Bitter Almonds by Laurence Cosse

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...detailed descriptions of the reading lessons overwhelm the short novel and leave little room for the characters or their relationship to develop.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

Edith can hardly believe it when she learns that Fadila, her sixty-year-old housemaid, is completely illiterate. How can a person living in Paris in the third millennium possibly survive without knowing how to read or write? How does she catch a bus, or pay a bill, or withdraw money from the bank? Why it's unacceptable! She thus decides to become Fadila’s French teacher. But teaching something as complex as reading and writing to an adult is rather more challenging that she thought. Their lessons are short, difficult, and tiring. Yet, during these lessons, the oh-so-Parisian Edith and Fadila, an immigrant from Morocco, begin to understand one other as never before, and from this understanding will blossom a surprising and delightful friendship. Édith will enter into contact with a way of life utterly unfamiliar to her, one that is unforgiving at times, but joyful and dignified.

Translated by Alison Anderson (The Elegance of the Hedgehog, A Novel Bookstore, The Most Beautiful Book in the World)
 

About Laurence Cosse

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Laurence Cossé worked as a journalist before devoting herself entirely to fiction. She is the author of A Novel Bookstore and An Accident in August. She lives in France. Alison Anderson's translations for Europa Editions include novels by Sélim Nassib, Amélie Nothomb and Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt. She is the translator of Muriel Barbery's novel The Elegance of the Hedgehog, a New York Times bestseller.
 
Published April 2, 2013 by Europa Editions. 176 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Bitter Almonds
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

Publishers Weekly

Below average
on Apr 29 2013

...detailed descriptions of the reading lessons overwhelm the short novel and leave little room for the characters or their relationship to develop.

Read Full Review of Bitter Almonds | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

NY Journal of Books

Good
Reviewed by Rhonda Sturtz on Apr 02 2013

“Beautifully written and translated from the French, Bitter Almonds should be required reading . . .”

Read Full Review of Bitter Almonds | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

Reader Rating for Bitter Almonds
50%

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