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The Little French Bistro

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  14,672 ratings  ·  2,377 reviews
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 l
Hardcover, 311 pages
Published June 13th 2017 by Crown (first published 2010)
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Steve Spencer (he, him.his) According to the author's website: "From the worldwide bestselling author of THE LITTLE PARIS BOOKSHOP, Nina George: THE LITTLE FRENCH BISTRO (US 06/1…moreAccording to the author's website: "From the worldwide bestselling author of THE LITTLE PARIS BOOKSHOP, Nina George: THE LITTLE FRENCH BISTRO (US 06/17) / THE LITTLE BRETON BISTRO (UK 04/17)"(less)
Andreea I believe most of her work has not been translated from German. She is actually a very prolific author. But it seems that only a few books are availab…moreI believe most of her work has not been translated from German. She is actually a very prolific author. But it seems that only a few books are available in English.


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Average rating 3.57  · 
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 ·  14,672 ratings  ·  2,377 reviews

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Rebecca Carter
I felt so many emotions while reading this book. Initially sadness, pity and melancholy; then a mixture of heartwarming lightheartedness, joy and empowerment, with some humour mixed in. Reading 'The Little Breton Bistro' was almost like going on a journey through a rainbow of every emotion under the sun. Which is what a good author and book should be able to conjure - emotions and feelings.

Marianne is in her 60's and has been married to her husband, Lothar, since she was 19. Her husband is cont
Purple Country Girl (Sandy)
I received a copy of The Little French Bistro from Penguin’s First to Read program.

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
Whispering Stories
Marianne has had enough of her dowdy, meaningless life. She has lived with her husband for forty years, who neither loves her, nor respects her.

On a trip to Paris with her husband, she quietly slips out of a dinner party and makes her way down to the river Seine. Carefully removing her few possessions, she jumps into the river hoping to end her life.

Unfortunately for her, she is pulled to the bank by a homeless man, and an ambulance is called, taking her to the local hospital. Once there, her hu
Beautiful, breathtaking prose, romantic, succulent foods, vivid scenery, dreamy settings, realistic lovable characters that are easily connected with and so many life awakening quotable moments. The main characters are mature, well lived, full of experiences and yet full of wonder. Oh it's fantastic. I adore this author's style. This is the second book I've read from her, the first being The Little Paris Bookshop. I loved that one but this one held on to my heart a bit more and never let go, so ...more
4.5 stars.

Have you ever been desperate enough to want to escape life? To throw yourself in the Seine and end it all! No? Well Marianne does, life has passed her by, she is deeply unhappy and sees no other way out. However when her effort to bring her sad life to a close is thwarted by a stranger she eventually finds herself on the way to Brittany and possibly ready to listen to herself and her own needs and desires.

The more I read on in this story the more I was captivated by Marianne and the p
Saima Nisbet
May 14, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2017
I've abandoned Breton Bistro in annoyance, it's not charming and life affirming but written by a simpleton and much like a romcom. It begins with someone trying to kill themselves and seemed intriguing but almost half way in, the clichés of getting a make over and the description of her transformation made me want to vomit. The other characters were a mixed bag, the couple growing old were interesting but the chef pining over fancying the waitress was irritating. A book with a similar opening pr ...more
Jul 05, 2017 rated it did not like it
I have to say, I was very disappointed with this book. The first few chapters were interesting and sucked me in, but then it went off on a dozen tangents. There were so many side characters that served no purpose and got way too much time spent on them. Halfway through the book, I wasn't even sure what it was about anymore. And I found the main character so aggravating and annoying. Her character kept changing for no reason and she couldn't make up her mind about anything! Yet everyone kept fawn ...more
If you love a book with words that sparkle, Nina George is the author for you. The prose is warm and feels like silky moonlight dancing on a warm summer pool. The Little Paris Bookshop is one of my favorite books. This did not grab me the same way as that. This is a good book and I enjoyed it. Nina does such a great job with emotions and the interplay between people in a relationship.

This is about a woman who is stuck in a marriage and it opens with her failed suicide attempt. This is actually
Wow... I am not sure what it is about Nina George's writing but it hits me deep within my soul. I loved "The little Paris Bookshop" and was so excited when I won this book in a goodreads giveaway, and this book did not disappoint! I am not sure if it is the richness of the characters or the exquisite picture that George's writing conjure up within my mind, plus adding a delightfully heart warming engaging story line that makes this book such an unbelievable read. The little Breton Bistro is a wo ...more
Claire Ellis
A little disappointing - too many characters were too similar and became indistinguishable at times.
Lindy Schwartz
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
While I think her writing can be very lovely, I didn't have much empathy for these characters. I just wanted to smack most of them upside the head and tell them to stop acting like fools. ...more
Karen Whittard
I really, really, really struggled with this book. I found it very, very hard to read and to get into. Mainly because of it opening with someone killing themselves and the subsequent chapters deal with the backlash of this. Yes it is a journey of discovery ect ect. But I just couldn't make myself want to read it. I thought it was going to be a sweet happy book. But it was dark and twisted and not really for me. ...more
Primrose Jess
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
I almost didn't keep reading this one as the story began. I just couldn't jive with the main character and the story wasn't pulling me in.. then I set it down for a day or two... came back.. and.. BAM I was hooked. As soon as Marianne tries her first raw oyster and the luscious description of the foods prepared by Jean Remy were described, I had to know more. Nina George has such a talent for describing the locations in which she sets her books. You feel the emotion and ties she must have had t ...more
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Confession time: I absolutely LOVED Nina George's previous book, The Little Paris Bookshop! Quite possibly because of the following reasons:

1. I'm a sucker for books about books. More so, if the book incorporates a canal barge, and books being used as a means to satiate one's most pressing needs (as identified through the eyes of the bookseller).
2. I have a romantic streak a mile wide. Literally, one mile. I measured it.
3. I read it on the beach in the gloriously tropical heat of the Dominican R
Aug 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: beach-read, fast-read
“The Little French Bistro” is a story with a message that you are never too old to find your passion and to live a full life. The story opens with a sad Marianne Messman in Paris on holiday deciding to end her miserable life. She’s been married to Lothar for forty-one browbeaten years. As the reader learns of her married years, it’s no wonder that the Seine river is looking attractive: she’s done with life. Unexpectedly, a homeless man rescues her after she jumps into the Seine. Her husband Loth ...more
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
I hesitated buying this book. I had loved Nina George's previous novel, The Little Paris Bookshop, but the synopsis of this one put me off a little. Then, because I loved that earlier one and was looking for something with charm to listen to driving to and from the lake this summer, I bought this one.

Good move, Barbara. Yes, it was heavy at the opening, as I feared from the synopsis. But once I got into it, I got INTO it.

The Little French Bistro is a love story, not only one of romantic love but
May 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Nina George has become one of my favorite authors in just two books. I loved this book so much. Lyrical, magical, uplifting, heartbreaking, amazing. All these words and so many more describe this book for me. One I didn't want to put down. A story I didn't want to end. So, so, so, SO beautiful. ...more
I didn’t realize when I started reading Nina George’s The Little French Bistro that I would enjoy it as much as I did. The book was relatively short (Goodreads shows it at 336 pages but the proof copy I received was actually a little under 300 pages), yet it was rich in charm. I found it easy to get into the book from the start and truly enjoyed getting to know all of the delightful characters in a picturesque setting that was a “feel-good” read pretty much all the way through.

The story starts
Leith Devine
3 1/2 stars

I had a hard time getting through the Little French Bistro, an unusual occurrence for me. The book was not what I had expected, and the cheery title doesn't match the story. I enjoyed Nina George's The Little Paris Bookshop, and I was expecting something similar from this book.

The book started out in a very depressing way, with Marianne running away from her husband to Paris and trying to kill herself. She gets to the Breton region of France rather improbably, and accidentally becomes
May 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Well, that was definitely one lovely journey.

Nina George's books always make me feel two things: 1) that i'm hungry almost every time i pick any of her books up, and 2) that i want to pack a bag and run away somewhere.

Despite the fact that George's books are about adults and the difficulties they face while trying to navigate their lives, i always feel like i'm on an adventure whenever i'm reading a story of hers.

The s

Jun 27, 2017 rated it did not like it
What dreck! I feel like the author had fairies and pixie dust clogging her brain when she wrote this because this book is full of cliched characters, silly plot developments, sappy language, fulsome imagery and ridiculous storylines. It takes a lot for me to really dislike a book about 1) some fabulous place in France and 2) a heroine getting a makeover, but boy this book was bad enough to achieve that tricky feat. That's about all it achieves aside from tiredness and sloppiness. Listen, I don't ...more
Oct 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved it - This is story of a woman who has denied herself the right to be an individual, to love and beloved, to have dreams. These denials led to a moment in her life when she decided she had lived long enough. However, she would begin to realize through events, that she had not lived for many years. Once she found joy, love, life and happiness, she had to confront herself to discover whether she deserved this new life. Left me smiling for all the people who became a part of her story... Defin ...more
alright... so my second attempt at a nina george novel has also not gone well. she's so popular in france and germany. in my first outing (with The Little Paris Bookshop), i thought maybe i just did it wrong, so wanted to try again. i tried. i really did.

this is a very melancholy story which is not really well supported by its plot or characters. i'm not sure if this will make sense to anyone, but it's a novel filled with events yet somehow manages to feel uneventful. the supporting characters w
Suze Lavender
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Marianne and Lothar are in Paris, but even in this vibrant city Lothar manages to kill Marianne's joy and after forty-one years of marriage she can't take it anymore. Lothar doesn't see her, he's unkind, he cheats and he doesn't want his wife to have anything. He has never given her the idea that he loves her. Marianne kept waiting for a gesture, a token of love, but she now knows Lothar will never give it to her. She sacrifices and suffers and there's only one person who can make it stop. That' ...more
Linda Hill
Apr 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When Marianne’s attempts at suicide are thwarted, a whole new life of possibility is revealed to her.

Never having read anything by Nina George and being slightly irritated by the use of the adjective ‘little’ in so many book titles of late I wasn’t particularly looking forward to reading The Little Breton Bistro as I thought it would be another lightweight formulaic read. I was completely wrong. If I’m honest, I didn’t really think that the title did justice to the book.

The Little Breton Bistro
Jul 16, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh I was hoping for this book to be another five star read like Nina George’s other book, The Little Paris Bookshop. Maybe I hyped it up in my head too much and there for it couldn’t live up to what I pictured.

The writing was beautiful! A quote that a whole analytical essay could be written on, is: “to expect something greater after life was to forget that life was the greatest thing of all”. What a powerful and beautiful quote!

I found the character Colette intriguing and I wanted more info
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs-read
This book is so relaxing. Even the dramatic scene at the beginning that breaks your heart is just written in a way that is soothing, like a back rub. (Is that weird for me to say? I think that's weird for me to say.)

The Little French Bistro is a story about a middle-aged woman who is having a mid-life crisis, and understandably so. She is stuck in a loveless marriage with a brute of a husband who gives her no respect, hardly even an acknowledgement of her existence. Marianne needs to break free
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
After reading "little paris bookshop" last year i really hesitated picking up Nina George's second book. You know when you love a book so much and you don't wanna read a second one by the same author because you are afraid he/she might ruin it... Well that was not the case here! I think with this book Nina george managed to overcome her first. It made me travel, feel and smell everything along with Marianne. It was a book i sincerely didn't wanna finish! I wanted to stay in this beautiful place ...more
Karen R
Jun 15, 2017 rated it liked it
In the beginning chapters, I felt bad for Marianne’s hopeless and sad situation. In short order however, her circumstances shift, she embarks on a journey to self discovery and meets people who will be instrumental in changing the course of her life. Marianne takes one positive step after another, living a more tranquil life and growing the courage she needs to break away from her despicable husband of 40 years, Lothar. There are many interesting characters she meets along her path, but maybe to ...more
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ENG (for German Bio please scroll down).

Born 1973 in Bielefeld, Germany, Nina George is a prize-winning and bestselling author (“Das Lavendelzimmer” – “The Little Paris Bookshop”) and freelance journalist since 1992, who has published 26 books (novels, mysteries and non-fiction) as well as over hundred short stories and more than 600 columns. George has worked as a cop reporter, columnist and mana

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