A bit of a different read this week which comes from French author Christine Férét-Fléury. The Girl on the Métro is her first adult novel set in Paris: I nearly bought this at the train station in London (how fitting), but thankfully I held off and found it in my local charity shop for less than £1! But not a £1 well spent …
I just did not understand this book. Juliette leads the novel as a singleton riding the Paris metro to and from work by reading books and observing others. The blurb notes she loathes her estate agent job, however I didn’t gather this – I didn’t gather a lot.
The book is almost 200 pages and the font is pretty big, so I got through this at a decent rate, but not so rapidly as it was dull.
She stumbles across a secluded bookshop and a young girl, Zaide, who goes inside where her father and owner Soliman is. Juliette notices how it is filled with MANY disorganised and dusty books, sometimes 3-deep.
And then, within a few days, Soliman asks her to look after his daughter (surely you’d still treat a customer as a stranger after a few days with your offspring?) so he can take some time out – he takes his own life. Wasn’t expecting that.
In comes Leonidas, a man who also reads on the metro who gets on with Juliette and helps her manage the bookshop. In between all this, Juliette takes Zaide to see her mother Firouzeh. Then she comes across an abandoned yellow bus – are you following? Can you see how I got a bit confused. It became very difficult to picture this which really is a shame.
Anyway, she does the bus up which she names the Yellow Submarine – by the way, she has quit her job at this point – and fills it with the books to drive it around and match them to people around France. Ta-dah.
This seems like a jumbled, disordered review, but that is quite frankly how I viewed the book which I felt could’ve had potential.
rating – 1.5/5
genre – fiction