Laurent, a bookstore owner, stumbles across an abandoned purse on the streets of Paris. With a phone and ID missing, he is compelled to find the bag’s owner with only some random items and a red notebook left inside. The more he finds out about her, the more he’s desperate to meet the owner of the purse.
The Red Notebook, translated by Emily Boyce from the original French novel titled La femme au carnet rouge, is a fairly quick read. The premise is quite a simple one that, at times, I found bordering the line of being a meet-cute story or a creepy obsessive one – which I guess can be said about many romantic comedies. Taking the less unsettling point of view, I really did enjoy the sweetness of Laurent and his determined search for the owner of the red notebook. I loved how much he connected with the unknown person by just seeing her belongings and getting a sense of her personality.
I’m unsure if it was a bit lost in translation, or if it was the intention of the author, but there were several moments that seemed extremely awkward. One particular scene with Laurent and his daughter felt very bizarre, while another scene where a male character is asking around about Laurent, using the same exact repetitive responses and dialogue, played out too farcical to fit in with the rest of the story.
That being said, the story was sweet and, suspending your disbelief, could be a cute rom/com movie.