Bookshop owner Sarah Smith’s adventure in The Little Bookshop on the Seine by Rebecca Raisin, is an amazing, picturesque, and emotional story that has Sarah growing, changing, and possibly becoming the person she needed to be. Sarah has been offered the opportunity of a lifetime, exchange bookshops with a Parisian friend for 6 months. Sarah, an introvert, led a sheltered life, books filling her life, and never left her small town. Being the true romantic that she is, Sarah knew going to Paris, the City of Love, was a no brainer. Sarah expects this exchange to a holiday, having time to wander about seeing the Parisian sights, eating croissants, sipping café au laits, and people watching. In reality when Sarah arrives, her dream is not quite as promising in reality. She deals with a staff that refuses to follow her lead, suggestions, or demands. She does make friends, lifetime friends, and discovers much about herself as she adapts to being in charge and finding a balance in her life. She falls in love with the city of Paris; how could she not. There are secondary stories that float around in this adventure, the discovery of hidden love letters, befriending a reclusive and favorite author, and Sarah dealing with the love of her life who is off covering the world. From page one I struggled putting this book down. Ms. Raisin wrote an amazing, visual and emotional story that is not to be missed. She provided a tale rich with emotions, humor, and endearing characters giving Sarah a chance to grow. I highly recommend The Little Bookshop on the Seine to other readers and look forward to what Ms. Raisin has next for readers. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book, provided by the publisher.
The Little Bookshop on the Seine by Rebecca Raisin is the first book in The Little Paris Collection. Sarah Smith owns The Bookshop on the Corner in Ashford. Her friend, Sophie, owns Once Upon a Time in Paris on the bank of the Seine, contacts Sarah in distress. Her boyfriend has dumped her for the owner of the fromagerie next door and Sophie needs to get away. She suggests they trade places for six months. Sarah is a homebody and introvert who would normally never consider leaving her beloved bookshop. However, she has felt like she is stuck in a rut and agrees to trade places. Sarah has an idealized image of Paris in her mind which quickly vanishes after incurring crowds, long days, rude customers and belligerent employees. Sophie’s bookshop is nothing like Sarah’s quiet and cozy bookstore. Sarah finds the store overwhelming and encounters one problem after another. Another downside is she rarely gets to see or talk to her boyfriend and freelance reporter, Ridge Warner. Can Sarah find a way to turn the situation at the shop around? The Little Bookshop on the Seine is a lighthearted romantic comedy. I could relate to the quiet and timid Sarah who considers the books in the shop her children. She has a special connection with the books and manages to find the right book for each customer. From reading so many books, Sarah has a special view of Paris. Unfortunately, Sarah’s rose colored glasses soon fall away. Paris is a bustling city which Sarah is not used to after sleepy Ashford. Sarah needs to find her inner strength if she to survive her stay in Paris managing Sophie’s bookstore. I enjoyed the transformation of Sarah and the employees. We see what secrets can do to a person and how revealing the truth can be good for the individual as well as those her. Sarah’s happiness at decorating the bookshop for the holidays is contagious. The author’s descriptions brought the city of light alive for me. I thought she really captured the city and its atmosphere. The Bookshop on the Corner is a prequel to The Little Bookshop on the Seine. It tells the story of how Sarah and Ridge met. I suggest you read it first because it provides needed background information. I thought The Little Bookshop on the Seine was an uplifting story. If you like to read feel-good holiday story, then you will be delighted with The Little Bookshop on the Seine.
I adored this tender story and debated and waffled in how to rate this lovely tale. The writing was easy to follow, highly relatable, and sweetly engaging while gently paced with several slowly evolving yet beguiling storylines and cast with a peculiar hodgepodge of curiously alluring and intriguing characters. I enjoyed the leisurely, humorous, and captivating glimpses of the quirkiness of the authentic Parisian lifestyle and the secret marketing tactics utilized with the locals vs. tourist mentality. My heart seized at every mention of the iconic Notre Dame while I alternated between wistfully remembering my long ago visit with the rather hideous gargoyles and recalling the more recent and distressing news videos of the beloved structure in flames. While it wasn’t an enrapturing breath-stealing romance or brain itching thriller, the descriptive and engaging prose kept me well entertained with a smile on my face for most of the day. I have finally hit a soft landing and alit on the smooth quality and skillful finesse of the talented wordsmith and a 4.5-stars rating while coveting more of the same.