Sometimes books come along that you think were written for you and this one was definitely written for me. A middle aged man is a bookseller in Paris but not just any bookseller. He sells books from his barge on the Seine managing to choose the perfect book for each person to cure their particular malady – usually revolving around matters of love or the lack of it. After recently feeling revived from an encounter with a newly divorced new neighbour he sets off to the south of France in the barge to find his lost love who left him twenty years ago. He takes a blocked writer with him and on the way he picks up a lovelorn Italian who is also searching for someone.
This book is beautifully written, lyrical, magical, peopled with eccentric characters. Its theme is love, the loss of it, the resurfacing of the ability to love, France itself, food, landscape. It will make you fall in love with France all over again. If you are not careful it might make you fall in love with a person again. Watch out!