French Lessons by Ellen Sussman
A Novel

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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.

BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Ellen Sussman's Paradise Guest House.
 

About Ellen Sussman

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Ellen Sussman is the author of the novels French Lessons and On a Night Like This, both national bestsellers. She has two daughters and lives with her husband in Northern California.









Author Residence: Los Altos Hills, CA









Author Hometown: Trenton, NJ
 
Published July 5, 2011 by Ballantine Books. 245 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Romance, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for French Lessons

Kirkus Reviews

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Meeting regularly at a café before work, colleagues Chantal, Philippe and Nico teach private language sessions and have what might be described as a complex (or just French) relationship.

May 20 2011 | Read Full Review of French Lessons: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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Three Americans explore Paris alongside their attractive French tutors and find themselves caught up in a delightful day of desire in Sussman's second novel (after On a Night Like This), beginning wit

May 30 2011 | Read Full Review of French Lessons: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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Three Americans explore Paris alongside their attractive French tutors and find themselves caught up in a delightful day of desire in Sussman's second novel (after On a Night Like This), beginning with an emotionally fraught coffee date shared by the tutors that reveals a love-triangle that must ...

May 30 2011 | Read Full Review of French Lessons: A Novel

New York Journal of Books

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Each character is in romantic transition, and Paris—drawn here with deftness and delicacy, from the open-air markets to the multiple bars and cafes—appears to cast a spell over each of them, making them willing to love (or consider loving) the one they are with—regardless of the fact that the one...

Jul 05 2011 | Read Full Review of French Lessons: A Novel

Kirkus Reviews

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Ellen Sussman pays homage to the beloved City of Lights in her second novel French Lessons, a literary tour through the arrondissements that explores how traveling and learning a language can change both our selves and our lives.

Jul 13 2011 | Read Full Review of French Lessons: A Novel

Examiner

And Chantal, unsure of where she stands with Phillippe or Nico becomes the object of the desire of the stolid Jeremy, an American whose actress wife, Dana, is shooting a scene on a Paris bridge when the rain storm hits.

Nov 12 2011 | Read Full Review of French Lessons: A Novel

New York Journal of Books

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Each character is in romantic transition, and Paris—drawn here with deftness and delicacy, from the open-air markets to the multiple bars and cafes—appears to cast a spell over each of them, making them willing to love (or consider loving) the one they are with—regardless of the fact that the one...

Jul 05 2011 | Read Full Review of French Lessons: A Novel

Book Reporter

FRENCH LESSONS is a literary treat that will entice readers to escape through the romance of strolling the arrondissements, museums and cafés of Paris with three American students paired with three French tutors, all with secrets, sexy smiles and erotic desires.

Jul 05 2011 | Read Full Review of French Lessons: A Novel

RT Book Reviews

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Jul 06 2011 | Read Full Review of French Lessons: A Novel

Entertainment Weekly

Imagine the film Before Sunrise with three times the participants and a bit less subtlety, and you get the gist of Sussman's sexy travelogue French Lessons.

Jun 29 2011 | Read Full Review of French Lessons: A Novel

The Bookbag

Nico, Philippe and Chantal know each other, and Nico knows Josie, and Philippe knows Riley, and Chantal knows Jeremy, but Josie and Riley and Jeremy don’t know each other or anyone else.

Dec 06 2014 | Read Full Review of French Lessons: A Novel

USA Today

Those who fell in love with Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris have found a print companion.

Jul 14 2011 | Read Full Review of French Lessons: A Novel

Bookmarks Magazine

Read her review of French Lessons: If you are like me and you are stuck at home this summer, I have the perfect antidote for your summertime blues: buy a copy of Ellen Sussman’s new novel French Lessons, and get transported to Paris.

Jul 04 2011 | Read Full Review of French Lessons: A Novel

Reader Rating for French Lessons
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