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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Review: French Lessons by Ellen Sussman

Publisher: Ballantine Books
ISBN: 034552277X
Pages: 256 pages
Genre: Fiction
Challenges-100+ Reading Challenge, Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge
Buy this Book: Amazonclip_image001_thumb_thumb, Powell's, Indiebound clip_image0013_thumb_thumbclip_image0014_thumb_thumb

Summary from publisher:
A single day in Paris changes the lives of three Americans as they each set off to explore the city with a French tutor, learning about language, love, and loss as their lives intersect in surprising ways.
Josie, Riley, and Jeremy have come to the City of Light for different reasons: Josie, a young high school teacher, arrives in hopes of healing a broken heart. Riley, a spirited but lonely expat housewife, struggles to feel connected to her husband and her new country. And Jeremy, the reserved husband of a renowned actress, is accompanying his wife on a film shoot, yet he feels distant from her world.
As they meet with their tutors—Josie with Nico, a sensitive poet; Riley with Phillippe, a shameless flirt; and Jeremy with the consummately beautiful Chantal—each succumbs to unexpected passion and unpredictable adventures. Yet as they traverse Paris’s grand boulevards and intimate, winding streets, they uncover surprising secrets about one another—and come to understand long-buried truths about themselves.
My Review:

I read French Lessons in one sitting. Usually that can mean one of two things. (1) I loved the book and (2) I got so frustrated with the book that I had to know how it ended right then. This one was a mixture of the two.

I loved the way this story was told. Each tutor is paired with a student and both the student and the tutors go through a journey both together and as individuals. I really liked that there was real growth in the characters. The characters ended up in a much different place than where they began. But I do have to be honest, I didn’t like most of them. They were all so flawed and damaged. I know that shouldn’t make me dislike them but sometimes, I just couldn’t understand them. I was, however, happy to see some growth in them at the end of the book.

I am usually fascinated by books that take me out of my comfort zone in both subject, genre or location. This one definitely did location-wise. I love books about Paris. The language was amazingly descriptive and it really have me a feel for France even though I have never left the country. I also did love the format very much. Each student/tutor gets a day and during that day we learn about their lives, their issues and their journey.


*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review.   My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies   made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the  blog.


  1. I'm waiting for this one. I've been intrigued by it and anxious to read it. I appreciate your honest review!
    2 Kids and Tired Books

  2. I love the idea of each student and tutor getting their own say in the story.

    Thanks for being on the tour!



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