liz's Reviews > French Lessons: A Memoir

French Lessons by Alice Kaplan
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May 11, 08

bookshelves: life-stories, international
Read in April, 2008

Almost like two books in one: First, a beautiful recounting of how learning French helped the author heal from the death of her father and create the person she was to become, and secondly describing an examination of how French intellectuals became enamored with Fascism. Reading about rearranging your mind to learn another language always makes me nostalgic.

I can't stand not to be in France in June, the month of my birthday and the month my father died. The smells and sounds in the air are too strong at home - the newly cut grass, the fireflies, all the sounds of his death. So every year around the same time, I start speaking to myself in French and dreaming in French, and swearing in French when I'm driving my car. Maybe this book will put a stop to it.
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