THE RED NOTEBOOK
BY ANTOINE LAURAIN
Charming and intriguing this another excellent story from Parisian author Antoine Laurain. I had previously read his best selling book The President’s Hat and this follows in a similar style – a light hearted tale about fate and chance that always stays just on the right side of whimsical.
Young widow Laure, a gilder, is mugged for her handbag outside her Paris home late at night. The attack leaves her hospitalised. Early the next morning bookseller Laurent finds her bag on top of a bin as he walks to work. In an act of citizenship he takes the bag along to the police station but finds they are too busy to process his discovery. Laurent takes the bag home and decides he will find the owner himself using the objects in her handbag (minus the stolen purse, phone and ID) as clues. Her red notebook in particular, with its list of likes and fears, holds vital pointers to her identity and whereabouts as does her signed copy of a novel by a local author.
This is a bookish, romantic story full of Parisian life, fabulous in its pleasant pace and cast of laid back characters. I can almost see myself sat outside a café in the sun, reading this whilst drinking a coffee and smoking a cigarette. Even though I don’t partake in either of those vices anymore I think I’d like to take this book to Paris and at least try them again for one day. Atmosphere, love and surprise, The Red Notebook has all the right elements for my favourite kind of story. A very entertaining read. Recommended.
SOUTHSEA BOOKWORM RATING: 8.5/10