What I Read: The Little French Village of Book Lovers by Nina George

“Hearts, you see, are like beautiful, perfectly glazed earthenware cups at first, but over the years they get cracked and nicked. Hearts break once, twice, repeatedly, and each time you do your best to put them back together again, trying to live with the wounds, patching them up with hope and tears.”

The Little French Village of Book Lovers is a charming and whimsical novel that explores the power and mystery of love. The protagonist, Marie-Jeanne, is an orphan who has a special gift: she can see the sparks of love on people’s faces and hands, and she can match them with their soulmates. She lives in a small town in the south of France, where she helps her foster father run a mobile library that travels through the mountains. Along the way, she brings happiness and romance to many lonely hearts, with books playing a key role in her matchmaking. However, Marie-Jeanne has never seen any sparks on herself, and she wonders if she will ever find her own true love.

Nina George, the author of the bestselling The Little Paris Bookshop, has created a captivating and lyrical story that celebrates the magic of books and the beauty of love. Her writing is rich with vivid descriptions of the Provencal landscape, the local cuisine, and the colourful characters that inhabit the village. She also weaves in elements of fantasy and folklore, such as the Pontias wind that breathes life into the mountains, and the legend of the mysterious author who inspired Marie-Jeanne’s gift. The novel is a tribute to the power of stories to heal, inspire, and connect us with our deepest emotions.

This slow-paced, character-driven, beautifully written novel did take me some time to get into, and distinguish between the large cast of characters, but I’m glad I persevered!

  • Book about books
  • Magical realism
  • Unique narration
  • Whimsical
  • Soul mates

The Little French Village of Book Lovers is a delightful and heartwarming work of literary fiction that will appeal to fans of romance, historical fiction, and magical realism. Bibliophiles unite!  It is one of those books that you will either give up on halfway through or absolutely love. It is a novel that reminds us of the importance of finding and cherishing our soulmates, whether they are human or books.

Here are just a few of my favourite quotes, believe me, there are loads!

  • “Everyone knows me, but none can see me. I’m that thing you call love.”
  • “Books are like people: They’ll turn up in your life when you need them.”
  • “Love is a light that never goes out. It shines on even when we are no longer there.”
  • “Books are like people: fascinating, inspiring, thought-provoking, some laugh, some make you cry, and some are deceiving.”
  • “Love is. We agree on that, right? It is. Like the sea, like the sun, like the mountains. That tells us nothing about … how long it will last. Or what colour it is. Or what form it will take. Like the sea, the sun, and the mountains, it is always different.”
  • “There is no greater magic than the power of words. They can heal or wound, create or destroy, reveal or conceal. Words are the bridge between our minds and our hearts.”
  • “Sometimes you have to leave behind everything you know and love to find yourself.”

Read an extract here:  Extract: The Little French Village of Book Lovers by Nina George Penguin Random House South Africa

With thanks to Penguin Random House SA for the opportunity to read this book.

About this book

ISBN 9780241436615
Format Trade Paperback
Recommended Price R350.00

About the author

Nina George Nina George Book | Penguin Random House South Africa