Thursday 20 September 2012

French Lessons by Ellen Sussman

Summary from Goodreads

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.

Paperback, 242 pages
Published July 5th 2012 by Canvas (first published July 5th 2011) 

My Review 
French Lessons is simply wonderful, a real delight! Paris is known as the city of love and I'll admit I have a bit of a soppy soft spot for all things Paris myself! This novel for me was an escape, one that I so desperately needed, I was transported to Paris alongside the characters and what a fabulous time I had. French Lessons had me daydreaming about spending some time in the city and I was sighing in longing at the delights that the characters experienced. I think this is written brilliantly, very cleverly, having 3 separate stories in Paris but the beginning and the end of the stories are intertwined. The descriptors are the best part of the book, they are rich, vibrant and brought to life wonderfully by Ellen Sussman, who I expect had the pleasure of experiencing this beautiful city for herself!

French Lessons is 3 stories of a day in the life's of 3 French tutors, these 3 tutors, Nico, Philippe and Chantal know each other quite well. The days lessons turn out to be very different indeed and what a pleasure it is to read about the 3 entirely different tales. Nico takes the grieving Josie out for her lesson, she is visiting the city hoping to try and get over her heartache. Philippe takes Riley, who desperately craves the attention she is not getting at home, her marriage is going downhill and she is exhausted looking after 2 young kids, she wants more but will she find the courage to walk away? Chantal has to tutor the husband of a famous actor, Jeremy feels like he comes second in his wife's successful lifestyle, but will he be content to stay 2nd best...

Well there are plenty of lessons to be had and not just in the french speaking department, lots of life lessons will be discovered and realised for both the tutors and the students. I loved the ending and I really was thrilled with how everything turned out. I would urge everyone to give French Lessons a go, if you are in need of a little escapism yourself then this is definitely the book for you! 
*Special thanks to Canvas for the review copy*

4/5 Stars



  1. Brilliant review! This sounds fantastic, another one for me to look out for :)

  2. Great review, Carly! I picked this one up a couple of months ago and I really liked it - I was shocked with how much I enjoyed it actually. Your review has certainly done it justice!

    Steph @ SOOTP

  3. I haven't heard of this one and I certainly love all things Paris, especially after reading Anna and the French Kiss...I really need an escape book right now. Thanks for the recommendation, sweet girl!

  4. This sounds wonderful and I knew just from the cover and title that this was something I wanted to read so I am glad it lived up to your expectations! I like the sound of the 3 different stories and can't wait to find out what happens to them all :)


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