By Ellen Sussman
$15.00, Ballentine Books
GoodReads synopsis: 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.
The following warning duly posted: this book contains graphic sex scenes.
There, with that out of the way, I really liked this story. It's an engaging premise - having the entire story unfold over the course of one day, and that's what attracted me to Ellen Sussman's French Lessons to start with. What kept me reading was the well drawn characters. With only the happenings of a day, Sussman beautifully and sensitively managed to evoke the feelings of these students and their tutors in short order.
I thought the story moved quickly and easily, Sussman really did a fine job of weaving the three stories together. Don't get me wrong, the characters are not fully developed or exposed to the reader, but I don't see that as a negative point. You can only tell so much about six people in one day. But oh what a day Sussman has given us!
French Lessons is a delight, what a great look into a day in Paris!
I liked French Lessons a lot, it's not for everyone,,,, and that's OK. I'm looking forward to reading more from Ellen Sussman.
I give it 4 out of 5 stars!
A review copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher, in exchange for a fair and honest review.