I honestly cannot believe that August is over already. This just floated by in the blink of an eye. I didn’t do too much reading this month. I spent a good deal of my focus on children’s picture books and easy readers for my other blog Library Crossing. I was also quite oddly music obsessed this month, cycling through the same three cds over and over again. I find it an interesting overlap of how some of the most ardent music fans are avid readers, and vice versa. Music and literature are not exclusive as one would think.
READ & REVIEWED
1. French Lessons by Ellen Sussman
2. Parisians by Grahan Robb
3. The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson
4. Ms. Hempel Chronicles by Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum
5. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
READ & UNREVIEWED
Sin in the Second City by Karen Abbott
The Slayer Chronicles: First Kill by Heather Brewer
Maman’s Homesick Pie by Donia Bijan
French Women for All Seasons: Mirelle Guiliano
Phoenix: Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
Walk The Moon: I Want! I Want!
French Lessons by Ellen Sussman
Format: AudioCD – 6 discs Random House Audio, 2011
Publisher: Ballantine Books, 2011
Three French tutors spend a day with their American students, sight-seeing and rediscovering what it means to be in love.
The story is told through the perspective of the three American students, each in France for their own reasons for their despair and frustration with their lives. Josie is the first narrator. She is in France grieving for the loss of her love, the father of one of French class students in the Bay Area. She spends the day with her tutor, Nico, trying to forget the reasons for her sadness. The second narrator, Riley, is a frustrated housewife living in France with her husband and two children. Feeling friendless and alone, Riley is frustrated with all things French, especially her tutor Francois. The third narrator is Jeremy, the husband of a famous American actress filming a movie in Paris. He develops a crush on his tutor, Chantal, and begins to question his love for his wife.
Within each of the three sexually charged narratives, there are questions of happiness, love, romance, home, infidelity, and feelings of belonging. All of these issues are brought up to light through the sexuality and sexual interactions of the characters. All six characters think about sex, love, sex and more sex. Although the stories were well paced, I found Riley’s character to be the most annoying and obnoxious of the set. I’m not exactly sure what it is, but something about this novel felt off. At times the dialog felt unrealistic, overly floral and descriptive. Kathe Mazur reads the book and times the French accent sounded more Middle Eastern then French. I think I would have enjoyed the text format of this book over the audio-cd, but there are a number of holds on both formats my library, and the audio-cd had fewer holds.
Find this book at your local library
Book 38 of 2011