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Extended Audio Sample French Lessons: A Novel, by Ellen Sussman Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,947 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ellen Sussman Narrator: Kathe Mazur Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • [A] luscious novel of love and longing . . . the narrative feelslight as a glass of rosé at an outdoor café, but its insightscarry the richness of a Burgundy. People  (four stars)
  • [A] sexy travelogue . . . sizzling escapist reading. Entertainment Weekly
  • As inviting as the smell of freshly baked croissants wafting from a Parisian café, this is a novel to savor. Ann Packer, author of The Dive from Clausen’s Pier
  • Touching, thoughtful, hilarious, and exquisite in its observations, French Lessons—Ellen Sussman’s day in Paris with a wonderful collection of characters—is a treat. . . . Très charmant! Meg Waite Clayton, author of The Four Ms. Bradwells
  • Charming, romantic, and brimming with Sussman’s trademark joie de vivre, French Lessons is a novel to savor. Amanda Eyre Ward, author of Close Your Eyes
  • What a delicious read! With sexual tension that crackles on the page, I truly couldn't put down this literary page-turner. Book clubs: bust out your calendars. This novel's going on your list. Lolly Winston, author of Good Grief
  • Elegant and evocative...Sussman has created wonderful characters who take us through the city as they discover hidden places, including those in their own hearts. Luanne Rice
  • In French Lessons, Ellen Sussman has created an erotic, emotionally charged novel spanning two continents.  The intriguing cast of characters, whose lives are intertwined by a common love for the world's most beautiful language, make delicious reading from the first page to the last. Michelle Richmond
  • [An] evocative escape to the City of Love. Kirkus
  • 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… Sussman keeps things fresh with a strong supporting cast and some unexpected insights into the characters' pasts, embracing a soupçon of mystery to go with the scenic strolls and flights of passion. Publishers Weekly
  • My favorite novels succeed in delivering life's best pleasures: making a new friend (the unexpected delight in encountering a sensibility both sly and sweet), being handed a surprise vacation (the joy of an exotic and stunning landscape), and, most exciting of all, finding oneself in the thrall of an intoxicating flirtation.  French Lessons is just such a book. Antonya Nelson

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Scott | 1/29/2014

    " First to be hoenst, I did not peersonally read this book all the way through, I did give it to my mother that did soemwhat enjoy it, but did not like how it seemed to end many stories thoughout the book. It was interesting, and couldprovide for a great story. Look forward to seeing other books by Ellen Sussman. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Helen | 1/2/2014

    " This probably could have been a really good book. But I was constantly distracted from the story by the use of the f-word by all of the characters. It wasn't occasionally used but it seemed to be attached to any comment they made. It was a bit of a stretch for me to believe ALL of the people use this word ALL of the time. Sad. I finally gave up about a quarter of the way through when I realized there would be no let up. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Lulu | 12/21/2013

    " Excellent! One of the best books I have read in a while. The story takes place in Paris during one day of the lives of three French tutors and their American students. Susssman does a good job of intertwining the stories of the students, (a married man, a married woman and a single high school French teacher), although the Americans never meet. Highly recommended. Read it in one day. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Kristi | 12/15/2013

    " Nice, light and possibly R-rated (but tasteful) read about three Americans in Paris and the tutors they become involved with. It takes place in the course of a single day and the author cleverly revisits the same events from different characters' perspectives. I read it on an airplane and enjoyed the escapist fantasy. I actually think I might like it even better as a movie along the lines of "Love, Actually." "

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