The Girl Who Reads on the (Paris) Metro – Christine Féret-Fleury
All aboard the Paris metro for a quirky ride!
This is a quirky read, a bit short, but there’s a lot to like and even more to talk about. If you’re a bookworm, you’re going to love the story of a girl going around the Paris metro people -watching, trying to match a book to each person. Or is she supposed to match the person to the book? Who needs which title? How can a book change a life? The people of Paris are about to find out!
Setting:The Paris metro and a magical bookshop there!
A short story feel of a novel that should have been a full length exploration in to the love someone has for books. It’s essentially a story of how a book is just waiting to find their right reader and how that reader is waiting for the right book to come into their lives. The beauty is that they don’t know this yet and it’s the girl who reads on the metro’s job to match the two.
A lovely idea but one for a short story as the novel moves too quickly on a surface level. It never really gets under the surface of this book matchmaking which could have been a really meaty and fascinating read.
Juliette – the girl on the metro – seems to be going through some sort of identity crisis/breakdown at the start of the novel but this storyline isn’t really explored. She has some sort of break down but then once she finds the books and her new job, everything is fine again. However, once the story does start, it starts quick and she finds this unusual and quirky bookshop and starts work, gets to know the owner well and starts matching books to people on the metro. She travels around a lot, people watches but it’s all very quickly glossed over. An avid bookworm, I wanted to feel her excitement at finding the shop, the joy of matching the books and watching the people but there wasn’t enough of anything. It’s a short novel , a short story really that needed to be a novel.
IT’s about all the good things in life – Books, travelling and people watching. Plenty of philosophical musings , introspective thoughts and French words pepper the story. This world of book matching is a lovely idea and the author writes about the french terrorist attacks as a way of showing how this world can help us escape from the real one when we need it most. I just wanted more of this and more depth and discussion. More books. More matching and more travelling around Paris.
But it’s still a gem – one which you will hug to your heart. It carries the message of how books can transport people, change people and more. I will be visiting Paris very soon to see if I can meet Solomon and that store myself!
There’s lovely snippets like this one about book routines:
“Pensive, she drummed her fingers on the cover of her own book, which she no longer opened very often, so absorbed was she in watching other people. The coffee-stained paperback with a broken spine was transferred from bag to bag, from Tuesday’s big shoulder bag — the day when Juliette did her food shopping after work — to the little handbag she used on Fridays, when she went to the cinema.”
Quirky but I need more!