ELLEN SUSSMAN / French Lessons
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.
“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
Ellen Sussman is the author of the novel On a Night Like This, which was a San Francisco Chronicle bestseller. She is the editor of two anthologies, Bad Girls: 26 Writers Misbehave, a New York Times Editors' Choice and San Francisco Chronicle bestseller, and Dirty Words: A Literary Encyclopedia of Sex. She has published numerous essays and short stories. Ellen teaches creative writing in both private classes and through Stanford Continuing Studies.