Disclosure: I received an ARC of this book from Amazon’s Vine program in exchange for an honest review.
French Lessons: A Novel by Ellen Sussman
From the back of the book: ” 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 not just about language but also about love and loss as their lives intersect in surprising ways.”
What I liked about this book: Not much. I really wanted to like the book. It got off to a good start, but fizzled. The book is basically three shorts stories. The first one, about Josie and Nico was the best of the three. In fact I rather liked this story. I felt that the author spent more time developing these characters and their story. I actually cared about these two and wanted to know more about them.
What I didn’t like about the book: As a reader, I felt that the stories surrounding the other two French tutors were just the author’s attempt to turn a short story into a novel. It’s as though when she finished writing about Josie and Nico she through in some other words and characters just to fill space. I found Phillipe/Riley and Chantal/Jeremy to be flat and rather boring. It made it difficult to finish the book. In fact, had I not committed to writing a review, I would not have finished this book. I also did not like the ending. It was rather abrupt and really didn’t provide an real resolution to the story.
As Dorothy Parker would say: “This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.”