The Girl Who Reads on the Métro by Christine Féret-Fleury, translated by Ros Schwartz [in Library Journal]
Despite living in glorious Paris, Juliette’s daily life is mundane. Her real estate job isn’t fulfilling, her closest friend is flighty coworker Chloe, and her love life currently nonexistent. The day’s highlight is her Métro commute, when she can commune with books – both the ones she reads herself and the ones that allow her to attempt to decode strangers’ lives based on what they hold in their hands.
When she mistakenly exits from an unfamiliar station one morning, she happens upon a rusty metal door wedged open by a book and discovers a most unusual used bookshop which doubles as home for a vibrant young girl, Zaide, and her indulgent father, Soliman. Mistaken as the next applicant for the passeur position – a messenger of sorts who matches books with people – Juliette just might have stumbled on her dream career, but the job requires unexpected responsibilities when Soliman disappears, leaving Zaide in Juliette’s care.
With her light, breezy voice, her crisp British accent, her facility with French, Stephanie Racine comfortably performs Juliette’s ennui-to-energized journey. She easily adopts distinct portrayals of the supporting cast, especially effusive Zaide, unreadable Soliman, and unpredictable Chloe. Readers on any Métro will undoubtedly find this Girl to be whimsically charming company.
Published: 2017 (France), 2020 (United States)