French Lessons

French Lessons

by Ellen Sussman
3.2 48

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Overview

French Lessons by Ellen Sussman

A single day in Paris changes the lives of three Americans as they each set off to explore the city with a French tutor, learning about language, love, and loss as their lives intersect in surprising ways.

Josie, Riley, and Jeremy have come to the City of Light for different reasons: Josie, a young high school teacher, arrives in hopes of healing a broken heart. Riley, a spirited but lonely expat housewife, struggles to feel connected to her husband and her new country. And Jeremy, the reserved husband of a renowned actress, is accompanying his wife on a film shoot, yet he feels distant from her world.

As they meet with their tutors—Josie with Nico, a sensitive poet; Riley with Phillippe, a shameless flirt; and Jeremy with the consummately beautiful Chantal—each succumbs to unexpected passion and unpredictable adventures. Yet as they traverse Paris’s grand boulevards and intimate, winding streets, they uncover surprising secrets about one another—and come to understand long-buried truths about themselves.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345522771
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/05/2011
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 793,938
Product dimensions: 5.21(w) x 8.02(h) x 0.67(d)

About the Author

Ellen Sussman is the author of the novel On a Night Like This. She lived in Paris for five years and now lives with her husband in Northern California.

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French Lessons 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 48 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
AlbertG More than 1 year ago
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.
Lifeducks More than 1 year ago
I adored this book about self discovery and life in general!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
thewanderingjew More than 1 year ago
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?
smg5775 More than 1 year ago
Character studies of 3 French tutors and their American students. Nico wants to save Josie. Phillippe wants to bed Riley. Chantal isn't sure what she wants. I liked these stories. All of them take place on one day when a film is being filmed in Paris and each story ends with the filming. None of the stories has the ending I thought it would have. Both the tutors and the students have to take their pasts and make peace with them and then decide how to handle the future. The solutions I think were the best ones in each situation. They also seemed clearer for the Americans. I would read her again. She has an interesting style of telling the story. I was never bored. I was always trying to figure out what would happen.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought this was entertaining and cute. A few sweet stories. Not something that will stick in my memory for a long time, but a quick, enjoyable read. Great for the summer, probably!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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 More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written book about self discovery. A bit slow to get started but good ending.
thinkingaboutit More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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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