The Pleasing Hour by Lily King

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Lily King’s highly acclaimed, award-winning debut novel is the story of Rosie, an American au pair in Paris whose coming of age defies all our usual conceptions of naïveté and experience. Rosie is fleeing an unspeakable loss that has left her homesick for her family. As she awkwardly grasps for the words to communicate with and connect to Nicole, the cool, distant, and beautifully polished mother of the three children she cares for, Rosie’s bond with the patriarch of the household develops almost too naturally. When Lola, the middle child, begins to suspect an indecent intimacy between Rosie and her father, Rosie moves to the south of France to care for Nicole’s elderly guardian, the storyteller of the family’s secrets. There, she discovers a past darkened by war and duplicity, and finally comes to understand the tragedy behind Nicole’s elusive demeanor.

About Lily King

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Lily King's first novel, The Pleasing Hour won the Barnes & Noble Discover Award and was a New York Times Notable Book and an alternate for the PEN/Hemingway Award. Her second book, The English Teacher, was a Publishers Weekly Top Ten Book of the Year, a Chicago Tribune Best Book of the Year, and the winner of the Maine Fiction Award. Lily is the recipient of a MacDowell Fellowship and a Whiting Award. Her short fiction has appeared in literary magazines including Ploughshares and Glimmer Train, as well as in several anthologies. She lives with her family in Maine. Visit Lily's website at
Published March 22, 2010 by Grove Press. 256 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

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After Lola catches Rosie and Marc holding hands on a family trip to Spain, Rosie is sent to a small town in Provence to care for Nicole's Aunt Lucie, in her 90s.

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