When Juliette takes the métro to her loathed office job each morning, her only escape is in books – she avidly reads on her journey and imagines what her fellow commuters’ choices might say about them.
But when, one day, she decides to alight the train a few stops early and meets Soliman – the mysterious owner of the most enchanting bookshop Juliette has ever seen – she is sure her life will never be the same again . . .
For Soliman also believes in the power of books to change the course of a life – entrusting his passeurs with the task of giving each book to the person who needs it most – and he thinks Juliette is perfect for the job.
And so, leaving her old life behind, Juliette will discover the true power a book can have . . .
The Girl Who Reads on the Metro is a charming, brief tale about literature, friendship, work, and the love of reading. Juliette takes solace in observing what other people read on the metro. When she’s introduced to a gorgeous, enchanting bookstore and its owner, Soliman, her life takes an interesting turn.
This book is unusual in its pacing and plot — many events in the book don’t seem plausible, nor believable, and things move incredibly quickly for them to be relatable. And yet, I do think a lot of readers will enjoy this charming and sweet tale, however short and quirky it may be.
If you love reading, then you’ll relate to Juliette almost immediately. If you love visiting bookshops and venturing down their many shelves, spending hours browsing the titles available, then you too will like this book.
“Pensive, she drummed her fingers on the cover of her own book, which she no longer opened very often, so absorbed was she in watching other people. The coffee-stained paperback with a broken spine was transferred from bag to bag, from Tuesday’s big shoulder bag — the day when Juliette did her food shopping after work — to the little handbag she used on Fridays, when she went to the cinema.”
The novel explores the idea that gifting someone the perfect book can transform their life. It’s not a very engaging novel, nor is the plot very complex, but it’s an easy read nevertheless. After Juliette quits her mundane day job, she becomes a matchmaker between book and reader — finding ways to gift people their perfect book.
Paris is the perfect setting for this type of story — the city of love, hope, dreams, and fantasy. Only in France would this story work, and only as a Parisian would Juliette be an authentic protagonist.
“How good it was to laugh like that, mouth wide open, without worrying about making an idiot of herself for once. To scream with laughter, hiccup, wipe off the saliva drooling down her chin, and start all over again.”
Recommended for book lovers, and fans of whimsical, poetic, magical tales.
Thank you to the publisher for sending me a review copy in exchange for an honest review.
The Girl Who Reads on the Metro
Pan Macmillan Publishers