Graduating from Yale, moving to Paris to work with a famous photojournalist, falling in love, life seems to be falling into place for Kate in Hilary Reyl’s new novel Lessons in French.
While Kate’s visual artistic talent is in drawing and painting rather than photography, she is excited to work with Lydia Schell – a world famous photojournalist who has been on the scene of some of the world’s great events, and she is there again, this time in Berlin to capture the fall of the Wall. Kate moves to Lydia’s home in Paris to work as her personal assistant, but quickly becomes interconnected with Lydia’s eccentric, and sometimes downright cruel, family. Kate’s lessons range from family dynamics, to love, to her own morals as the Schell family makes her question everything she thought she knew about herself.
Photojournalists, Paris – yes this book had it all for me. I often found myself frustrated with Kate and the situations she allowed herself to get into, but not in a way that made me put down the book. I appreciated that this book was not a fluffy, sunshine coming of age book, it carried with it some of the clouds that Paris had the last time I was there (seriously 5 days and a little rain nearly every day!?!?). And while I wasn’t always happy with Kate or her choices, she made me care enough about her that I would definitely love to read more about her life and her choices in the 90s and beyond.
*I won this book from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.*