Emily's Reviews > French Lessons

French Lessons by Ellen Sussman
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Jul 31, 11

bookshelves: first-reads, romance
Read from July 30 to 31, 2011

This was an ARC that I won from goodreads - thanks so much!

This was a compilation of 3 stories set in Paris. Three people/friends/lovers employed as private French tutors and their American students enjoy the sights and sensuality of Paris.

The first story tells us of a young woman who was a French tutor in the US who comes to Paris after her married lover dies. She meets her tutor, Nico, who is a romantic, pining sort of guy. They trade secrets and thoughts of love. Although her story is sad, I found her a little hard to get into as a character. I also found it hard to really like Nico. He was a bit too ineffectual.

The second story is sbout Riley, an American expat who has given up her life in the US to become a stay at home mom to her two kids. Like most of us would probably be, she is constantly overwhelmed by trying to take care of her household, young children, and increasing distant husband. The fact that she doesn't speak French well and gave up a successful career in the US makes her feel like she is drowning. Her tutor, Phillipe, is the wrong kind of person and she knows this. However, she has reached her breaking point with her life. I sympathized with her and enjoyed this story.

The last story is very sweet. Chantal, the French tutor, is suffereing from a crush on her married student. Her heart has been slowly breaking due to her boyfriend's infidelities. Jeremy is the perfect person to offset that. He is considerate, cultured, and married to a beautiful, successful, sexy American actress. He feels the attraction as well, but recognizes that he feels and immense love for his wife. He ruminates on their relationship and the possiblity of a dalliance with Chantal through the story. They are both easy characters to like and understand.

In the end, this is a very easy read with good story lines. I thought the scenes were set so well, I could really visualize the surroundings - even though I have never been to Paris. The characters were as well developed as they could be in short stories. I liked to book and would defintiely recommend it to lovers of Paris and contemporary romance.
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