Megan's Reviews > French Lessons

French Lessons by Ellen Sussman
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's review
Sep 08, 2011

liked it
Read from September 06 to 08, 2011

** spoiler alert ** French lessons is comprised of three intertwining stories, the common theme being three americains receiving the services of three French tutors. They all walk around Paris, talking in French and discussing love...

Well sort of, I think the story was trying to talk about love, but it was dressed up in a really slutty red dress. It was more about sex and lust.

It opens with the three tutors and their slightly complicated nice guy loves girl, girl dating bad boy, bad boy and nice guy good buds sort of story. Slightly cliche, but a good hook that draws you in.

The first story follows Josie and her French tutor Nico, Josie came to Paris following a personal tragedy. Her story involved an affair with an older married man and father to one of her students. It is told from Josie's point of view with little vignette type memories folded in of her love (cough...cheating bastard) and their time together.

The second story follows Riley, an ex-pat mother of two who has lost the love out of her marriage and is barely staying afloat. Possibly the only American who hates Paris and who has lived there for a year and barely speaks any French. She meets up with Phillipe, the typical french stereotype of a guy who in love with love, which is basically saying he is in love with falling in and out of different beds. Riley who has been regulary seeing Phillipe in a strictly educational role suddenly ends up in bed with him. This somehow makes her realize the truth about love, but really just reterates the fact that she is no longer in love with her husband and wants to go home. Why she needed to sleep with the slimy French guy to discover this I don't know.

The final story is by far my favorite, maybe because it didn't involve infidelity? It follows Jermey a 40 something husband of a Hollywood movie star and Chantelle the good girl who we are waiting on pins and needles to drop her loser boyfriend Phillipe and settle down with Nico already. Jermey and Chantelle's story was exponentially more complex and mature compared to the other two. It kept me on pins and needles because I was worried that Jermey would follow his sophomoric crush and sleep with Chantelle. If he had I would have scored this book much lower. Luckily his heart belonged to his wife and his day with Chantelle was more eye opening for her than him.

It ends with the tutors meeting for a celebration and sharing the days enlightenments on love. I found the story of the tutors more interesting than that of the American narrators. This was an ok book, more about lust than love and more about the tutors than the protagonists.
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