The Little French Bistro

Author: Nina George
Genre: Fiction
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Crown
Release Date: June 13, 2017
Pages: 336

Author Website|Book Depository|Goodreads

Goodreads Synopsis: Marianne is stuck in a loveless, unhappy marriage. After forty-one years, she has reached her limit, and one evening in Paris she decides to take action. Following a dramatic moment on the banks of the Seine, Marianne leaves her life behind and sets out for the coast of Brittany, also known as the end of the world.Here she meets a cast of colorful and unforgettable locals who surprise her with their warm welcome, and the natural ease they all seem to have, taking pleasure in life s small moments. And, as the parts of herself she had long forgotten return to her in this new world, Marianne learns it s never too late to begin the search for what life should have been all along.

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My Review

There are so many things that happen in this novel and much of it is from an unhappy woman’s perspective. She has to deal with a husband that neither loves her nor really cares for her, his main concern is that she doesn’t make him look like a fool. I understand completely why a woman like her, after so many years of having to deal with a person like that and having nothing good in her life, would want to run far away from it all.

I would have loved to be beautiful, thought Marianne. Just for five minutes. I wish someone I love had loved me. She dipped a finger in the water and made circling motions. How I would have loved to sleep with another man than Lothar. How I would have loved to wear something red. I wish I had fought. She got up. It wasn’t too late: she could still do what she wanted, and she wanted to do it in Kerdruc.”

Half of this read in a very sad manner, but she decides to finally find some happiness for her life and it shows that no matter the time that has passed or the age that one has arrived to, as long as you’re living there is still time to try and find joy and happiness in ones life. Marianne is a character that even though knows she does not have much going for, there’s still a chance for making memorable moments, new memories that does not include the man she has called husband all those years.

It’s a little hard to believe that after only being in France for such a short period of time she could have learned the language so quickly, but I know it must be for the sake of moving the story along and that’s more than fine with me. I knew that it would not affect the story much and her work at the restaurant along with the hotel she is staying in shows that no matter the age she is at in her life, she still moves along as if she is a younger self, trying to take advantage of every passing moment.

“What did I want? I only wanted to live. Just live. Without fear. Without regrets. I want friends. I want love. I want to do something. I want to work. I want to laugh. I want to sing. I want… ‘I want to live. I want to live!’ she repeated out loud. The whites of the priest’s eyes gleamed fiercly on the other side of the grille. ‘You see, I have a husband I can’t bear to be with anymore. I had a life I can’t stand anymore. But I no longer want to end it all,’ whispered Marianne. ‘That’s… too easy.”

Even though, I liked many parts of this story, I found that I couldn’t come around to loving it as I had hoped. I first started reading this because of the title, a french bistro and beginning anew in France, who wouldn’t be intrigued by that. I might not have been crazy about every part of this book, but I did appreciate the way it was all written in, the stories and new experiences that Marianne went through as time passed. There were a few that were more painful than others, many that brought smiles to my face, and some that just drove me up the wall. I was glad though, to have been given the opportunity to read The Little French Bistro and be a part of Marianne’s start to her new happier, more fulfilled, life.

***I received this copy from Crown Publishing in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.***

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