Isabel Walker has flown to Paris to offer moral support for Roxy, her pregnant stepsister. Roxy's husband, Charles-Henri, favorite son of a powerful French family, is having a love affair. Divorce seems imminent. When her entire family arrives to help with legal issues, Isabel feels intense pressure to keep everything from falling apart. And in the background, the unstable husband of Charles-Henri's lover lurks menacingly.
A resident of both the United States and France, Diane Johnson infuses this shrewd comedy of manners with keen observations about cultural differences. Narrator Suzanne Toren creates a stylish, smart, and sexy Isabel who strives to stay grounded amidst everything Paris has to offer.
©1997 Diane Johnson; (P)2006 Recorded Books LLC
"[A] delightfully urbane social tragicomedy." (Publishers Weekly)
Okay, this is not high literature. However, the story is well-paced, characters interesting, and the storyline fun. If you are a francophone or francophile, you will appreciate Johnson's view of France, from the perspective of an outsider peering in, trying to come to terms with new customs and a new language. Johnson illuminates differences in American and French attitudes toward life, love, and eating. The reader's French is also superb. It's worth the listen as sheer escapism! :-)
I loved reading this book, love Diane Johnson. But the voice in this audio version does not match the voice of the book's narrator. The story is told by a young woman, in her early 20's, from California. The voice of the audio narrator is much older, not that of a California girl and unfortunately doesn't work here.
Sadly I grew bored with this book. This author , who tries to use every single word she has ever heard in a story, and the over the top narration. The movie didn't do well but I like it. I accidentally found the book and thought I would enjoy but not so much. I could not get through it. Narrator has a great French accent and abiity to speak the language but it was all over done. When you find yourself rolling your eyes over and over you just have to say enough!
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