Customer Reviews for

French Lessons: A Novel

Average Rating 3
( 45 )
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5 Star

(12)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(10)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(10)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

A Wonderful Novel of a day in Paris!

I enjoyed French Lessons much in the way that I enjoy independent foreign films that are slice of life vignettes. The three stories of Ex Pat Americans in Paris and one day in their lives with their French tutors blend seamelessly together and as a whole comprise the fu...
I enjoyed French Lessons much in the way that I enjoy independent foreign films that are slice of life vignettes. The three stories of Ex Pat Americans in Paris and one day in their lives with their French tutors blend seamelessly together and as a whole comprise the fullness of this novel.
The differences between the French tutors and their American counterparts imbodies the differences in the two cultures on how they view love, sex and life itself.
In reading this novel you achieve a sense of the cultural freedom enjoyed by the French and the cultural restrictions binding the Americans in how they go through their relationships. But by the end you see that for the French there are bonds in their freedom and for the Americans freedom in their bonds.

posted by AlbertG on February 19, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

12 out of 37 people found this review helpful.

Written in present tense.

After reading an excerpt online, I discover that this book is written in present tense. I go to the web page and open it. I click the excerpt button. I subsequently choose not to purchase this book.

posted by landbrary on July 2, 2011

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  • Posted July 2, 2011

    Written in present tense.

    After reading an excerpt online, I discover that this book is written in present tense. I go to the web page and open it. I click the excerpt button. I subsequently choose not to purchase this book.

    12 out of 37 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2011

    Foriegn movie in print

    This book reminded me of the artsy foriegn movies that my sister likes to take me to. While I found it "interesting" it was a bit tough to engage with the characters. While there are some good lessons embedded in the story line, I thought some of the descriptions about the main tutor characters were too stereotypical. It would not be a book I'd recommend to anyone.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 4, 2011

    I don't love books with gratuitous, descriptive sex scenes; all of the segments had vivid sex scenes which seemed too over the top, and had something been left for the imagination I feel it would have been more appropriate.

    Reading this book is a pleasant way to pass time. It revolves around three French tutors. You must keep in mind the thread that connects the three: Chantal is in love with Philippe who is in love with himself, and Nico is in love with Chantal. Will the book leave with you with insights about the world, will it make you introspective about yourself, maybe a little bit, but only if you choose to dwell on the philosophical subjects the book awakens. It could be a great book to discuss with a face to face book group if someone would want to spend the time pulling out all of the conflicting moral and ethical dilemmas the characters faced. Summing up my feelings about the book, it would be a pleasant way to spend some time without taxing the brain unless you had the inclination to think more deeply about the characters' behavior. At some point, we can all identify with at least one of the problems each of the characters experienced. Is everyone lonely? How do we deal with the illness of a parent? Are all women starved for sex or some kind of exciting affair of the heart? Are all men only too eager to oblige? Does morality or ethics ever play a role in our decisions? Do promises have to be kept? Other more serious issues are casually brought up, as well. How do we deal with the death of a loved one, a parent or a secret heartthrob? Is everyone searching for passion? How do we deal with infidelity? Have we become so jaded or lazy that marriage vows are now insignificant? Does self satisfaction rule? Would we all rather live in the moment if we could get away with it? Would we have made any of the decisions made by the characters in the book? All of the characters are running from something. All of them are playing a role in Paris and the character who is the common thread is an actress who appears in each segment. Was this by the design of the author or accidental? Each of the characters is acting a part on their own stage, never showing their true selves until a moment of truth occurs. Those are the thoughts the book aroused in me when i turned the final page. The book illuminates the lives of a lot of people who had so much to be thankful for and yet chose to think of what they were missing and thought their lives were empty or emptying slowly, people who often made foolish, impetuous decisions. Each is searching for something when they are in Paris, on the same day, and they each end up in the same place on a bridge overlooking the filming of a movie. As their lives intersect, unbeknownst to each other, do any of them find solutions to their problems or are all of these exercises in escapism simply futile? They all seem so conflicted, empty, unfulfilled and lonely. Another question to consider while reading is why are so many people today feeling so lost? The women in the story seemed love or sex starved and most of the men seemed selfish and only too happy to oblige their instincts, in most cases. Is there some sort of women's agenda hidden in the pages of this book?

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2013

    R

    Why do these rude ppl feel the need to brag that they got the book for free for their ' honest' review, then they proceed to reveal the entire storyline? Go to a blog site or the publishers web site if you want to reveal the plot line. Stop doing it here.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 19, 2012

    A Wonderful Novel of a day in Paris!

    I enjoyed French Lessons much in the way that I enjoy independent foreign films that are slice of life vignettes. The three stories of Ex Pat Americans in Paris and one day in their lives with their French tutors blend seamelessly together and as a whole comprise the fullness of this novel.
    The differences between the French tutors and their American counterparts imbodies the differences in the two cultures on how they view love, sex and life itself.
    In reading this novel you achieve a sense of the cultural freedom enjoyed by the French and the cultural restrictions binding the Americans in how they go through their relationships. But by the end you see that for the French there are bonds in their freedom and for the Americans freedom in their bonds.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 2, 2012

    I adored this book about self discovery and life in general!

    I adored this book about self discovery and life in general!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2012

    Ok

    I though it was VERY inappropriate!!!!!!!!!!!!! Omg i did like the french but not the nastie parts:) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!





    W
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    N
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    S
    S
    Forthisbook!!!!!!!!!!

    3 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great Imaginations Review of French Lessons

    There are three semi-short stories that are the main meat of this book. The stories are intertwined by the prologue and the epilogue of three french tutors. The stories involve each of the tutors and their students as they spend a day in Paris together.

    The French tutors names are Nico, Phillipe, and Chantal. Each of them have very distinct and different personalities. So do their students. I wouldn't say that the book is plot heavy. There is a plot, but it's actually not the main focus of the book. I definitely feel that it's more of a character study, as the focus is on the characters themselves, their lives and interactions.

    A few of the characters are likeable, but for the most part I found that most of them weren't and they all were extremely damaged and flawed. You would think that this would lend the story to being extremely realistic and feeling very real-life, but on the contrary I felt that the story was very far-fetched and unbelievable. This is not necessary a bad thing though, it just made the story seem more of a realistic fantasy. And I think this is what the author intended.

    It attempts to be a romantic plot but at the same time has a way of disgusting the reader in certain parts of the stories. None of the characters are happy in their current relationships you see, but by the end of their stories they have come to a revelation of some sort.

    The imagery in the book is beautiful and Paris makes a great setting for this type of story. I only wish that I knew more about Paris and it's streets and landmarks. I think it would have made the book even more magical for me.

    It's true that I don't normally read books like this. But when I entered the Goodreads Giveaway, there was something about the summary that drew me in. And I am glad that I won, because sometimes it is refreshing to read things out of your comfort zone. It helps widen the horizons. In the end, I think it was a great book, definitely interesting, but also slightly depressing. It's a fairly quick read, entertaining, and ultimately quite poetic.

    I received this ARC for review from Random House in exchange for an honest review.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 25, 2011

    Will not recommend the book. It was a book club choice and many felt like me.

    A little disapointed with the actions of some of the characters and not enough description of the street scenes in Paris. Paris should feel more alive...

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2013

    Anonymous

    Found this hard to get through. Stopped and started too many times to count. Just did not flow for me.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2013

    Appropriate? Please answer my question!

    Hey, I'm a homeschooled thirteen-year old who has read Oliver Twist, the full unabrridged Les Miserables, Jane Eyre, The Once and Future King, and most of Jane Austen's works. So I'm not a baby, and I hate to be treated like one, because I'm very mature. So is this book appropriate for me? Cause it sounds really good! I'm only checking because my mom would get upset if I read a book without her checking it out first. Thanks!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2013

    Good read

    Well written book about self discovery. A bit slow to get started but good ending.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2013

    New chatroom

    Olay first result ask for brandi

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 21, 2013

    Very easy to read and well written for this kind of book. Which

    Very easy to read and well written for this kind of book. Which for lack of a better word I can only describe as a 'womens book'. Consumed with love and romance but not cheesy and very well written for the genre. I can't help but think theres a really good book waiting to be written by this author. The talent is there and also insite into human emotion. A good easy read even for a guy!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2013

    Fantastic!

    Not at all what I expected. I purchased because it was the Nook Find of the Day for $1.99; but I am so glad I did. I figured it would be another sappy romance novel; which I don't mind reading. The author wrote a short but intense story from a day in the life of three different main characters. Each of these people have a longing in life to find 'something' and at the end of they day, they realize what it is they are looking for. Very good.

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  • Posted January 21, 2012

    Loved it!

    This book was a great, quick read that I could not put down. Really made you evaluate your romantic relationships. I loved it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2011

    Couldn't put it down

    Charaters are well writen with intersing backstories. It was sad, funny, and sexy. 5 stars

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 17, 2011

    French Lessonds

    Great read......LOVED this book

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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