Debut author Ellen Sussman tells the tale of three French tutors: Nico the romantic, Phillippe the dreamer and Chantal the scorned lover. The book is split into three parts and tells the story of each tutor and their pupil, beginning with Nico who is paired with Josie – arrived in Paris to heal her broken heart. Phillippe is charged with Riley, who is lonely and living in the city with her businessman husband and two small children, and doesn’t speak a word of French. Finally it is Chantal who takes on Jeremy, the husband of a successful movie star who is filming in the city; everybody sees her but nobody sees the invisible husband – except, that is, Chantal.
It’s an interesting read that sometimes feels like a travel guide – the knowledge and descriptions of the Parisian streets are so well written it is easy to completely escape. The three separate stories simultaneously and heart-warmingly wind up in the same place from different perspectives. A book that paints a beautiful picture of the city of romance, French Lessons is the perfect fireside read.