The Girl Who Reads On the Metro follows Juliette, a Parisian who dreams about the people she sees reading on the train during her commute. One day she encounters a bizarre bookseller who hires her to care for his daughter while also working as a sort of book matchmaker.
I thought this would be a little sweet and quirky, and there were elements of that, but it also felt rambling and darker than expected. I wanted more charm than it delivered. This was a quick read, but overall I just didn't connect to the story or characters--I only finished it because it was so short.
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“With a cast of characters reminiscent of the French film Amélie, Féret-Fleury creates a world that is delightful and enchanting…Light and sweet as a bonbon, this little confection of a book is delicious.” ―Kirkus Reviews
For fans of Amélie and The Little Paris Bookshop, a modern fairytale about a French woman whose life is turned upside down when she meets a reclusive bookseller and his young daughter.
Juliette leads a perfectly ordinary life in Paris, working a slow office job, dating a string of not-quite-right men, and fighting off melancholy. The only bright spots in her day are her métro rides across the city and the stories she dreams up about the strangers reading books across from her: the old lady, the math student, the amateur ornithologist, the woman in love, the girl who always tears up at page 247.
One morning, avoiding the office for as long as she can, Juliette finds herself on a new block, in front of a rusty gate wedged open with a book. Unable to resist, Juliette walks through, into the bizarre and enchanting lives of Soliman and his young daughter, Zaide. Before she realizes entirely what is happening, Juliette agrees to become a passeur, Soliman’s name for the booksellers he hires to take stacks of used books out of his store and into the world, using their imagination and intuition to match books with readers. Suddenly, Juliette’s daydreaming becomes her reality, and when Soliman asks her to move in to their store to take care of Zaide while he goes away, she has to decide if she is ready to throw herself headfirst into this new life.
Big-hearted, funny, and gloriously zany, The Girl Who Reads on the Métro is a delayed coming-of-age story about a young woman who dares to change her life, and a celebration of the power of books to unite us all.