Review: ‘The Girl Who Reads on the Metro,’ by Christine Feret-Fleury

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This quirky little novel is part fable, part romance, and wholly a love letter to books.

Juliette works in a realty office in Paris with her friend Chloe _ an uninspired job that she carries out rather halfheartedly. Her real passion is books _ reading them, and spinning stories about the people she sees every morning on the Metro (all of whom are also reading).

And then one morning she gets off at the wrong Metro stop and happens upon a bookstore she's never seen before. In this dusty place, booksellers don't sell books _ they go out in the world and match books with people who need them.

The perfect job for Juliette, and way better than selling houses.

This strange calling introduces her to a host of interesting characters and opens her up to life. "All the world's diseases _ and all the remedies _ were concealed between the covers of books," Juliette thinks. "In books you found betrayal, solitude, murder, madness, rage."

Very little of this novel makes sense and even less of it lives in the realm of the possible. It's a fairy tale. But it's charming to read, and its central theme _ that books can change lives _ is indisputable and satisfying.

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