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The Suitors Audiobook, by Cécile David-Weill Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Cécile David-Weill Narrator: Kate Reading Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2013 ISBN: 9781481594080
2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 2.00 (63 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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A present-day comedy of manners that serves as an insightful look at the lives of those in the upper classes

After sisters Laure and Marie learn of their parents’ plan to sell the family’s summer retreat, L’Agapanthe, they devise a scheme for attracting a wealthy suitor who can afford to purchase the estate. Selling it would mean more than just losing a place to go during the summer: for the sisters, it’s become a necessary part of their character, their lifestyle, and their past.

L’Agapanthe, a place of charm and nostalgia, is the perfect venue to exercise proper etiquette and intellect, though not all its visitors are socially savvy—especially when it’s a matter of understanding the relationship between old money and the nouveau riche. The comedy of manners begins, with stock traders, yogis, fashion designers, models, swindlers, the Mafia, and a number of celebrity guests.

Laure—the witty, disarming, and poignant narrator—guides the listener through elegant dinners, midnight swims in the bay, and conversations about current events, literature, art, and cinema. The Suitors is an amusing insider’s look at the codes, manners, and morals of French high society.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A charming peek behind the curtain of French high society as only the ultimate insider can. Cécile David-Weill’s novel is a delicious romp and I loved reading it!”

    Ina Garten, star of Barefoot Contessa and #1 New York Times bestselling author

  • “Cécile David-Weill’s delightful novel of manners is a witty mix of wisdom and tongue-in-cheek humor touched with a decadent zest of Frenchiness. Irrésistible!”

    Tatiana de Rosnay, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Laure is disarming and witty, and serves as a charming guide who takes us inside the world of the very rich—and the no longer so.”

    Newsweek/Daily Beast

  • “What Downton Abbey would be like it it were set in the South of France during our current century…Pick up this smart novel de charme immediately.”

  • “A lighthearted comedy of manners set in one of the fanciest spots of the French Riviera…The Suitors sets out to be a farce and a frolic, but throughout there is an undertone of nostalgia and wistfulness for a disappearing way of life.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “The idea of this ‘behind closed doors’ among the ultrarich is excellent and merciless in its charms…We can imagine seeing the film, and the realization is brilliant: it’s Vanity Fair meets Rules of the Game. You laugh a lot, you try to guess who is who, and you learn useful things.”

    Le Point

  • “[A] delightful rendering of L’Agapanthe, an old French family’s summer estate on Cap d’Antibes dedicated to the art of gracious living…David-Weill draws readers in as graciously as any good hostess, but because of her personal background—she comes from an old-monied French family who vacation on Cap d’Antibes—readers may wonder if this is a roman à clef and will likely try to play a who’s who guessing game.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Ah, L'Agapanthe, that beauteous summer home in the south of France where wealth is without question and the discreet, proper manners of another era predominate. Laure and Marie have summered there since childhood with their parents, Flokie and Edmond Ettinguer, enjoying carefully arranged weekends (no journalists) that are so legendary new guests need not be given the address…Deceptively charming and delightful, this novel by the French American David-Weill portrays class issues and changing mores with the kind of intelligent taste that would make the Ettinguers proud.”

    Library Journal

  • “Combining a sociologist’s eye for class nuances with wit as dry and sparkling as the best Champagne, Cécile David-Weill has drawn a meticulously observed, wickedly funny portrait of the 0.001 percent…The result is a sharply perceptive and addictively amusing insider’s look at today’s super rich—a direct heir to Edith Wharton’s and Marcel Proust’s portrayals of an earlier Gilded Age, and destined for a classic status all its own.”

    Caroline Weber, author of Queen of Fashion: What Marie-Antoinette Wore to the Revolution

  • “A deliciously intimate look at the hijinks of the tres, tres rich on the Cote d’Azur. I laughed on every page, but don’t be fooled. The Suitors is above all a meditation on the inevitability of change.”

    Patricia Volk, author of Stuffed and Shocked: My Mother, Schiaparelli, and Me

  • “Cécile David-Weill gives readers an insider’s tour of the French upper classes frolicking in a grand villa on the Cote d’Azur…Beneath the hilarious portrayal of intellectuals, film stars, and the aristocratic elite is the poignant story of two sisters caught in the nostalgic longing for their childhood summers and a precious way of life. Like those sweet French macaroon cookies, this is a novel you will delight in until the very last page.”

    Katharine Davis, author of Capturing Paris

  • “An entertaining and beautifully observed glimpse into the rarefied lives of the French one percent. Imagine Downton Abbey transported to a chic house in modern day south of France.”

    Ivana Lowell, author of Why Not Say What Happened?

  • “A charming comedy of manners set at a country estate in the South of France, apparently one of the few places in the world where anyone still has enough manners to make a comedy about.”

    Andrew Solomon, American writer on politics and culture

Listener Reviews

Write a Review
  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Beth | 11/25/2013

    " So boring!!! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jojobooks | 11/1/2013

    " Note to self...don't read a book just because it says it will win over anyone who loves Downton Abbey. Main character is such a bitchy-bitch. No thank you! Could have been a delightful summer pick. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sharon | 9/9/2013

    " This is a well-written book in which nothing much happens, so if you like plot-driven novels, don't bother. If you want a look into the world of inherited wealth in France and their codes and manners, then this is a book for you. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Charles | 9/2/2013

    " Virginia Woolf, Marcel Proust, Edith Wharton, and Upstairs Downstairs. A "novel of manners" with seating charts and menus...and recipes. I loved it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Debby | 8/17/2013

    " A great little read - Downton Abbey meets modern day French summer home. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linda | 8/17/2013

    " Entertaining, good, not great. I expected more. If I had been French the names mentioned may have been more recognizable. Seemed like a great idea, the power of place on one's memory, but it just never went deep enough for me. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Morgan | 6/27/2013

    " I kept waiting for the humor and satire, but it just read straight like a classist (and occasionally Anti-Semitic) snob's travel diary. Patrick Bateman was more charming. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sharon | 6/1/2013

    " Its on everyone's to read list this spring, so I expected more. Was o.k. for a long car ride! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susan | 5/2/2013

    " An amusing inside look at the life of old, old money (verses the nouveau riche),their invisible rules, manners, and codes, and how that way of life is nearly gone. A modern day "Downton Abbey". "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Donna | 5/1/2013

    " hate hate hated this hateful book "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bryn | 4/30/2013

    " Well written but terribly boring. If you'd like to know, in great detail, what the French upper class eats for every meal and does for every minute while they're on summer vacation at their "grande maison" then this one is for you. As for me, I prefer a little bit of plot in my novel. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Stephanie | 4/28/2013

    " This was some seriously trite crap. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ellen | 3/1/2013

    " A charming light read, especially if you like reading menus; the action occurs during meals. A bit boring, but soothing right before bed. "

About the Author

Cécile David-Weill is French and American. She began her career in publishing at the prestigious Éditions Gallimard before taking over editorial directorship of Éditions Balland and then setting up her own publishing company, Éditions Cavatines. She published her first novel, Béguin, under the name of Cécile de la Baume, which was released in an English translation titled Crush. She is also the author of Femme de and a regular contributor to the online French news magazine Le Point, with a column titled Letters from New York. She was born in New York, where she currently lives.

About the Narrator

Kate Reading has recorded hundreds of audiobooks across many genres, over a thirty year plus career. Audie Awards: The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter (mystery), Breasts (non-fiction), Bellwether (fiction), and Words of Radiance (fantasy), co-narrated with her husband, Michael Kramer. Among other awards, she has been recognized with: the ALA Booklist best of 2019 for Bowlaway (fiction), AudioFile Magazine Voice of the Century, Earphones Awards, Narrator of the Year, Best Voice in Science Fiction and Fantasy, and Publisher’s Weekly’s Listen-Up Award. She records at her home studio, Madison Productions, Inc., in Maryland.