French Lessons by Ellen Sussman

The only thing that lasts is love, even when it’s gone. Three French tutors meet at a small café that spills out onto the sunny Parisian backstreet of Rue du Paradis. Nico, Philippe and Chantal meet here every Wednesday morning, before leading their students along the grand boulevards, winding alleyways and sweetly perfumed jardins of the city of lights. But today’s lesson will be very different – and none of them are remotely prepared. Josie arrives in Paris desperate, alone, and hopeful that this trip might mend her broken heart. Ex-pat Riley is a long way from home and drifting further and further away from her husband. Could Philippe provide the distraction she craves – and can she gain the courage to break free? Jeremy is the dutiful husband of his famous actress wife. While she is busy filming on the banks of the Seine, he is content playing second fiddle. Until he meets Chantal… In the haze of a Paris summer, long-buried secrets rise to the surface and relationships are challenged. Can the lessons learned in one day change all of their tomorrows?

French Lessons follows three french tutors as they embark on a day of one on one tutoring with their American students in Paris.

Nico meets Josie a woman who is grieving for a love that she can’t own up to and hiding from a life full of secrets.

Philippe meets Riley, who to the outside world has it all, the successful husband, two children and the beautiful city of Paris on her doorstep.
But in reality every morning Riley wakes up feeling lonely in a life that she thought was full of possibilities.

Chantal meets Jeremy, a happily married man who finds that Paris not only tests his language skills but his feelings towards his wife and life as well.

The book starts by describing the love triangle that the tutors find themselves in, before it breaks away into three separate stories, one for each of them.

The chemistry amongst the characters is felt so strongly within this story, that I couldn’t imagine it being set in any other city, the romance and heartfelt emotion of French Lessons suits Paris perfectly.

With such beautifully written characters and idyllic descriptions of Paris I found that even when I wasn’t reading it my thoughts strayed to what might happen next.
And by the end of the book I was full of empathy for all of them and the paths they found themselves on, in what’s said to be one of the most romantic cities of the world.

I would highly recommend this book and can honestly say its the loveliest book I’ve read this year, we should all get ‘French Lessons’



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