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Mary Steer on why if you liked The Little Paris Bookshop, you'll love The Summer of Permanent Wants

Author Mary Steer tells The Next Chapter why she thinks that The Summer of Permanent Wants is a perfect Canadian companion to The Little Paris Bookshop.
Waterdown, Ontario fiction writer Mary Steer says The Summer of Permanent Wants by Jamieson Findlay is the perfect Canadian companion to The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George. (Penguin Random House/marysteer.com/Doubleday Canada)

Mary Steer, a fiction writer and avid reader from Waterdown, Ont., says if you liked The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George, you should read The Summer of Permanent Wants by Jamieson Findlay.

"Both books take place on floating bookshops. The Little Paris Bookshop obviously starts in Paris on a book barge called the Literary Apothecary and the main character is Monsieur Perdu. He has this uncanny knack for diagnosing people's emotional ills and then prescribing books for them to read that will help them, but he can't help himself — at least not until toward the end of the book.

"The book barge in The Summer of Permanent Wants is Permanent Wants and it was inherited by Gran who fixes it up, turns it into a book barge and invites her granddaughter Emmeline to come along with her as she travels down the Rideau Canal. Emmeline needs some healing too, just like Monsieur Perdu, because a year before the book begins she fell into a coma and when she comes out of it she's lost her language. Emmeline and Gran go to all the stops along the Rideau Canal and crazy things happen to them. It's a little bit surreal, it's a little bit magical realism and it's a super read." 

Mary Steer's comments have been edited and condensed.

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