Nina George commented that this novel is her “love letter to books” when she published it in 2015. It presents The Literary Apothecary, a floating book barge moored on the Seine where Monsieur Perdue diagnoses people’s/customer’s problems and prescribes books for whatever ailment they are experiencing. Max Jordan, a best selling young author, eccentric as the earmuffs he always wears, comes to the Apothecary, hiding out from fans of his books. Handing Jordan his last copy of a book Perdue thinks will fit the author’s needs, Perdue delivers the following prescription: “Read this. Three pages every morning before breakfast, lying down. It has to be the first thing you take in. In a few weeks, you won’t feel quite so sore–it’ll be as though you no longer have to atone for your success with writer’s block.”
Max asks the older gentleman, “How did you know? I really can’t stand the money and the horrible heat of success.”Max learns Monsieur Perdue has an unopened letter from a departed lover. Finally reading it after twenty years sets the two men off to the South of France, Perdue hoping to make peace with his loss and discover the end of the lovers’ unfinished story. The adventures that follow and the characters they meet on their journey makes for a warm, often humorous read one won’t soon forget.
I can’t think of any reader who would not enjoy it.