Unabridged Chick

I'm Audra, a 30-something married lesbian. I love interesting heroines, gorgeous prose, place as character, and the occasional werewolf.
French Lessons - Ellen Sussman This delightful book is my kind of beach read: fabulous urban location (Paris!), seemingly uncomplicated characters who actually have great depth, lovely language, and heady discussions of love and loss written in an accessible and deft way.Initially, I thought I wasn't going to dig this book since infidelity was clearly going to be a theme of the novel but I found Sussman's writing and characters had depth and complicated back stories (presented in a clear, light, moving way). Even if my puritanical self was initially resistant to feeling sympathy for Josie, the American teacher mourning in Paris after losing her married lover, Sussman provoked me into caring for her as her lovelorn language tutor, Nico, found things to empathize and admire in her. Every character in this novel felt immediately familiar and yet did something to surprise me, and I literally inhaled this novel in hours.Based on Sussman's previous books, it's obvious she likes sex and the frisson of desire, and she's unabashed about that in these three stories. It might be a little too graphic for some readers, but I didn't mind: it moved the plot, felt appropriate to the story and characters, and was sexy and sad in equal part which made it all the more poignant (to me).I went to sleep thinking of this book and woke up wanting to read it, and that's the sign of a totally great read. I was apprehensive that the three couples and their vignettes wouldn't come together for a satisfying conclusion but Sussman pulled one together that was just what I wanted. Highly recommended for anyone who wants a summertime armchair escape.