Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The Little Breton Bistro

Nina George is a German writer who now has two books translated into English - The Little Paris Bookshop and The Little Breton Bistro. At the cricket at Launceston recently a friend was reading The Little Breton Bistro and recommended it. We also saw it displayed at Launceston airport. So I borrowed a copy from the library to read.

Marianne Messmann is a German lady who visits Paris with her husband of forty years - Lothar. Her marriage is not a happy one and one evening Marianne decides to jump off a bridge into the Seine. Much to her dismay she is rescued by a tramp and taken to hospital. However, in hospital she discovers a small painted tile of a beach scene in Brittany and decides to visit the place before she attempts to end her life once more.

This scenario sounds dismal however when Marrianne arrives in Kerdruc she makes a new group of friends and shares many new experiences, enabling her over time to rediscover the enjoyment of life. It takes a while, however, for Marrianne to decide whether to continue with her new life and identity or return, with her husband, to the old life she did not enjoy.

Marianne is not the only person who needs to make decisions as to how they want to live their life in the future. This is a book about relationships, about being brave enough to make a change and take a chance instead of thinking about what may have been. The power of water, either the river or the sea, is often in the background. The setting of Kerduc is an important feature of the book especially the bistro, Ar Mor, where Marianne finds employment and becomes an accepted member of the community. Naturally the enjoyment of cooking and eating food is a feature. However this is primarily a book about facing challenges and second chances and I enjoyed reading it

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