The Little French Bistro by Nina George

The Little French Bistro

Nina George

With all the buoyant charm that made The Little Paris Bookshop a beloved bestseller, The Little French Bistro is a tale of second chances and a delightful embrace of the joys of life in France.

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From the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of The Little Paris Bookshop, an extraordinary novel about self-discovery and new beginnings.
 
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.
 
With all the buoyant charm that made The Little Paris Bookshop a beloved bestseller, The Little French Bistro is a tale of second chances and a delightful embrace of the joys of life in France.


Advance Galley Reviews

I really loved The Little Paris Bookshop so I was excited to get to read this novel. It is a beautifully written story about starting over at any age. The beautiful scenery of Brittany offers the suicidal Marianne a new beginning away from her old life and her husband. I loved some of the quirky characters. I would definitely recommend this gem.

This was a light read after the dark mysteries I had been reading. Marianne is a relatable character and it was a delight reading about her and the characters around her. I enjoy stories set in France and the descriptions in the book made me feel like I was there. The location in the novel felt like a secondary character itself. A light-hearted read for those who are looking for a break from the heavyweight novels.

Admittedly, I was drawn to tho book simply because it had "French" in the title. And partly because it promised a cast of zany characters. But mostly the French thing. I've got kind of a thing for France. But I digress. I find myself grasping trying to put a finger on my feelings for this book but unable to. I liked it better than the book I read before it, but it wasn't a book I loathed to put down. Mostly I knew I had a certain amount of time to read it, so I made sure I read it. I struggled to see what this magical presence all of these characters felt toward the protagonist, Marianne. I felt some sympathy for her, because it was clear she was in a loveless marriage, but I struggled to connect with her. George's writing style was beautiful at times, but it felt oddly formal, particularly when characters were speaking to one another, which for me made everything feel less real. It made me feel removed when the best writing, in my opinion, draws me in and elicits emotions...and this did not. I didn't shed a tear when Sidonie died, but then again, the book hadn't given me reason to mourn her. I was glad when Marianne grew a spine and left Lothar, but I didn't find myself rooting for her, necessarily. Overall this book was fine, but it was nothing to write home about.

Marianne has decided that her life is useless and she can't stay married to her husband another day. So while she and her husband are visiting Paris, she decided to drown herself in the Seine. Unfortunately (to her), she is saved and ends up in the hospital where her husband leaves her to return to their home in Germany. She leaves the hospital and finds a small town on the coast of France where she plans to kill herself. Life has a way of disrupting plans like this and just maybe the quirky cast of characters that she meets will make her change her mind...or maybe not. This book started out with a great premise. Marianne's husband was insufferable and unlikable and you could almost understand her plans to leave him - though suicide is a bit over the top. I thought that there were way too many characters in the small town that she escaped to and had a problem keeping them all figured out. Despite that, I loved the beginning and the end of this book and think that it's well worth reading just to see the changes in Marianne. Thanks to First to Read for a copy of this book to read and review.

I really enjoyed this book! It was so charming and descriptive and I could just picture myself on the French coast. It's a great and relatable life story that tranches its never too late to find happiness in life. I definitely recommend this - its a great summer read!

Marianne is done. Done with her loveless marriage, done with her mundane existence and done with her life. Her attempt to drown herself is thwarted by good samaritans who pull her from the water. Even her death was taken from her and instead controlled by outside forces. She decided to leave this life behind and travels to the coast of Brittany. It is in the port town of Kedruc that Marianne encounters and array of quirky people who are also in need of something more in their lives. As she bonds with the community, she discovers and sometime rediscovers parts of herself unknown or forgotten. The water which had once been a vehicle for her death, was now the source of her rebirth. But will this "baptism" of life hold or will she return to her husband and try to make the most of the marriage? Nina George has created a wonderful journey for all of us to take along with Marianne. Getting to know the local characters as they each discover or surrender to their true selves is a delight. We all could use a reminder of who we truly are.

Marianne is sixty and she is German. She is also married to Lothar, and living his life, just like he commands. She feels suffocating in their little masquerade so she decides to end her life while on a trip to Paris. When she fells into Seine's dark waters she starts to feel free for the first time. Death is liberating! However, a local tramps who founds refuge under the bridge Marianne used in her attempt saves her from drowning. She ends up in the hospital against her own will but passively accepting other people's will, since that's all she is used to doing. Her husband visits and he is angry with her. He thinks of all the impact her suicidal attempt will or would have in his life. He eventually leaves her in the French hospital, in order to honor his ticket back home. This is Marianne's chance to escape. To escape from the hospital. To escape from a life she is tired of. To escape from everything and everyone that knows her. To escape to death. When she finds a tile in the nurse's room of a harbor named Kedruc she decides to end her life after she has seen the sea for the first time. And this is how it all begins! The book is a journey of a woman that tries to find herself at the age of sixty. There are points where the reader forgets that she is actually of that age and it is refreshing to see, think and decide that it is never late to start living your life. This is the better late than never approach which the author fully supports. The characters that Marianne meets in Kedruc are delightsome! They are not the normal port town people one would find, even though there is a fisherman in the fellowship. Each and every one of the is unique! There is the romantic chef in love that cannot face the love of his life. There is also the woman whose love has been rejected once and she is devastated, but she is still hanging on, being dynamic and running her own business. There is the artist and his friendly couple that are a bit odd. And there are so many more that cannot be just referenced in this review. Nina George has done a marvelous job with this book! Her writing is enchanting! It is rich and powerful. The reader feels as if they were part of the port Kedruc company, one of them, living in that small town and spending every day and night with the book characters, getting to know Marianne, as she gets to know of herself and cooking in Jean-Remy's kitchen.

I loved The Little Paris bookshop, so I couldn't wait to read this one! It did not disappoint, I couldn't put this down. It was fluffy and charming and overall, wonderful!! Can't wait to read more from Nina George.

I was excited to read The Little French Bistro because I enjoyed The Little Paris Bookshop a lot. I really felt for Marianne at the beginning of the novel when some man rescues her from her suicide attempt. Why couldn't he just leave her alone? Then, we get more information about how loveless her marriage is (husband leaves her to make her own way home!), so I'm happy that she finds some courage to make it to the coast of Brittany and start a new life. The author does a great job portraying the small-town charms of the small town that Marianne finds herself in. There is an interesting (but large) cast of secondary characters that envelop Marianne in their lives. I felt that some of the friendships came a bit too easily. Maybe it's because I don't reveal myself as easily as Marianne does, or maybe it's because I don't live in a small town, but that part felt a little unrealistic. So, too, does the fact that Marianne is able to find a good job and place to live within a day or so of landing at the coast. Is it really that easy? Especially considering Marianne is now in her 60s, I think? I am happy that she is able to reinvent herself, but I would have liked a little more struggle -- a few more obstacles besides the sometimes dark thoughts that run around her head -- before she could settle in to her new routine. The ending was definitely a surprise, and I think it saved the story for me. As the novel progressed, I sort of got lost in all of the names of the characters, which meant that there were a few too many for my liking. I liked being alongside Marianne as she grew in her role at the restaurant, but all the other stuff outside of the day-to-day, which is usually what interests me more, didn't do it for me this time round. I'd recommend the book for anyone who likes stories about the French seaside, women's growth, and happy endings ... with the caveat that they'd have to adopt a little willing suspension of disbelief, and wade through lots of interactions with Breton neighbours before getting to the good ending.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. But it seemed to take a long time to get there. I haven't read The Little Paris Bookshop yet and I still fully intend to as I just got it from the library. Marianne's journey was an interesting one for the most part. I enjoyed the small town of Kerdruc and its people very much. "You're not dead until you're dead" is so very true for this book. Marianne forgot how to live and how to love and she learned that in some very hard ways but it all blossomed beautifully. I think she chose well, even if she had to backpeddle a bit to get to happiness. Some parts were a little slow but overall, this was beautiful story.

I honestly didn't think I was ever going to get into The Little French Bistro by Nina George, but I'm very glad that I stuck in there and finished it. The story is centered around a woman named Marianne, who while on vacation with her stolid German husband, she decides to throw herself into the Seine than live her loveless life any longer. She is saved and while in the hospital, her husband leaves her to go back to Germany. Instead of following Lothar back to Germany, she takes off towards the coast of France, drawn to the town of Kerdruc from a painted tile she finds. When she finally reaches the place she longs for, she still plans on killing herself but is instead drawn into the lives of the people around her and they breathe in her dormant vitality like a breath of fresh air. When her husband has found out where she has disappeared to, she is torn between the life she has always wanted and the life she thinks she deserves with her husband. Emotional and quaint, this story draws you into all the characters and even has a little of Breton culture thrown into it. Definitely recommend for any fan of women's fiction.

This was a great summer read. After a bit of a dark start where Marianne considers suicide, the author takes you on her journey to fibs the courage to pursue a life worth living. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

In a loveless marriage for 41 years, Marianne decides she has had it. He husband is an old-fashioned, domineering German. He offers her little attention and no love. One day, she takes off. Her journey takes her to "the end of the world," a seacoast village in Brittany, France. She comes alive, takes a lover and a job in a restaurant kitchen. The people grow to love her but her husband locates her. He comes to reclaim his property and there is a surprise ending. A joy to read. My thanks to the author and the Penguin First to Read program for a complimentary copy.

This is a wonderful book! I was totally immersed in the story of Marianne and the journey she undertakes to discover her true self. We can all use a little self reflection into who we are and The Little French Bistro will set the fire. What a tremendous pilgrimage we readers are privileged to enjoy. “Happiness is loving what we need, and needing what we love - and obtaining it.” 5 Stars!

I started reading this and determined that I really needed a copy. I ended up requesting it on blogging for books so that I can have and do a more through review. More soon! Thanks.

After reading great reviews of Ms. George's first book, I was excited to read this one. However, both the author's style and the events of the book make this nearly unreadable. The clumsy foreshadowing announcing that two characters who had not yet met were destined to fall in love was made even more ridiculous by declaring that the two characters were already in love with each other at the beginning of their first date (having only spent a brief moment together preceding that). Despite the difficulties in her first 60 years of life, everything in this book was just too easy. She somehow ended up in the town depicted in a nameless tile painting (fine, I was willing to forgive that), but then instantly got a job and made intense friendships, all while not speaking a word of French at the beginning of the story. Marianne never really struggled. The moment when she panicked after her husband appeared on tv was a moment that the author really didn't make enough of. It could have been a pivotal moment when the character was forced to confront her fears and insecurities and really examine her life and herself but after only a couple hours, she shakes it off like nothing happened and it's never mentioned again. Overall, I feel like this book could have been something in more skilled hands but is not well executed as it. I'd give it 1.5 stars.

I was looking for something on the lighter side after reading a batch of dark, twisted thrillers and thought this tale of a middle-aged woman rediscovering herself in France would fit the bill. The book description is a bit misleading, omitting that the”dramatic moment” the main character, Marianne, experiences on the Seine is her own suicide attempt. Marianne is very melancholy - she feels she has wasted over 40 years of her life in a loveless marriage to an unfeeling man. Her life feels empty and she wants to end it all but her desire to kill herself is thwarted by a gentleman who pulls her out of the Seine and calls an ambulance. After her husband visits her in the hospital, scolds her and leaves her feeling miserable, she flees and makes her way to the beautiful and charming coast of Brittany. There she easily (a bit too easily, in my opinion) ends up working in a French bistro. I feel that everything just falls into place without much effort once she arrives. Everyone loves her and makes her feel welcome. It’s all just so nice - and dull and a bit empty. I had to force myself to continue reading. Even in this beautiful place with so many nice people, she still contemplates ending it all. The characters she meets and interacts with in Brittany all just run together for me. There are a lot of them vying for the reader’s attention but, despite complicated relationships or illness, etc., no one really stood out, many are one-dimensional and cardboard. A few were interesting but just didn’t hold my interest. It felt like quantity over quality. I really had a difficult time staying interested in The Little French Bistro. I love reading books set in France and really hoped that this would be a win but it just feels personality-less. I also love reading about characters overcoming difficult circumstances and getting a second chance but everything feels flat. It just doesn’t seem to have much depth. Also, at times, Marianne feels like a minor character, taking a backseat to these other characters. In the end, it was just wasn’t my taste.

This book grabbed me from the very first page and didn't let go. What an emotional and very uplifting read. I loved every moment.

Overall, a great book with an uplifting message and endearing characters. Perfect for summer reading or as a book club selection. This is a story about overcoming fear and self-doubt, having faith in fate to take you where you belong, and allowing yourself to follow your heart. The book isn't without its faults - an over-abundance of secondary characters who aren't really developed - but it's message is ultimately uplifting and inspirational.

The Little French Bistro is the story of an unhappy woman in a loveless marriage who impulsively decides to walk away from her husband of 41 years. Her impulsive attempt to get away is the first step to an amazing adventure in finding herself and what she really wants out of the remainder of her life. Marianne is at first reckless, but as she begins to get to know herself and the stresses from her old life begin to fade, she blossoms. She finds a job, she makes friends, she falls in love. She does things she would have never dreamed of in her previous life. But can this blissful existence last? What will happen when her husband tracks her down? I loved reading about Marianne’s adventure. At times she reminded me a bit of Bridget Jones as an older woman. Even though the book gets off to a bleak start, it is overall an uplifting story of one woman’s quest to find her true self. I loved being able to enjoy Marianne’s escape to the French coastline without ever leaving my own home.

Good summer read. Opening scene is quite engaging but suicide is a topic not to be taken lightly. Fortunately, Marianne found a reason to live. The time w the Bretons is charming but the eccentric characters almost become ridiculous. The ending of the book was fun but just a bit over the top. All in all, a fun, easy read.

My Review: Adult contemporary in not my normal reading genre, but I find myself craving a book or two in late spring and early summer. I haven't read The Little Paris Bookshop but thought I would give this one a try anyway as it had me a little intrigued. It took quite a while to build some steam after grabbing you with an intense scene right away. Much of the first half of the book is observing Marianne's internal turmoil and lack luster marriage. Once it gets going though you are introduced to a barrage of unique and quirky characters that you can't help but adore and want the best for by the end. Those characters also introduce you to the local lore and superstitions which add such an interesting wrapping for the life lessons hinted at all through the story. It is quite the journey that makes you stop and think about your journey through life and your own value to yourself, about whether you are holding yourself back or reaching for everything you can be, about giving and receiving love. My favorite quote was "Happiness is loving what we need and needing what we love - and obtaining it". My Rating: While this wasn't my normal reading genre and it wasn't a book that I just couldn't put down, it was a very enjoyable and enlightening read. I adored the characters and their journey. I give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.

After 41 years Marianne has had enough of her life, her husband - Lothar and her whole existence. But things don't always go as planned. The only thing Marianne takes with her and her new life is a beautiful hand painted tile. She searches for the actual ocean scene painted on the tile on the Coast of Brittany. Where not only does she find a new life, the artist who painted the tile, a new job, new friends.. a new life, until her husband comes looking for her. Nina George paints her own tale. Will Marianne return to her old life? Or fight for her new life. Thanks to First To Read/Penguin Random House for the advanced copy.

For some reason I just couldn't get into this book. I got almost halfway through and still wasn't sure what was going on and I didn't care about the characters. I found it boring. So I abandoned the book.

I read this book much faster and enjoyed it more than her previous novel. It is a good summer book or quick read. I love the story of Marianne, an older woman who is just now finding out who she is. It is very reminiscent of Brit-Marie was Here and just as enjoyable.

The Little French Bistro is a beautiful story about a woman who has given up on her life, and has decided to travel to Paris to end it all. A twist of events occur that will change her, shape her future, and give her a fresh start. Marianne has devoted her life to her husband Lothar, who has cheated on her and stolen all her self-worth. Marianne doesn't want to go on any longer and jumps off the Pont Neuf Bridge into the frigid water to free herself of her unhappy life, only to be saved both physically and emotionally. She's taken to the hospital where she confronts Lothar and tells him she's never going back to him, and finds a tile, beautifully painted with a ocean scene from a little town in Kerdruc. Now she knows where she belongs and makes the journey to the oceanfront town where she gets a job at a little French Bistro. Marianne starts over with new friends and rediscovers her passion for life and falls in love with a handsome painter. I really enjoyed this book and the stories of all the characters. The ending will leave you with the warm fuzzies and a smile on your face. I think this book would make a great movie!

I thought I would give this book a try even though I could not get into her previous novel, but got the same result. I'm not sure if it's her writing style or the fact that I can't really relate to her characters, but it just didn't keep my interest. Even though this is a genre I really enjoy reading and a lot of people seem to like her novels, it just wasn't for me.

Nina George's the Little French Bistro is a brave story. In a youth obsessed culture she has chosen a 60 year old hausfrau as her protagonist. Georges coming of age story about a woman of 60, reminds us all that life doesn't end until we're 6 feet under. Marianne, said hausfrau, suffers from a major case of ennui to the point of attempted suicide. George's depiction of her emotions, disappointments and self loathing all ring very true. When the suicide fails (which I don't think is a spoiler or there wouldn't be a book) Marianne's ventures out to the Breton coast of France to meet a cast of characters of her (mostly) same "certain age" who are in their own various states of becoming themselves. The characters (and they are "characters") emphasize the beauty of the human struggle, the value of those who have life experience and the hope that lives in the breast of every person. The Little French Bistro asks us to suspend the credible and live in the incredible world of possibility, Celtic spirituality, the magic of being human and love. A brave tale, indeed, told in lush prose. I'm sure a visit to Brittany will be added to many bucket lists after reading this book. I was given this book to read and review through Penguin's first to read program.

This book had all the makings of a good story, but unfortunately, George did not take full advantage of the story she laid out. The heroine easily could have been a character that was sympathetic, relatable, likable, and inspiring. She was only a few of those things, and only during certain parts of the book. Perhaps if George had focused solely on Marianne's story, instead of switching to other characters' perspectives, she would have been able to develop Marianne as a character more. Instead, Marianne is cast aside, as the residents of the towns she escapes to get more attention from George. Unfortunately, these characters are also underdeveloped. At times, I was confused about who these characters were and why they were relevant to Marianne's story, partially because they were introduced so poorly. The focus of this book is not the Little French Bistro. In fact, only a small portion of this story is dedicated to the bistro itself and Marianne's working there. I can see how George is trying to reignite her fame from "The Little Paris Bookshop" but this book is in no way as enjoyable.

Though I greatly appreciated the opportunity I was given to read an advanced copy of the second book by the author of "The Little Paris Bookshop" (which I adored), I found it very difficult to get through. The heroine of the story is lackluster; though her internal life is revealed to the reader, it feels one-dimensional and flat. Her observations about the world around her are tinged by her sadness and though this could still make for a good story, I found that even her melancholy felt bland and lifeless. She is an altogether unimpressive character that I pitied but could not truly bring myself to care about. I struggled to find interest in her story and in her journey to find the land depicted on a tile she finds while hospitalized after her attempted suicide but I struggled in vain. I'm disappointed to give such a negative review to an author who previously delighted me but I just cannot find it in me to praise this book. I do hope the next by George will be a return to her previous form. I received an electronic copy of this book in exchange for this unbiased review.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I was immediately swept up in the adventures of the main character. As the book progressed though, I felt like I was the sea, being thrown up on shore and then regressing backward just as Marianne does. It is a good book for the beach and a wonderful story about learning that it's never too late to be who you really are. Loved the seashore setting which was perfect for this story. Lots of hidden issues to ponder in this one.

A wonderful followup (not a sequel) to The Little Paris Bookshop. I loved it!

Try as I might I just couldn't get into this book. I kept picking it up and putting it down and then picking it up again. Finally at about 80 pages in I just couldn't do it anymore. None of the characters really captured my attention and the story didn't seem to be going anywhere. It's not often that I abandon a book but I just couldn't imagine feeling the same way for another 200+ pages. To each their own though!

I received a copy of The LIttle French Bistro through the First To Read Program, and I really enjoyed reading it. Nina George tells the story of sixty-year-old Marianne, who is visiting Paris with her abusive, overbearing husband, when she decides that she cannot continue with the life she has been living. She throws herself into the Seine hoping to end it all, but instead begins an unlikely, humorous, journey to a new life full of colorful characters, love, and hope. I haven't read The Little Paris Bookshop, but after reading this, I will. Richly drawn characters and a charming depiction of the French culture make this book one that I hated to see end. Marianne's story is a lesson to us all: It's never too late to change your path in life.

I was really looking forward to this novel at the author's last book made my favorites list, but I'm sorry to say that this book didn't do it for me. I kept wanting to be swept up the same way as I'd been in 'The Little Paris Bookshop', but it was like high and low tide. Starting high and strong and just when I thought I'd be swept out to sea, it would just let me gently down. I tried to like it but I frequently lost track of the point and didn't really get back into it. Once I lost interest, no matter how much I read I couldn't really remember what the book was about.

I had read The Little Paris Bookshop for a book club and enjoyed it. I don't always like what I have to read for book clubs. This book started with a suicide attempt but ended up being a sweet story about finding oneself. I liked all the characters and the setting. It made me want to return to France. I thought it would make a lovely movie although it did remind me of the Italian film Bread and Tulips.

This book was well written but not to my taste. The time spent in characters' heads instead of on dialogue and action along with the leanings toward magical realism put this book closer to literary fiction for me, which is not a genre I care for. I picked this book based on the description that said it had a "buoyant charm", which made me think it was uplifting women's fiction. Instead, I found it to be melancholy. There are readers who prefer that sort of book but it wasn't what I was expecting.

This is a perfect summer read!

Nina George infuses her characters and places with magic through lyrical words and the power of love. In The Little French Bistro, we follow Marianne who runs away from a life of feeling like she does not matter to her husband to one where she finds herself and delightfully touches the lives of others. I love Nina George’s writing and will look forward to new books by her. She reminds us in her wonderful writing that love’s magic can touch us at all ages.

What a delightful read! The "awakening" of all the characters to all that life has to offer was such fun to read. Cheers to the author for making Kendrick such a special place. 10 out of 10 on this one.

I think Nina George did a great job of writing this book. It starts out with despair and ends with hope, love and second chances. Being true to oneself is a strong message through out the plot. The writing is lyrical, especially with the descriptions of the seaside village. The characters are appealing and likeable. When addressing her changes, emotional and physical, Marianne says that she feels she has always been who she is, but she had allowed her old life to hide her true self and now she was coming out of the shadows. Twists are sometimes disappointing, but in the end all is reconciled. I would recommend this book for book clubs as it has much to be discussed.

A 60 year old woman tries to commit suicide but fortunately, is unable to so she goes to the coast of Brittany to pursue something better. She meets multiple characters and begins to find herself and love. I’m sorry to say that I was mildly disappointed with The Little French Bistro. I have never read any books by Nina George so I wasn’t familiar with her writing style or with The Little Paris Bookshop. That said, I had trouble connecting with the characters and the writing itself. I had trouble with the other characters. I couldn’t distinguish them from each other as I read and as a result, the book felt crowded. There were too many subplots jostling for attention. I couldn’t connect with Marianne and found her frustrating at times. It was nice to see her evolution as a character but I never connected with her. I always felt like I was standing on the outside looking in on her, not standing beside her. Near the end of the book, she begins to stand up for herself more and to recognize that she deserves happiness, but I wish it had either happened earlier in the book or that the book had continued for a little longer in order afterwards. Nina George is a talented writer and I can tell that she worked hard on this book. If someone is reading this review, please understand that my review is one of many. Everyone has different needs and wants when they read a book. I did not enjoy this book as much as I wanted to but there are others who have read who loved it.

The Little French Bistro is an Enchanting story. It is a magical tale of being true to one's self by listening to your soul. The mystical realm added to the full sensory experience of this lovely community. Living life to it's fullest was a resonating theme that made me love the characters even more. I made myself read slower so it would't end. I will seek out more Nina George books!

"As long as you can walk upright, you will find a walking stick. As long as you are brave, someone will help you " Emile This is a book that makes you long to visit Brittany and its people. I was a bit worried when the book began with an attempted suicide- never the answer- and was concerned that I would fail to connect with Marianne. I had enjoyed the author's last book so much that I decided to soldier onward. When she reaches Brittany and Kerdruc, the book really takes flight . The characters are engaging and multi-faceted ,the emotions run the gambit and the Breton wisdom enlightens. The author has a way with storytelling that keeps the reader engaged throughout :where the characters and emotions come alive and magic seems possible. Yes, I still had issues at times with Marianne and her rather rapid evolution; however, one must permit some literary license in order to propel the storyline. What more can one ask than a book that transports you and also aids you in riding the tides of change.I think that it would make a lovely beach read. I would read more offerings from this author. Thank you to the First to Read Program for an advanced copy .

A beautiful story! It reminds us that life is full of second chances and always being allowed to redefine ourselves no matter what our age. There is also the theme of always communicating our feelings and desires to those who are important to us.

This was an interesting book. Frustrated with her loveless 40-year marriage, Marianne tries to kill herself in Paris, then escapes from the hospital where she's taken and seeks refuge in a Breton town. There, she meets a lot of quirky people and discovers the hidden depths inside herself. There are actually a lot of sub-plots with all the various characters, but some are only vague mentions. It feels like this could be a much longer book with some development, particularly by fleshing out some of the peripheral characters and telling more of their stories. While the ending wrapped up nicely, it still kind of left me wanting more. I waffled a while over whether to give this three or four stars, but I finally landed on three because while I enjoyed it once, particularly the depictions of small-town life in France, I'm not sure that I'd really want to buy it or read it again. 3/5 stars. *I received an ARC of this book from First to Read in exchange for my honest review.

The Little French Bistro is a novel by Nina George, about Marianne, a woman in her 60's who is in a loveless marriage. Forty years of her husband's indifference towards her. That in itself was heartbreaking to me. The book starts off smack dab in the middle of a chaotic and intense scene in Paris where Marianne has finally had enough of her life and attempts to end it. She is unsuccessful, but the attempt leads her down a path of self discovery. A path where she discovers that life with all it's ups and downs, sorrows, joys, and heartache are worth living. There were so many characters in this book. Their stories were interesting and the characters themselves were well written. It just got a little confusing at times trying to keep everyone sorted. At the end there were no strings left untied, which was good in some ways. Everyone's story had a conclusion, that doesn't always happen in life. Some stories take years, while others take weeks to come to the chapters end. There was also so much going on not only with the characters but other worldly things. I love fantasy, Druid lore and books of that nature. It just seemed that the author just threw some elements in but there was no time to really develop that aspect of the story. Nina George did a great job writing the raw emotions of her characters. There were times I could truly relate to some of them. I could feel the despair and emptiness Marianne felt. I could empathize with her sadness and longing. When she felt joy it shone through the pages. This book is not a clean read. There's abuse (emotional from Marianne's husband) and sexual encounters. I liked this book okay. I just didn't love it. The story concept was good. Too much going on maybe. I would still pick up a book by this author to see if her other novels are better. The Little French Bistro: A Novel Author: Nina George Publisher Crown/Archetype, 2017 ISBN 0451495608, 9780451495600 Length 336 pages Genre Fiction Romance Contemporary Would I read it again? No. Would I recommend it? No. Would I recommend it for kids? No.

Could not read on my iPad. I am so disappointed

I didn't love this book. I found it really difficult to connect with any of the characters, and the main character Marianne kind of annoyed me. I understand that 40+ years of marriage doesn't dissolve in a matter of weeks, but her reaction when Lothar reappeared in her life was disappointing to say the least. The ending was reasonably satisfying, though, and while I found it also hard to connect with the other characters in the story, I didn't dislike them. For me, this book just didn't have that "I can't stop reading I need to know what happens" quality, and it took me a while to get through it. That being said, it was a sweet story and some will definitely find it a lovely summer beach read. It just wasn't really for me.

I was defintely charmed by the tiny seaside town and the atmosphere, but not so much with Marianne. The main character decides to end her life since she feels unfulfilled by a horrible marriage. She finds her way to a little seaside town where she is able to inspire others. After all of her adventures, she decides to return home with the husband that killed her with boredom before. Luckily, she changes her mind enroute and decides to return to the man she met in the little town on the sea. The character was not written dynamically enough to justify why all the characters in the book were drawn to her. There were a lot of things in the book that seemed to stick out like a sore thumb in a bad way. I will not be reading anything else by this author in the future if I can help it.

This is the second book by this author that I have read and with the similarities in title, I assumed the books would be more alike than not. Namely, mildly sweet fiction about a woman finding herself through the pursuit of an activity outside her normal sphere. My difficulties with this book involve the writing style more than the topic. I'm not sure if the author was trying to create a sense of the protagonist's inner life, the confusion of being in a foreign country and not knowing the language, or if she was trying to create some otherworldly sense. I found it frustrating. I also found the characters too similar to tell apart; they were all suffering for love. This just wasn't the book for me.

 


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