It is no secret that I. Love. France. It is my ancestral fatherland, I have savored her arts and literature and food, I am pursuing a minor in French and Francophone studies…there is not much more I can do to prove my devotion. And of course, one cannot love France without loving Paris. In fact, I have a whole playlist dedicated to songs about Paris, my bedspread is Paris themed…you get the picture, Paris is a great weakness of mine.
So when I had the opportunity to read and review a book set in Paris, with themes of art and family, how could I resist?
The adventure of a young Parisian artist and his dog. A novel of action and reflection; of fidelity and trust; of resilience, love, and the power of art.
Jeremy’s mother is about to go to prison for their debt to the State. He is trying everything within his means to save her, but his options are running out fast. Then Jeremy discovers a treasure under Paris. This discovery may save his mother, but it doesn’t come for free. And he has to ride over several obstacles for his plan to work. Meanwhile, something else is limiting his time…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Indrajit Garai, an American citizen now, was born in India in 1965. After his Bachelors degree from Indian Institute of Technology and Masters from Harvard, he worked as a corporate strategy consultant and as an investment banker in America, Spain, and England, while studying parallelly Ayurveda (ancient medicine of India) for stress management. In 2001, after the birth of his daughter, he moved to Paris, opened his private practice of stress management, and then authored six books in this field (five in French and one in English). Authoring these books on stress management gave him a deep love for writing. Since 2015, he has devoted himself full-time to creating literature.
Note: I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Jeremy was so. sweet. His devotion to his mother was captivating, as was taking it upon himself to be the ‘man of the family’ even though he was just a 12 year old boy with heart issues. He’s one of those children who are very intelligent, but he’s not the precocious sort. He’s quiet, reflective, thoughtful, and because he spends so much time alone, he’s developed more advanced ways of seeing things and drawing comparisons, almost as if that’s the only way to entertain himself. I really enjoyed both his artistic thoughts and his logical analyzing. But while I can understand him being a particularly intelligent boy, especially since he is an art prodigy…some of his thoughts felt a little bit too advanced and adult-like, especially about taxes and legal codes.
On all his walks through Paris, he always went with his German shepherd Leon, who was basically a character in his own right. I don’t have much to say about the fantastically awesome Leon except that now I really want a German shepherd.
The major detraction to this story character-wise was that there wasn’t much depth to any other character besides Jeremy, and I would have liked to see more of the elusive bookseller Paolo. But that said they were all fairly interesting side characters, and I did really like Robert, the kind gardener who takes good care of animals.
This was quite delightful. It is definitely a simple style, but it fits well with the 12 year old narrator and holds a lot of beauty and depth in its simplicity — which is perhaps something I can learn from. It was refreshing to have such ‘small’, every day words woven together to express bigger things, just how children do I suppose. My one dislike was the fact that book is written in first person present, which is a personal pet peeve of mine.
I’m going to try not to dissolve into a long rant about the modern era, short attention spans, and the contrasts between cultures…but suffice it to say that yes, this book is slowly paced. But that doesn’t equate to boring. It has the thoughtful meandering pace of the European films I’ve watched that aren’t so much concerned with a complex, larger plot as they are with examining different people and personalities and places. To fully enjoy such a work, you cannot go into it with the somewhat American mindset that is the hallmark of our books and movies. You must accept that it’s going to be slow, so you can enjoy the journey and the highlighted moments in these characters lives. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not criticizing the more American style; most of the time I do prefer to have a clearer, overarching plot, more moments of tension and suspense, and less meandering. But sometimes it’s good to ponder, to absorb, and this book does it well. In Paris, no less, which is not a bad place to take one’s time.
THAT said, there are other reviews who’ve stated this book was agonizingly slow. Hard disagree. There were interesting twists, the plotline about the ‘treasure under Paris’ was attention-grabbing, and I felt everything flowed beautifully together at a lovely pace. The ending was the one part that gives me pause. I felt, after everyone’s struggles which were layered wonderfully, that part of the solution at the end was too easy. And I have no idea how I feel about the very last scene, except that I think it was unnecessarily sad.
Without giving too much away, I absolutely loved the motifs of family and of art. Jeremy’s mother working so hard to provide for her son, Jeremy doing everything he can to ease her burden, both of them toughening up as a soldier’s wife, a soldier’s son — ahh it was all so touching. True, the arcs were not the most impressive, but it was a wonderful story nonetheless and it filled me with newfound love for my own family.
If you are looking for a thoughtful, slower-paced book to enjoy, then you should get this one! And if you like Paris and the whole French aesthetic…definitely look into The Bridge of Little Jeremy.
Until next time,
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4 thoughts on “The Bridge of Little Jeremy // Book Review”
Wonderful review, Elisha!!!
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Thank you Saraina!
This sounds lovely. I mostly prefer more “action-packed,” I guess plot-oriented? stories, but sometimes I WANT a slow, thoughtful literary meandering that turns into a story somewhere along the way. (The only European film I’ve seen is Babette’s Feast, because it’s my mom’s favorite, and I don’t know if you’ve seen that but it’s kind of what you’re talking about and I love it…also one of the three main characters IS from Paris, so, ya know 😛 ) I don’t know if/when I’ll be able to read this book, but I truly want to now.
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Ooohh I have not seen that one, thank you for sharing!! I’ll definitely have to check it out, goodness knows I could use some meandering in the currently break-neck speed of life 😂 And I’m glad to have been able to put this book on your radar for those quieter meandering moments!
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