on Tour December 14-18 with
French Illusions: My Story as an American Au Pair in the Loire Valley(Memoir, narrative non-fiction) Release date: October 3, 2012 at Dreamland Press 275 pages ISBN: 978-0988464018 Website | Goodreads
SYNOPSISFrench Illusions: My Story as an American Au Pair in the Loire Valley, is the first of two books based on the author’s diaries. It’s 1979 and Linda needs to learn a language fast in order to fulfill her dream of becoming a flight attendant. Broke yet determined, she chooses French immersion and contracts to become an au pair for a wealthy family in the Loire Valley. Yielding to poor judgment, she lies on her application and claims to speak basic French, confident she’ll be forgiven once she arrives at the Château de Montclair. As she struggles to adapt to her challenging new environment with the hard-to-please Madame Dubois and her two incomprehensible children, Linda signs up and attends language classes at the local university. When she encounters Adam, a handsome young student, her life becomes more complicated—much more complicated—adding fuel to her internal battle for independence. Join Linda on her adventure of discovery and romance in an extraordinary part of the world.
I always wanted to visit this region of France so charming and with this book I was able to do it at least virtually. The descriptions were so vivid and the story so compelling that really seemed to be there with Linda. I visited with her the vineyards in search of the best wine to serve at the table, I tried the typical products to the markets and I lived in a castle really fantastic.
Linda wants to change jobs but needs to learn another foreign language. She chooses French and discovers that the best and cheapest way to learn it, is to spend a year in France working in a family as an au pair. She has found the ideal family but to be assumed is forced to lie, claiming to speak French well. Her hope is that her new employers understand why she lied and forgive her. But Dubois family doesn't approve her choice and assume her just because they really need a baby sitter. But try to make life very complicated for Linda, her free time is really small and the demands of her mistress increasingly absurd. Every now she's really so homesick: she is alone, thousands of kilometers away from home, must handle two children who speak a language other than her own and has to suffer the abuse of their mother. But everything changes when she meets Adam. Will she go home or will remain living in France?
It 's a very well written novel, alternating funny stories to a bit more sad ones. The story is never boring and I really loved every single page. Linda is a simple girl, funny, impulsive and it is easy to identify with her. I enjoyed cooking with her and learn some recipes typical of France. This novel is perfect for watching the daily life of a wealthy French family: its customs, its habits, its culture. The castle where they live is wonderful and I imagined Linda sitting at her desk writing in her diary looking at the beautiful landscape that can be seen from her window. Although the life of Linda was not really easy, in certain moments I much envied her.
There should be read and I can not wait to know what happened to Linda after she left the family Dubois.