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Dreaming in French
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Dreaming in French

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  413 Ratings  ·  73 Reviews
A compelling and poignant coming-of-age story about a sharply observant American girl’s young adulthood in Paris and New York set against the backdrop of Europe’s most turbulent decade—for readers of Curtis Sittenfeld, Diane Johnson, and Lorrie Moore.

For Charlotte Sanders, a precocious and privileged fifteen-year-old American girl growing up in Paris in the late 1970s, lif
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Scribner (first published August 21st 2009)
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I had fun with this. Completely escapist and engrossing/distracting. But the title is lame, it's at times over-written, and it takes too long to come to an end (even though I liked finding out what happened to everyone).

I read this in about 25 hours. That is, I started it at night, read it all the next day, and into the midnight hours of the next day--so really in just about a day.

"It was the last time for many years that we all acted the way we felt."
Blake Fraina
Jul 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Megan McAndrew’s Dreaming in French is the tender, funny and smart story of Charlotte, a teenage girl in 1980’s Paris, growing up against the backdrop of a rapidly changing Europe. After the divorce of her American parents, Frank a stuffy, conservative lawyer and Astrid, a bohemian free-spirit, she and her newly penurious mother move to New York where they must start over. Charlotte is forced to mature quickly in order to bring some order into a household badly mismanaged by the extravagant and ...more
Sep 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
When I started reading Megan McAndrew's newest novel, Dreaming in French, I thought, "Man, I want this girl's life." It's the late 1970s, and Charlotte Sanders is a fifteen-year-old American living in an upscale Paris neighborhood with her sixteen-year-old sister Lea and their expatriate parents. The publisher blurb describes Charlotte as "precocious," and I can't think of a much better adjective. She is highly aware of her surroundings, the way people react, the way society functions. She's at ...more
Jul 04, 2011 rated it it was ok
I wish I could give books half stars, I would have given this book 2.5 stars.

This book kept me reading, but I could have stopped reading at any time. The beginning of this book reminded me a lot of 'Are you there God? It's me Margret". It was a compelling coming of age story (and I guess the whole book is as Charlotte starts off as a young girl of 15 {who can't wait for her 'monthlies' to start} and ends with her at 30).

The book doesn't leave you feeling any sort of hope of her attaining happin
Nov 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
McAndrew's novel detailing the complicated story of a multi-generational expat family is pure and enticing. Her language throughout is compelling in its compact yet layered nature. The protagonist Charlotte blossoms from her days as a curious lycée student in Paris to her much later days as a risk-taking journalist on the front lines of Eastern European events in the 80's. At times I felt a bit stifled by her perspective as she remained vraiment straightforward in her descriptions of the elabora ...more
Mar 13, 2010 rated it it was ok
This book promised a lot, but did not deliver for me. I was not touched by the problems of rich Americans in Paris, by their boredom and lack of direction. The coming of age story is nothing new - the girl from the divorced family, living between two worlds. The only difference was that she always had enough of financial support, the best private education and a many choices to choose from. I did not feel sorry for her or her family. Somehow even if some characters had a lot of potential they di ...more
Apr 06, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always get sucked into books by the cute covers. This story was okay- not something I'd say I couldn't put down, but better than some of the others I've read recently. There was nothing too heavy, yet that said, I often found myself wondering if there was a point to the story itself at all. The plot line was not really intriguing, and I kept waiting for something bigger to occur but it never did.
Dec 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Definitely not your usual chick-lit..I would say it is riled with feminism through and through. Never thought a YA novel would impress me the way it did after all those years of abandoning the genre altogether. For a rare and ordinary title, this is very extraordinary.
I wish I could remember who recommended this book to me, because I enjoyed it so much and I want to thank whoever it was! I'll never get enough of coming-of-age stories. this one takes place in the 70s and early 80s in paris and New York and reminded me very much of The Adults, which I also loved.
May 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always appreciate an author who can create characters that defy labels... no one is always good, no one is always bad. People are complex and relationship complicated. Just the way it is...
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Megan Mcandrew grew up in France, Spain, and Belgium, and has worked in Warsaw, Poland, as a representative for the Financial Services Volunteer Corps. She is a graduate of Brown University and the Yale School of Management. Megan lives in New York with her eleven-year-old son.

More about Megan McAndrew...