Libby's Reviews > The Red Notebook

The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain
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really liked it
bookshelves: published-2014, read-in-2019, romance, philosophy, translation

This is a delightfully charming and whimsical tale, whose movie rights have already been sold to Union Générale Cinématographique (UCG). The translation of this French novel transported me to the streets of Paris, where Laurent Leteillier, bookseller and owner of bookstore, Le Cahier Rouge (The Red Notebook) has found a purse on the top of a garbage bin. Laurent is definitely a character I want to know more about. His capacity for laughing at himself, the fact that he’s taught his sixteen-year-old daughter, Chloé how to swirl her wine, appreciating its delicate aroma before taking a sip, that he introduced Chloé to literature from an early age, and the energy that he will give to the task of returning the purse to its owner; I know right away that Laurent is a romantic, but not hopeless at all (perhaps even his ex-wife would agree); he has his feet firmly planted in everyday life.

Laure Valadier is a gilder by trade, applying gold leaf to books, picture frames, glass, stone, metal, and many other surfaces. She has a cat named Belphégor, and on her bookshelves, a book by Sophie Calle, Suite Vénitienne (‘Please Follow Me’), the author's defining work, a book in which she surreptitiously follows and photographs strange men. Just as Calle explores the meanings of boundaries and surveillance, those themes will resonate in this narrative. Laure’s adventures of the lost purse are compelling, especially with the twist of Antoine Laurain’s French irony as our accompaniment.

So settle in with a chill glass of Pouilly-Fuissé with its hints of buttery hazelnuts, or perhaps, an exuberant Beaujolais Nouveau, and enjoy a stroll down la rue de la nostalgie in search of that which might have been or more perfectly, that which almost wasn’t. Enjoy!
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Reading Progress

August 21, 2019 – Started Reading
August 21, 2019 – Shelved
August 21, 2019 – Shelved as: published-2014
August 21, 2019 – Shelved as: read-in-2019
August 21, 2019 – Shelved as: romance
August 21, 2019 – Shelved as: philosophy
August 21, 2019 – Shelved as: translation
August 21, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-12 of 12 (12 new)

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message 1: by Angela M (new) - added it

Angela M Libby, what a lovely review. I need to add this for when I need it!

message 2: by Chris (new) - added it

Chris I echo Angela's sentiments. Just lovely!

Libby Angela M wrote: "Libby, what a lovely review. I need to add this for when I need it!"

Thanks Angela! It's great as a light read, but has some deeper layers as suits the reader's mood.

Libby Chris wrote: "I echo Angela's sentiments. Just lovely!"

Thank you so much, Dear Chris :)

message 5: by Martha☀ (new)

Martha☀ What fun! Your review might be better than the book!

Libby Martha☀ wrote: "What fun! Your review might be better than the book!"

LOL, I don't think so Martha, but thanks for the kind words.

message 7: by Meredith (new)

Meredith Fabulous review, Libby! This sounds like a fun read!

Libby Meredith wrote: "Fabulous review, Libby! This sounds like a fun read!"

Thanks Meredith:) Yes, it is definitely fun, and yet, full of meaning.

message 9: by Jenny (new) - added it

Jenny Oh Libby, I want to read this now! Thanks a great review

Libby Jenny wrote: "Oh Libby, I want to read this now! Thanks a great review"

A lovely little book Jenny. I hope you enjoy it.

message 11: by Julie (new)

Julie Sounds utterly charming!! Lovely review, Libby!! 💖

Libby Thanks so much, Julie :D

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