Not going to lie, but it was the title and the cover that drew me towards this book. Such an overtly arrogant title paired with a magical cover image of a woman reading in levitation, and I’m sold. I couldn’t wait to see for myself what the most beautiful book would look like.
It is, I’d say, a collection of heartwarming novellas. While there isn’t too much life and death drama, it portrays many female characters that may seem simple and ordinary at first but have surprising sides and dimensions. They go through different obstacles and hardships, but in contrast, their responses show the bright side of humanity. There is almost always a plot twist at the end, but it only adds to the sweetness of the story.
The novellas have a whimsical air to them that reminds me of the movie Amelie, with their European, sometimes elvish heroines and
I fell in love with the stories, not because they offered many deep or sophisticated ideas, but because I felt like I was given a box of chocolates in assorted flavors; none of them connect to one other, but they each lend a little warmth to the reader, and together they form a delicious feast for this bookworm.
The Most Beautiful Book in the World: Eight Novellas
One of Europe’s most popular and best-loved authors, Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt captivates the reader with his spirited, buoyant style and enchanting stories that move effortlessly from the everyday to the fantastical. The eight stories in this collection, his first to be published in English, represent some of his best writing and most imaginative storylines: from the love story between Balthazar, wealthy and successful author, and Odette, cashier at a supermarket, to the tale of a barefooted princess; from the moving story of a group of female prisoners in a Soviet gulag to the entertaining portrait of a perennially disgruntled perfectionist. Here are eight contemporary fables, populated by a cast of extravagant and affecting characters, about people in search of happiness. Behind each story lies a simple, if elusive, truth: happiness is often right in front of our eyes, though we may frequently be blind to it.