Friday, April 17, 2015

The Red Notebook - Antoine Laurain

The Red Notebook
Antoine Laurain; Jane Aitken (translator)
Gallic Books, Apr 7 2015, $14.95
ISBN: 9781908313867

In Paris, Laurent Letellier walks towards his Le Cahier Rouge bookstore when he notices a handbag on top of a bin.  Believing the owner was probably a mugging victim, Laurent takes the bag with him; but his efforts to give it to the police are met with polite sarcasm.  At his shop, he empties it seeking the identity of the owner so he could return it to her; especially when he finds personal items like a red journal.  However, nothing he finds tells him who she is.

Laurent remains steadfast to his resolution but unable to decide what next.  His daughter encourages him not to give up his mission when chance intervenes.  Eventually learning that Laure Valadier owns the bag, the red book and other sundry; Laurent wants to meet her as he feels he knows her.  However he also feels his obsession already led him to overstep decency; unaware that recently released from the hospital Laure wants to meet the person who rescued her red notebook. 

This is a warm whimsical romantic cozy in which the location and the support cast bring plausibility to Laurent’s quest that will remind the audience of the movie Serendipity.  Readers will root for fate to intervene by bringing Laure and Laurent together so they can collaborate on a new red and blue notebook.

Harriet Klausner

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