Translated by Jane Aitken and Emily Boyce
Bookseller Laurent Letellier comes across an abandoned handbag on a Parisian street and feels impelled to return it to its owner. The bag contains no money, phone or contact information. But a small red notebook with handwritten thoughts and jottings reveals a person that Laurent would very much like to meet. Without even a name to go on, and only a few of her possessions to help him, how is he to find one woman in a city of millions?
I was looking for a quick read and stumbled upon The Red Notebook. While it’s short and easy to get through it’s not fluff – there are beautiful observations and turns of phrase, just enough to keep your brain happy without overload. Many are of the ah-yes-I-know-that sort:
As soon as she stepped inside the door, she was hit by that feeling of coming home after a long time away, when the dust seems to have been blown off things you had become so used to looking at you had stopped seeing them. Everything suddenly seems more intense, like a photograph restored to its original colour and contrast.
The story stays small and fills out the short-ish page count perfectly. There are just enough secondary characters, the right amount of conflict and romance, and a satisfying ending, all rolled into 200 pages. It’s not a life changing book, or a thinking book, or a testament to the beauty of language… it’s a good yarn. And sometimes that’s exactly what you need. Just the thing for a lazy Sunday.