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Lessons in French by Hilary Reyl

Lessons in French (edition 2013)

by Hilary Reyl

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11244107,804 (2.91)14
Title:Lessons in French
Authors:Hilary Reyl
Info:Simon & Schuster (2013), Advance Uncorrected Proof, 340 pages. ( Simon & Schuster's First Hard Cover Edition to be published, March 2013).
Collections:Read, Early Reviewer's via LibraryThing.com
Tags:Paris, coming of age

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Lessons In French by Hilary Reyl



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I love Paris and was looking forward to reading a book about Paris. I was disappointed to find out that this was a book about a naive young girl who went to Paris to work for a very strange family and was faced with all kinds of obstacles that she didn't know how to handle. There was very little about Paris and way too much about the family. I didn't really like any of the characters in the book and had to force myself to finish it. Very disappointing. ( )
  susan0316 | Dec 7, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is a wonderful story of European travel. I frankly had a hard time getting hooked, but once I did, I enjoyed the descriptions and the characters.
  kitkeller | Oct 29, 2013 |
This is a different sort of coming of age book. It's 1989--Kate has just completed her undergraduate degree at Yale and arrives in Paris to be an underpaid and unappreciated gopher for an American photographer who is documenting unfolding world events: the collapse of the Berlin wall and the riots against Salman Rushdie. Along the way, Kate learns to deal with her employer's weird family while deciding what her values are. She also confronts memories of living in Paris as a child.

Ms. Reyl is a good storyteller: I found myself caring about Kate and wanted to see how she decided to resolve her conflicts. However, with the exception of Kate, her characters are rather one dimensional. She also didn't do much with the time period in which she set her story. The collapse of the Berlin wall seemed to be an after thought. Still, I enjoyed the book--it took me away to France and reminded me of the hopes and self-searching I did when I graduated. ( )
  meacoleman | Aug 18, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I had a hard time getting into "Lessons in French". I think it was mostly because of the characters. They were either flat and unbelievable, or just plain unlikable. The story took too long to really get into and I found myself bored and having to force myself to keep reading.
  hellonicole | Aug 13, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Mediocre at best. The main character, Kate, was way too naive and pliable to be believable. The other characters were not likable. Much of the story revolved around Kate's romance with Olivier, her employer's daughter's ex boyfriend, but that relationship never seemed real. It was not convincingly written. Kate tells the reader that she loves Olivier, but we never really see evidence or reason for a true bond between them.
Likewise, I was never sure why Kate loved the other characters - Clarence, Claudia, etc. - so much. I didn't get the appeal. I think the author was trying to establish a link between Clarence and Kate's father in Kate's mind, but it was unconvincing. That last scene with Clarence and Kate at the end was just weird and pathetic. ( )
  ReadHanded | Jul 15, 2013 |
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It's 1989, the Berlin Wall is coming down, and Kate has just graduated from Yale, eager to pursue her dreams as a fledgling painter. When she receives a job offer to work as the assistant to Lydia Schell, a famous American photographer in Paris, she immediately accepts. Kate may speak fluent French, but she arrives at the Schell household in the fashionable Sixth Arrondissement both dazzled and wildly impressionable. She finds herself surrounded by a seductive cast of characters, including the bright, pretentious Schells, with whom she boards, and their assortment of famous friends; Kate's own flamboyant cousin; a fellow Yalie who seems to have it all figured out; and a bande of independently wealthy young men with royal lineage. As Kate rediscovers Paris and her roots there, while trying to fit into Lydia's glamorous and complicated family, she begins to question the kindness of the people to whom she is so drawn as well as her own motives for wanting them to love her.… (more)

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