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DREAMING IN FRENCH-“De-Flowering Romance”

January 5, 2011

Dreaming in French

by Megan McAndrew

Scribner

$15, 316 pages

I loved the first half of this book. There is something about a Paris setting and adolescent, first love that seem perfectly matched. American readers experience the wonder of something new as the young girl does. Then her mother takes up with a Polish dissident. The parents split and we are in Warsaw with Charlotte, visiting her mother in jail. The disintegrating family and the bleak Eastern European setting again match perfectly in tone, but….

When mother and daughter return to the States, I was less thrilled. We seemed to be following characters in a story that life passes by. Granted, when Astrid, the mother, gets leukemia and the father remarries we are looking what we had experienced through a more mature perspective. But is this something readers want? We learn that desire is not the same as love, that it’s the things that we don’t understand that matter, that people require care and there is only so much of ourselves to give?

Or do we want through our imagination to re-experience that magic feeling of first falling in love?

Order his book directly from amazon for $10.20. Click: Dreaming in French: A Novel

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