The Book of Pearl by Timothée de Fombelle

My Rating: 4/5 Stars!

Cover Rating: 7/10 I really like this cover! I like the old fairytale feel to it that really matches the essence of the book inside. I also like how a lot of the things pictured are like little things in the book. It’s a really great representation of The Book of Pearl.

Publisher: Candlewick Press

Publish Date: February 6th, 2018

Number of Pages: 368 pages

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review

Purchase: Amazon


In prose as magical and intricate as the tale it tells, Timothée de Fombelle delivers an unforgettable story of a first love that defines a lifetime.

Joshua Pearl comes from a world that we no longer believe in — a world of fairy tale. He knows that his great love waits for him there, but he is stuck in an unfamiliar time and place — an old-world marshmallow shop in Paris on the eve of World War II. As his memories begin to fade, Joshua seeks out strange objects: tiny fragments of tales that have already been told, trinkets that might possibly help him prove his own story before his love is lost forever. Sarah Ardizzone and Sam Gordon translate the original French into a work both luminous and layered, enabling Timothée de Fombelle’s modern fairy tale to thrum with magic. Brimming with romance and history, mystery and adventure, this ode to the power of memory, storytelling, and love will ensnare any reader’s imagination and every reader’s heart.

Opening Sentence: “Who could have guessed that she used to be a fairy?”


This was a pleasant book of magic that really made me feel like I was a little girl dreaming about fairies again. It had those hints of magic and a sad lost love that was beautifully described and often tragic. Even though it read like a fairytale it was also unique enough that I felt like I was reading a brand new tale of lore and history and that always makes me happy.

What I Loved:

The meeting of two worlds. I love how things would leak into circulation in the regular world to find Joshua as an item of proof. I think I love that idea so much because it makes me think the ‘what if our world was truly touching another that was magical like what we dream about?’ It makes me believe the other world could really be true.

The suitcases. There is something of a dragon like curiosity that lights up in me when I think about the idea of a whole wall filled floor to ceiling with suitcases that all contain all sorts of treasures. It’s even more magical to think of a man doing his best to travel with all of them always with him.

Fairies! Who doesn’t love a good story about fairies? It’s one of the most beautiful mythical creatures that brings joy to so many peoples hearts!

Tragedy. Because of everyone’s individual agendas Joshua and his fairy love are separated throughout the novel destined not to be together. It’s like Romeo and Juliet but even better because everyone is alive, but torn apart by circumstance.

Innocence. I don’t know why, but this book has this really innocent essence to it that I really enjoy. The wants and dreams are so pure and I just want to hug all the characters.

Final Thoughts:

The Book or Pearl is a really light and enjoyable novel that makes you want to dream. Seeing through the eyes of a child is probably the best way to read this pure novel. It’s a fantasy the kid in you would truly appreciate.

About the Author:

As a child…

Timothee de Fombelle was born in the heart of Paris in 1973, but often accompanied his architect father on his travels to Africa. Each summer his family left for the countryside (the west of France), where the five brothers and sisters lived like wild horses, making huts in the trees, playing in the river and losing themselves in the woods. In the evening they performed plays for their parents and devoured the books in the library. Childhood remains for him the lost paradise which he re-discovers through writing.

As an adult…

After becoming a literature teacher, Timothee taught in Paris and Vietnam before choosing the bohemian life of the theatre. Author of a dozen plays, he writes, designs, builds sets and directs the actress he admires the most, his wife Laetitia. They have a young daughter, Jeanne Elisha, who already loves climbing trees. Toby Alone is his first novel and has already been translated into 22 languages.

As an artist…

Passionate about books and theatre, Timothee has been writing since he was young. The stage has been his testing ground but it is life, with its joys and trials, which inspires his real work. A great traveller, Timothee recognises that the writing of Toby Alone has been his best journey so far.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

-Till next time!

8 thoughts on “The Book of Pearl: A Review

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