The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain
Source: My Copy
Publisher: Gallic Press
What is it about French authors and brevity? Antoine Laurain managed to do in 150 pages what The Storied Life of AJ Fikry failed to do in double the amount. The Red Notebook has intrigue, mystery and some romance. I can’t really say much else without giving away spoilers.
Laure is on her way home from the Metro one night when she is mugged and her purse is stolen out of her hands. Without keys, wallet or phone, she makes her way to the hotel across the street to recoup for the night.
A few days later, Laurent, a quiet and mild-mannered bookseller, finds an abandoned purse on top of a trash bin. After a failed attempt to drop it off at the police station, Laurent finds his world altered almost overnight as a result. Using only the random assortment of items in her purse, he attempts to track her down to return what she had lost. Its actually a pretty decent mix of luck and cleverness on his part as he goes through the steps of finding Laure. It makes me wonder what people would discover about me just by rifling through the contents of my purse?
This book is a wonderful little story about two people whose lives are crossed by mere chance. It reminded me of The President’s Hat in a way. Especially how an inanimate object can change the lives of those it touches. Now if only I could read in French to see what was altered/lost in translation. There are so many references to notable French authors that I really feel like I missed out on something special in the book. One of more notable cameos is by author Patrick Modiano, who just won The 2014 Nobel Prize for Literature. Everything about The Red Notebook is so wonderfully French, from the bookstores, to cafes, to the romances. It’s definitely in my top 5 books of the year.
© 2015 by Nari of The Novel World. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @TheNovelWorld This was originally posted on The Novel World on 7/13/2015