It's so bland. So. So. So. Bland.
The original premise and cover (my fault - I judged a book by its cover) presents it as a story about Paris, and a book shop, and a family living there. I found this book on NPR when I was reading about another novel I loved and just had to learn more about. It drew me in with this false premise and I immediately suggested my library order it. They did - I was reading and now I'm done.
I started this book three days ago and have found every excuse in the world to NOT read it. That is a screaming red flag for me. The characters are poorly drawn, the writing is rather choppy, and the fascination with "Madeline" and "The Red Balloon" is aggravating at best. I think it was meant to be a timeless reference, but it becomes a "time-suck" unfortunately. I don't even care where Leah's husband is or if and when he's ever coming back.
It's been a very long time since I wrote a review that was this "negative" and I'm loathe to do it - but I must warn my fellow readers to avoid this book if your looking a novel featuring Paris and a quaint bookshop - this isn't it.