted to carry out her earlier plan

Yann, an artist, becomes her guide to the secrets of Brittany. She starts to see the small delights in life again. But then her husband tracks her down and he wants her to return to Paris with him…

Travel Guide

From Paris to Brittany

A journey of discovery in more ways than one

Brittany – Sainte-Anne d’Auray – Basilique

Arriving in Brittany, she encounters a group of nuns and spends a time with them just outside the village in their convent. The journey between these two places is a lovely one and the area is a calm and peaceful oasis both inside the covent and out!

Breton “Oysters”

“The tour group stop off here on the way to their destination. The home of oysters no less. “This is the Chateau de Belon, the most famous name in oysters since 1864!” An oyster wasn’t only a delicacy. It held the key to out deepest dreams of the sea” The way you approach an oyster can signal the way you approach life -with disgust and no chance of change, or an open mind and a will to embrace things around you.

Brittany – Pont-Aven – “Biscuits”

Biscuiterie Traou Mad is where these butter biscuits were invented in 1920. Marianne however chooses to wander through the streets and realises how charming it is and how charming it must have been in the eighteenth century when many of its houses were built. She follows the river thought the village , past the Hotel les Mimosas and comes through to the forest she recognises from the picture on the tile

Kerdruc

This is the place she has planned to visit.

“Kerdruc harbour had a jetty reaching out into the Aven at a right angle to the quay that ran upstream along the river bank. Rowing boats were snuggled up against each other on the quayside like bright spoons in a cutlery drawer. Thatched cottages nestled on the slopes leading down to the river like white flowers amid the luscious green of the pine trees and the meadows of sedge”

Booktrailer Review

Susan: @thebooktrailer

What started as a very sad and quite depressing novel, after finishing it, I sat down and realised what I’d just read and the story I’d been on with her. It’s very very poignant and really makes you think about your own life and why Marianne did what she did and what brought her to that point. I can’t and don’t want to give anything away but it’s a journey of discovery in many ways and there are many delightful moments despite the sad cloud which hung over the start of the novel.

This was also a very gourmand tour of France – From Paris to Brittany this was a feast for the eyes and tastebuds as well as for the mind. Food becomes the symbol of hope and discovery, as Marianne literally tastes the landscape via all her senses and starts to appreciate the small things, the freedom from being away from her old life.

There were some very funny moments – those nuns! – and the scenes in the restaurant in Kerdruc were brilliant. The visit to Aven – ah this is just a wonderful journey and through the unique and emotions of the landscape – very French and very lyrically written.

There is a lovely mix of a message to look for the simple things in life, to love and appreciate the detail in the everyday and to use art and creativity to really open up your world. This book carries a strong message with an air of melancholy but the overall impression of it left me wondering about my own life and feeling glad I’d read it.

Booktrail Boarding Pass:  The Little Breton Bistro

Author/Guide: Nina George  Destination: Paris, Brittany (Auray, Pont-Aven, Kedruc)  Departure Time: 2000s

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