Vintage 1954 by Antoine Laurain, review by Hannah Reidell
Antoine Laurain is one of those authors who always leaves me wanting more. Not because he's bad, but rather because his books are such a genuine delight to read. I squealed with delight when this appeared in the bookstore and was not disappointed when I read it.
Bob Brown arrives in Paris on the trip of his dreams, sadly without his ill wife at his side. He's making memories for them both. Arriving at his Airbnb apartment, he meets building residents Magalie, the goth antique restorer; Julien, the cocktail mixer; and Hubert, the owner of the building who invites the others to his apartment to share a bottle of 1954 Beaujolais. The next morning everyone wakes up in Paris, just not the Paris they went to sleep in. Cue a glorious mix of cameos as the four friends try to find their way back to their Paris, via a glass of wine or two.
Laurain does a wonderful job of writing the whimsical Paris that we spend most of our time imagining. He captures the joy, love, and smiles of his earlier books, The President's Hat and The Red Notebook. At times this book will have you laughing aloud, at other times smiling at that person who seems so familiar (hello Audrey!), and at other times, he pulls on your heartstrings and brings a tear to the eye. This book is a fun dance through Paris, capturing all the glory of this amazing city.
But, having finished it, now I just want more!