By Alexandra Walker
A Review of The Little French Bistro, by Nina George
Marianne is stuck in a loveless, soul crushing marriage, and after 21 years realizes that she’s had enough. One evening, while visiting Paris, she decides to take drastic action and end her own life. After tragedy is averted on the banks of the Seine and Marianne rescued, she abandons her old life and callous husband, and travels to the coast of Brittany, or “the end of the world,” as it’s called. Once there she meets a cast of fascinating and endearing souls as lost as she. She postpones her decision to end her life and takes a job helping out at the local bistro, feeling that they are in as much need of her as she is of them.
So starts Nina George’s captivating and often uplifting novel. Like her previous book, The Little Paris Bookshop, it is filled with lush and loving descriptions of both the cuisine and background scenery of all that is France; along with the glimpses of the picturesque coastal town where Marianne finally begins to find herself. It is a book that truly “embraces the true flavor of the land;” one that is best enjoyed with a glass of good French wine, and hopefully, a view of the craggy sea tossed cliffs of the Brittany coast. The Little French Bistro makes you want to book your tickets to France, or at the very least make reservations at your closest neighborhood French place!
But more than a beguiling guide book with gorgeous pictures and crave worthy food, Mariane’s tale is one of redemption and second chances, of passion found, and a life best lived regardless of age or circumstance. A novel about the transformative magical power of France, and that’s something we can all hope in-when hope is so badly needed.