A small, lively town in France offers an unfulfilled, 60-year-old woman liberation and a chance for personal reinvention.
While vacationing in Paris with her demeaning ogre of a husband, unfulfilled and unhappy, 60-year-old Marianne Messmann from Celle, Germany, decides to end her life by taking a plunge into the River Seine. But when a stranger rescues Marianne, she sets off on a journey to find her true self--the woman she sadly left behind and lost when she married 41 years before.
Marianne's second chance at life seems dictated by providence. This begins in the hospital, where she finds a glazed tile depicting a beautiful harbor and a dainty red boat, sails slack, named Marianne--"a magnificent scene in the tiny space." On the back is written Port de Kerdruc, Fin. Marianne takes this as a sign. She ditches her husband and sets her sights on Kerdruc, located miles away in the Finistère region, a place in western France that "bulged out into the Atlantic--Brittany."
Kerdruc is all Marianne imagines and hopes for. She lands a job at a bistro where she's befriended by a host of locals--dynamic characters, artists and dreamers--who also carry challenges and burdens of loss, regret and a lack of love and fulfillment. Amid Marianne's liberation and self-discovery, she falls in love again. But when her contrite husband tracks her down, Marianne is faced with a difficult choice. Loyal bonds of community, the tug of romance, gentle humor and poignant revelations buoy Nina George's (The Little Paris Bookshop) beautifully written, French-infused story brightened with hope.
The Little French Bistro: A Novel by Nina George
Crown, $26.00 Hardcover, 9780451495587, 320 pages
Publication Date: June 13, 2017
To order this book on INDIEBOUND, link HERE
NOTE: This review is a reprint and is being posted with the permission of Shelf Awareness. To read this review on Shelf Awareness: Reader's Edition (July 7, 2017), link HERE