7 June 2014

The Awakening of Miss Prim by Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera


Series: N/A Standalone
Publication date: July 8, 2014
Publisher: Atria Books
Genres: Adult, Contemporary
Format: eArc
Source: Netgalley
Pages: 272

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In this #1 international bestseller, a young woman leaves everything behind to work as a librarian in a remote French village, where she finds her outlook on life and love challenged in every way.

When Miss Prim, an independent, accomplished young woman, reads an ad in the newspaper seeking a feminine spirit to work as a librarian in the lush countryside of France, she finds herself compelled to apply. Little does she know what kind of world she is about to step into.

Miss Prim dutifully accepts the job and begins organizing her employer's vast library. A knowledgeable, mysterious gentleman with very specific opinions about life, he challenges Miss Prim's seemingly unshakeable disposition. And as she becomes familiar with the other townspeople, she begins to realize that the surprising lifestyle of the town awakens amazement, perplexity, and even disdain in her. For in this tiny corner of the world, a flourishing colony of exiles have settled into a simple, rural existence, living around great literature, intellectual discussions, family, and sweet indulgences. Their peculiar and unconventional ways slowly test Miss Prim's most intimate ideas and fears as well as her most profound convictions. She quickly comes to realize that her advanced degrees did little to prepare her for the lessons she's being taught the least of which is a lesson in love.


Set against a backdrop of steaming cups of tea, freshly baked cakes, warm fires, and lovely company, The Awakening of Miss Prim is a delightful, thought-provoking, and sensitive novel that gives rise to theories about love and companionship, education, and the beauty of every passing moment.

I only requested this because it was listed as a new adult, it’s said in France and the story is all about books – or at least our main character is a librarian. Unfortunately I found out – while reading – that this is definitely not a new adult book, it’s an adult book and that’s not always my cup of tea. But I blame netgalley for not listing books properly!

I really enjoyed the story, I love France and it’s been a dream destination of mine for years so reading a book set in France is something I cherish. I liked the town of San Ireneo, a small town where everyone knows everyone and all the quirkiness that existed within the borders. I loved how people took upon themselves the jobs that where missing, for example if there was a bookstore missing someone would open a bookstore – they didn’t need to have any experience, they just did it because the town lacked that certain profession.

I don’t know if I like our main character Prudencia Prim, she’s quirky, clever and witty but she’s also quite annoying sometimes. Nonetheless I liked her knowledge of literature, I liked that she stood up for herself and I adored her for not thinking she needed a husband to depend on.
Even though there is several characters in this book, I didn’t really feel that I got to know them that well. Her employer is called  The Man in the Wingchair, and his mother is cleverly known as The Man in the Wingchair’s Mother, we also have all the people from town but I had a hard time figuring out who was who.

Something I loved in this book was when Jane Austen was the center of the conversation, she is talked about throughout the entire novel and I cherished every moment of it, I loved how they discussed whether or not Mr. Darcy was the perfect man – and how perfect men always exist in books, as readers we can relate to that.


I gave this book 3 hearts because I did enjoy it and it’s a great one time read but it’s probably not a book I will recommend to every person I stumble upon.


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