Last night, I finished “The Little Paris Bookshop” by Nina George. My dad sent it to me a few months ago. It arrived in early February, wrapped in amazon.com packaging, it waiting by the back door after work on Tuesday. I was at a point at work where everything was flying at me. Major event planning was in full swing, my first interview with Pitt had already taken place and I was just trying to keep my feet on the ground. I spent a few minutes here and there flipping through the first chapters at the speed of molasses. I couldn’t quiet my head enough to appreciate the story for it’s whimsical nature. As the busiest time of year approached and my second interview with Pitt came and went, the book collected dust on my bedside table.
Finally, the month of June came and goals were set, and this book was at the top of my pile. Once I was able to hold this book and keep my mind still, I couldn’t stop. The story is about a bookkeeper and writer named Jean Perdu who lives in Paris. He calls his little book barge “The Literary Apothecary” because he tries to match customers with a book to treat what ails their heart. After a budding romance and tragic news about his long-ago love, the 50 year-old Parisian sets off to settle his own broken heart. Jean Perdu and the cast of this story bring being a bookworm to life in this incredible novel. Author, Nina George has a beautiful way with language, that lulls you and pulls you through the pages with an intentional rhythm. She uniquely portrays a primary male character base through a journey along the rivers of France. Three men, artists and authors, chefs and children, travel through the country looking for love long lost, and hoping for love anew.
This novel reminded me to breathe, reminded me to slow down and to love all at once, and a little more often. Repeatedly, as I was in the depths of this book, I found myself rolling over to Aaron and telling him how much I loved him. Too often, I try to stand on my own to remined myself and the world that I don’t need anyone to be whole. But lately I’ve been wondering and writing a lot about the difference between wanting and needing.
I can be whole and safe and successful on my own, but do I want to be? No.
I can be a lot of things alone, but I don’t need to be. Letting love into your life, and leaning into it can make us more whole than we ever could be on our own, Nina George reminded me of that as she brought me floating down the French countryside, dreaming of lost loves and great wine.