The Red Notebook was a light and charming book that my book club chose after all the heavy books. Unfortunately, I have never heard of Antoine Laurain before, but the author enjoys particular popularity in his country of origin, France and the countries he is translated into.
The Red Notebook is about Laurent, a bookseller you can’t help but love as you learn things about him, and Lauren, a woman whose mystery you’d want to know about as much as Laurent, but sadly in a coma. On the way to the bookstore one morning, Laurent sees a beautiful bag thrown aside. After a bit of tinkering around with the bag, he thinks it was probably stolen and takes it to the police, but when the police do not help much, he decides to hand the bag to its owner.
However, in Paris, a city where millions of people live, of course, he cannot predict how he will find the owner of this bag, which has no identity. As we glance over the contents of the bag and especially read the contents of the red notebook, one cannot help but think that the bag’s owner is a great person. This is the magic of The Red Notebook. The beautiful mystery combined with the charm of Paris and the beautiful world Laurain creates.
I read The red Notebook with pleasure from beginning to end. Thanks to it, I got to know a very different perfume, many new authors and a different Paris. It is almost impossible to find feel-good books that do not suck. The Red Notebook is a perfect example how a feel-good should be like. I’ll be reading a lot from Antoine Laurain. I’d recommend you do the same if you want to read a good book that’ll make you happy all the way. Enjoy!
The Red Notebook
Heroic bookseller Laurent Letellier comes across an abandoned handbag on a Parisian street. There’s nothing in the bag to indicate who it belongs to, although there’s all sorts of other things in it. Laurent feels a strong impulse to find the owner and tries to puzzle together who she might be from the contents of the bag. Especially a red notebook with her jottings, which really makes him want to meet her. 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?
The Red Notebook has already been sold in twelve different languages. French TV is making a film of The President’s Hat and the movie rights of The Red Notebook have been sold to UGC.
Antoine Laurain was born in Paris. He is the author of five novels, including The President’s Hat.
‘In equal parts an offbeat romance, detective story and a clarion call for metropolitans to look after their neighbours. . . . Reading The Red Notebook is a little like finding a gem among the bric-a-brac in a local brocante’ The Telegraph
‘Resist this novel if you can; it’s the very quintessence of French romance’ The Times
‘Definitely a heartwarming tale’ San Diego Book Review
‘Soaked in Parisian atmosphere, this lovely, clever, funny novel will have you rushing to the Eurostar post-haste. . . . A gem’ Daily Mail
‘This tender and charming romance, written with characteristic Gallic flair, is part mystery and part love story. Flawlessly written, it does everything just right and, at the end, leaves a smile of satisfaction’ Foreword Reviews
‘An instant, flawless masterpiece of Parisian perfection’ The Bookbag
Antoine Laurain is a novelist, screenwriter, journalist, director and collector of antique keys. A truly born and bred Parisian, after studying film, he began his career directing short films and writing screenplays. His passion for art led him to take a job assisting an antiques dealer in Paris. The experience provided the inspiration for his first novel, The Portrait, winner of the Prix Drouot.
Published on the eve of the French presidential elections of 2012, Antoine’s fairytale-like novel The President’s Hat was acclaimed by critics, readers and booksellers, who awarded it the Prix Landerneau Découvertes. The English translation was a Waterstones Book Club and ABA Indies Introduce pick, and a Kindle Top 5 bestseller. This novel, full of Parisian charm, was the winner of the Prix Relay des Voyageurs, a prize which celebrates the enjoyment of reading. Since then, The President’s Hat has been adapted for television in France.
Antoine’s novels have been translated into over twenty languages, including Arabic and Korean. Sales of his books across all formats in English have surpassed 180,000 copies, and The Red Notebook (2015) has become one of Gallic Books’ bestsellers both in the UK and the USA, and has been selected for HRH the Duchess of Cornwall’s Reading Room.
Also published: French Rhapsody (2016), The Portrait (2017), Smoking Kills (2018) and Vintage 1954 (2019).
Antoine’s latest novel The Readers’ Room was published September 2020 from Gallic Books and will be out in mass market paperback in June 2021.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: