The Little French Bistro 

Nina George wrote a very sweet and charming novel here. I found the first 50-60 pages rough to get through because the story starts with Marianne’s failed suicide attempt. The 60 year old’s life history and marriage is equally depressing. Not exactly the thing to read while battling Chicago’s winter with vitamin D supplements and borrowed sun lights. The cover flap’s promise of Marianne being “swept up by a new life” in a French seaside town, had me renewing this book for three months.  Finally Chicago hit 50+ weather and and the sun peaked out, so I gave this novel another shot. The rest of the book was a delightful two day read.

Although this it’s described as a novel about new beginnings or second chances, I really thought the book told more of a belated coming of age story. Marianne went from her father’s home to to her husband’s and her husband pretty much treats her like a child. So it’s as if she never really came into her own until age 60 when she runs away from the hospital (and consequently her husband) post-suicide attempt. The story of Marianne finding herself and new love is sweet; the detailed descriptions of the food, scenery, and people in Brittany give the book its charm. After all, who doesn’t want to find a welcoming, close knit community in a beautiful setting?

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