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Extended Audio Sample French Lessons: A Novel Audiobook, 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: July 2011 ISBN: 9780307932280
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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 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 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 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 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." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lauren Margolin | 12/3/2013

    " this is a fun sexy, romp through Paris and the stories of 3 French tutors. i found the story engaging and the characters so perfectly flawed they were just like so many of us. no deep reading here folks, just a light look at love and longing in Paris. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mikayla | 11/29/2013

    " This was a good book. Every so often it was heartbreaking. I would read it again but it probably is not on my top favorite books list. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wendy Sievers | 10/25/2013

    " I think I loved this book because of its setting - Paris. The characters take walking tours of some of my favorite places, so it was easy to feel a part of the atmosphere. It's a very easy read and just a lot of fun if you want to remember what it's like on the streets of Paris. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jo Keefe | 10/8/2013

    " What a wonderful story, i felt like i was in Paris.. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kris | 10/6/2013

    " Just a fun read, that's all. If you've ever been to Paris (where I was when I bought and started reading this book) you'll really enjoy the references to all of the places around the city. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Daisy Chain Books | 9/22/2013

    " A fun romp through Paris with emphasis on the word romp! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Dena | 9/13/2013

    " Can't believe this got onto a best seller list. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leslie | 8/4/2013

    " A fun read. Not too deep, but enjoyed the characters, Paris and the issues the characters were dealing with. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sasha | 6/1/2013

    " a good book, would recommend "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sunbern | 12/28/2012

    " Loved this little book of interwoven vignettes involving 3 French tutors in Paris. Nothing deep, just good story-telling with interesting characters grappling with the meaning of love in all its forms. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Armando | 12/2/2012

    " the three stories are great, I enjoyed the description of the city and reminded me of places I had already been. the ending was al ittle disapointing because it just left you there whitout knowing what really happens. great recomendation if you are traveling to Paris. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ellie | 11/17/2012

    " The book was about three French tutors who know each other. While each tutor has his own story in the book, they really could have been three separate books. I think each story leaves you hanging for closure. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy Moon | 10/11/2012

    " Okay. More interesting than some beach reads but definitely a beach read. Had higher hopes. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leasalois | 5/10/2012

    " Entertaining, a quick read, lots of sex. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Talli Roland | 5/9/2012

    " Not quite what I was expecting (my fault, for not reading the blurb!), but still an engaging read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joanne | 3/11/2012

    " Should be 3.5 stars. A good fun quick read. Take it to the beach! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carmen | 2/28/2012

    " Quick read, kept my attention, but nothing special. I'm not a big fan of quick flings and cheating. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marlena | 11/30/2011

    " Three tutors of a company which provides French lessons to Americans in Paris both learn from and teach the ones they are assigned to tutor. Was not sure I'd like it, but I did. Fairly quick read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Evelyn | 10/1/2011

    " High end chic lit pure and simple. Perfect vacation/summer reading. Sweet story, one day in Paris, happy ending. What could be better? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Spacedaisie | 7/5/2011

    " It would have gotten five stars, but the last vignette was somehow less-than the previous two. Less urgent, maybe? Maybe it was the male protagonist I didn't adore (!) as much as the female protagonists. Still, an engaging and transporting read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kate | 6/24/2011

    " I received this book as a part of First Reads on Goodreads. It's a nice, intertwining tale about three French tutors and their relationships with their students and each other, told over the course of a day. It's definitely a good option for a beach read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mindee | 6/21/2011

    " Somewhat enjoyable, light read. The story is split into 3 different stories, following 3 french tutors. I felt no connection to the characters. Since the novel is split into 3 I think the author did not develop the characters enough. "

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About the Narrator

Kathe Mazur has narrated many audiobooks, winning the prestigious Audie Award for best narration in 2014, being named a finalist for the Audie Award in 2013 and 2015, and winning seven AudioFile Earphones Awards. As an actress, she can be seen as DDA Hobbs on The Closer and in the upcoming Major Crimes. She has worked extensively in film, theater, and television, including appearances on Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, House, Brothers and Sisters, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, ER, Monk, and many others.