“As long as you are brave, someone will help you.”
-Nina George, The Little French Bistro
Hey guys! Can you believe it’s nearly July already?! Where is 2017 going? I feel like it’s disappearing on me! I’m having an epic reading month this June, inbetween (hopefully!) hardcore writing months, and one of the books I’ve recently dived into was this gorgeous read: The Little French Bistro by Nina George, sent to me by the lovely people at Crowns Publishing. Thank you!
I’ve been to France many times and am going again for the fourth time with my husband, later this year, so as you can imagine, I love the country! And loving a country goes hand in hand with loving books set there, so I was pretty excited to read this lovely book. And with the promise of food as a major part of the plot?! SOLD!
The Little French Bistro is about Marianne, who has been stuck in a miserable, loveless marriage for forty-one years, when, on a trip to Paris, with her husband, she hits her limit. One dramatic bid for freedom later and it’s not long before Marianne finds herself heading for the coast of Brittany and leaving the rest of her life behind. In Brittany, in a delightful small, coastal town, she befriends a collection of local characters and starts finding pleasure in life again, in the little things she experiences and the new relationships she builds.
I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this one, but it was quite sad to begin with-Marianne feels that life has passed her by, that she hasn’t had the experiences she wanted and that she isn’t who she wanted to be. Worst of all, that her marriage feels like a loveless trap. She’s a complicated, loveable character that I couldn’t help rooting for from the start, and it was so good to see her turn her life around. I loved that she was the person that changed her life and started holding herself accountable for her own happiness-I found that really empowering. And though there was a romance written into the plot, it wasn’t because of a man that Marianne changed herself-the love was just another thing she found along her new path to happiness.
I also really liked the host of local characters that become good friends with Marianne and help her settle into her new life and learn French. (She’s German, and has only basic French when she ran away to Brittany.) There were a wide range of people that she developed good relationships with and it was great to see their characters develop along with Marianne’s throughout the book.
There was a good sense of location in reading this book, conjuring up all the atmosphere of the little French coastal town, along with its sights and smells and cuisine, which was a gorgeous setting for the story to unravel along beside. It’s a story of second chances and hope and friendship and love and I definitely recommend this one! 4/5 stars for me and I’m excited to read more of Nina George’s writing! Her prose had a wonderful philosophical quality to it that elevated the beautiful story to fresh heights.
Has anyone else read this one? What did you think of it?
NOTE: This book is already out in the UK under the title: The Little Breton Bistro.