It’s about a fragile, heartbroken bookseller, Jean Perdu, who owns a book barge where, like a literary soul-doctor, he prescribes books to suit people’s emotional ailments.
One day, overwhelmed by his wounds and on a quest to rectify the holes in his past, he sets to sail the barge away on his own. But the young, lost, hungry-for-inspiration, first time author who lives in his block has other plans. As do the people they meet along the way.
It’s peaceful and reassuring, if at times lethargic. I’ve had it on my shelf for a while, and I think my timing for reading it now comes with both pros and cons. Pros being that it’s very mellow and driven heavily by sentiment rather than plot, and I’d just read quite an intense, action-packed novel. This meant the reading experience was like floating down a river. However, the con of this meant that it was bordering on sappy and dreary at times.
My advice would be to make sure your timing is right: it’s probably more a Summer-by-the-pool or Winter-by-the-fireplace read, than an everyday read.