The Paris Bookseller by Kerri Maher⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠ ⁠⁠- Book Review


Historical Fiction

The Plot

It’s 1919, and young Sylvia Beach moves to Paris, not knowing what to do with her life. When she befriends bookstore owner Adrienne Monnier and is introduced to the greatest artists of the time, she decides to open a bookshop herself. This is how Shakespeare and Company, the first English-language bookshop in Paris, comes to life. With time, many leading writers start considering her bookshop a second home. In that same period, James Joyce’s controversial novel Ulysses is banned in the US, thanks to the Volstead Act. When Sylvia is introduced to Joyce, she has no doubts: she will publish the book through Shakespeare and Company. ⁠

❤️ What I liked about The Paris Bookseller by Kerri Maher⁠

🥐 1920’s Paris. Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald… these are just some of the artists mentioned in the book. Some of them will become regulars of the bookshop, some others don’t appreciate Sylvia’s decision of publishing Ulysses… Anyway, can you imagine owning a bookstore and welcoming Hemingway in your store? ⁠

✍️ Working with Joyce. Joyce is described as temperamental and demanding. Sylvia puts up with him because she is convinced that Ulysses is pure art, at the cost of her health and finances. ⁠d what’s worth fighting for.

👭 Adrienne. She is Sylvia’s rock: not only does she encourage Sylvia to open her own bookshop, but also supports her in dealing with Joyce and the publishing of his manuscript. The relationship that blossoms between Adrienne and Sylvia is pure, passionate and incredibly strong. ⁠

📚 The life-changing power of books. Sylvia almost throws away her life to publish Ulysses, because she is a firm believer in the power of books, art and literature. ⁠

To the score

⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4/5 A great historical fiction novel about books and how they can change your life forever. Thanks to #netgalley for the preview.⁠

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