The Little Breton Bistro by Nina George book review/blogtour

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The Little Breton Bistro written by Nina George, publisher Abacus, is available NOW in ebook, hardcover and audio download format.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Marianne Messman, a housewife, wants to escape her loveless marriage and an uncaring and unfeeling husband of 35 years. Marianne and her husband (army sergeant major Lothar) take a trip to Paris, during which Marianne leaps off the Pont Neuf into the Seine, but she is saved from drowning by a homeless man. Angered by her behaviour, major Lothar takes a coach trip back home to Germany, expecting that a psychologist will escort Marianne home a few days later. However, Marianne 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 Kerduc, and once there meets a host of colourful characters who all gravitate around the small restaurant of Ar Mor (The Sea). It is this cast of true Bretons who become Marianne’s new family. She finds love and passion with Yann, an artist who becomes her guide to the secrets of Brittany. Before long, Marianne’s husband is back to retrieve her and Marianne feels pulled towards her old life by way of duty and guilt. She leaves Kerduc and gets as far as Paris before she realises it’s now or never when it comes to building the life she really wants.

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I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Nina George’s new novel, The Little Breton Bistro.

A 5* read to me is a story that grabs my attention, I fall in love with the characters and settings, the story evokes emotions in me.  The Little Breton Bistro was all this to me and more.  I was totally swept away with Marianne’s story of her decision to end the drudgery that had become her life, married to a man that belittled her and she felt no love from him.  Marianne had been married for over 50 years to Lothar and she felt despair of her life and what it had become.  Marianne and Lothar are German born and reside in their native land, on a day trip to Paris Marianne slipped away from her husband and made her way to Pont Nerf with the intention to leap off the bridge into the River Seine.  Anger swells up in Marianne when she is saved by a stranger.  During her recovery in hospital she comes across a small painted tile.  The image depicted on the tile is of the small village of Kerduc, Brittany and the idyllic landscape with the beach and sea somehow speaking to Marianne she vows to visit this wonderful place to finalise her journey.

Marianne’s journey to Kerduc was eventful and charming in it’s own right but the finality that Marianne had sought wasn’t to be.  The inhabitants of the village immediately befriended Marianne offering her solace.  She learnt  from the locals and she was also able to teach them a fair few tricks of the trades of life she had learnt in her 60 years.

Each day in Kerduc became more tolerable for Marianne, she started to make friends and she felt belonged and she mattered to people, which she hadn’t felt in a very long time.  Will the love of her new life be enough for Marianne to give her strength and belief for the future?

This was such a delightful tale that is inspiring and hopeful.  I felt joyous for Marianne for what she had become but also for the lives she had enriched.  A wonderful, heart warming, almost magical tale of second chances.

I’d like to share a quote from the novel that deeply moved me:

Walking on, she felt as if something had jumped off her back, something that had dug it’s sharp claws into her skin.  It was fear.  Fear had jumped off, an ugly, red-eyed beast that was not scuttling through the undergrowth to look for someone else’s back to possess.

To find out more about Nina George and her work please visit the following pages:

Website:  http://www.nina-george.com/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/nina_george

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/NinaGeorge.Schriftstellerin

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The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George book review

paris bookshop

The Little Paris Bookshop became a bestseller in Germany in 2013 and has been translated into more than 27 languages.  The English translation is due for publishing by Little Brown Book Group UK on the 23rd April 2015.

Pre-order links:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Little-Paris-Bookshop-Nina-George/dp/0349140359/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1426434853&sr=8-1&keywords=the+little+bookshop+of+paris

Product Details (as per amazon page)

On a beautifully restored barge on the Seine, Jean Perdu runs a bookshop; or rather a ‘literary apothecary’, for this bookseller possesses a rare gift for sensing which books will soothe the troubled souls of his customers.

The only person he is unable to cure, it seems, is himself. He has nursed a broken heart ever since the night, twenty-one years ago, when the love of his life fled Paris, leaving behind a handwritten letter that he has never dared read. His memories and his love have been gathering dust – until now. The arrival of an enigmatic new neighbour in his eccentric apartment building on Rue Montagnard inspires Jean to unlock his heart, unmoor the floating bookshop and set off for Provence, in search of the past and his beloved.

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I’d like to thank the publishers and netgalley for an arc in return for an honest review.

This is a stunningly, beautiful book of lost love, grief, new friends, hope of new beginnings and new love.  And of course, the love of books.

Jean Perdu is a unique bookseller.  He sees into the souls of people and prescribes books that will heal them from his beloved restored barge.  He keeps the barge moored on the River Seine, Paris.  However, Jean is hurting and has been for a long time.  In a whim he decides to untether his boat and set sail to find the cure for his own hurt.  He gains some wonderful, character filled passengers along the way.  Jean and his new friends have a memorable journey travelling along the canals in France, all searching for something to help them move on in life.  They have  adventures, some very funny on the way.

The author, Nina George, was so poetic in her writing, it was beautiful. I could see and almost smell the herbs and blossoms she was describing. I could also feel the emotions each character was portraying.  This book will stay with me for a long time.  It’s heart breaking but uplifting, it’s humour is sensitive to the nature of the characters and storyline.  The novel almost felt like a true story.

To find out more about the author Nina George please visit the following link:  http://www.nina-george.com

Nina George has written some wonderful words in this book, here is a snippet of one of my favourites:

quote the little bookshop in paris