Book Talk: The Red Notebook

 Book Review: The Red  Notebook by Antoine Laurain (translated by Jane Aitken)



Plot summary

Laure Valadier gets mugged on her way home one night and suffers severe trauma to the head. The next morning, her stolen handbag is found by Laurent Letellier, a bookshop owner. There is nothing inside the bag with which to identify the owner but Laurent makes it his quest to do so because he is intrigued by the contents of the bag, especially by the random thoughts jotted down in a little red notebook.


My thoughts about The Red Notebook

This book is, essentially, a love story for grown ups since the main characters are over forty years old. I generally do not read romance but there is nothing soppy or overly saccharine about this story. Unexpectedly, or perhaps not, it is a book I enjoyed immensely. The characters were people I could identify with, normal people with a few flaws, the kind of people you can be friends with.

The Red Notebook, with its brief but succint forays into small independent bookstores and daily visits to the local cafe`, is quintessentially French and easily transports the reader to daily life in one of Paris's quieter arrondissements. I'd definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a moderately-paced story with pleasant characters and the advantage of going to Paris without actually having to fly there. Amusing, distracting and highly entertaining, this is truly a gem of a little book and is, by far, one of my favourite reads this year. It was highly recommended by Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, who described it as 'Parisian Perfection, on her Instagram page The Duchess of Cornwall's Reading Room. If you're an avid reader I suggest you follow HRH who not only recommends books but invites the authors to talk about their writing experience, often delving into the particular moment when the idea, or the urge, to write the book first came into their mind.


The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain (in a nutshell)

Genre: contemporary romance

First published: 2014

Location of story: Paris, France

Length: 159 pages

My rating: 5


This book reminded me of a lovely five days that  my husband and I spent in Paris several years ago - thirteen, to be exact. It was the end of March and still rather cold. I would love to revisit Paris in late spring when the flowers are blooming in the Tuileries Gardens and all over the City of Light. But until that dream comes true I have to content myself with the beautiful images in Georgianna Lane's book Paris In Bloom. Georgianna's photos are out-of-this-world beautiful and you can take a look at some of the ones she shares on her Instagram page here. It is a pastel-lovers dream-come-true.

You can read more about Paris in these posts from my old blog:

Debbie Nolan said...

Loree this book sounds delightful. I have always wanted to see Paris in the spring. If the book describes this beautiful place it will certainly be on my must read list. Hope you are still enjoying some cooler days before the heat arrives. Take care. Thank you too for always being so faithful to visit me. Hugs!

Loree said...

Paris is beautiful in Spring. This book is a fun read. Thank you for your comments. I always look forward to reading them.

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