- 2017 Book Excellence Award Finalist: Contemporary Fiction
Boulevard Beauséjour is a funny and touching novel of preconceptions and misconceptions with serious undertones set in Paris and a Chateau in the Loire Valley.
Alice and Andy Harris are a young professional American couple recently arrived in Paris. Alice has taken up a new post as the ‘in-house’ philosopher for an international think tank and Andy is unemployed supposedly looking for a change in direction from his previous work as a well respected, hip, slick and cool art critic. As they maneuver their way around Paris individually and together they encounter new people and come up against hilarious culture clashes.
They may have changed country, but their old lives are ever present in the background influencing their actions. Nearly every day Andy goes to a nearby brasserie, La Rotonde, where the management keeps his computer locked away overnight. He generally arrives in time for breakfast and often remains there for the entire day, apart from when he leaves after lunch and plays poker. Alice, although unfailingly positive and supportive of her husband, is ultimately sorely tested.
Two French people take an over attentive interest in the Harris’. One is Alice’s boss, Henri, who is forever trying to charm an unaware Alice into his arms and the other is their aristocratic - and psychic - landlady, Brigitte, who has fallen on hard times.
Observant and kind Brigitte, supported by her bloodhound Romeo and Tarot cards, endeavors to launch Andy on a money-making venture in the Loire Valley. Her enthusiasm is picked up by Alice but rather than helping Andy, the project creates further difficulties when he comes face to face with certain paintings at a chateau in the Loire. The chateau proves, however, to be far more promising for both Brigitte and Romeo.
The arrival of Alice’s exuberant parents from the mid-west on their first visit to Europe poses more problems and tests the assumptions of many who meet them. Somewhat perplexed by their daughter and son-in-law’s lifestyle they, at first, attempt to join in and play along.
Running alongside the central plot are a number of subplots that criss-cross and interact causing both frustration and relief. The only calming and consistently positive influence is the hairdresser, Patrick Rolland, who is always on hand to provide assistance and solutions from his salon.
Boulevard Beauséjour is comic and sharply observed and at the same time unafraid to illuminate a difficult issue while delighting in a flourishing romance between two people who believed such feelings were in their pasts.
The work is itself a cross-cultural collaboration between two authors: Jane Foster, an award-winning American novelist, and Anne Yelland, a Brit living in Paris.
Related collections and offers
|Publisher:||Green Dragon Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.51(d)|
About the Author
Foster currently divides her time between Florida and France.
Anne Yelland has spent the first half of her life so far in London and the second half living in and around Paris, France. A Psychology graduate and teacher of English as a Foreign language, her early work in copywriting, public relations and government communications opened her eyes to the endless possibilities of writing fiction. Yelland met Foster in a writers' group in Paris and this is her first book.