Liza Perrat, author of Spirit of Lost Angels, Wolfsangel and Blood Rose Angel
What we thought: French Illusions: My Story as an American Au Pair in the Loire Valley is the first of two memoirs based on the diary entries of the author, Linda Kovic-Skow. Back in 1979, when she was 21, Linda yearned to become a flight attendant. But this required speaking a second language, so she chose to learn French by becoming an au pair to a wealthy French family living in a château in the beautiful Loire Valley. Thrown in at the deep end, without knowing any French, Linda struggled to adapt to her new environment, not to mention certain difficult members of the family. And when she signed up for French classes at the university, and met another student, the handsome Adam, her life became even more complicated.
As an Australian living in France, I completely identified with the author’s predicament. Arriving here to take up with the Frenchman I’d met on holiday in Thailand, without a word of the lingo, I too floundered with the language, customs and traditions, yet immensely enjoyed the food, wine and history.
I felt I was reading the author’s diary entries a she was writing them, and as I accompanied Linda on her adventures and romances, I found myself sympathizing with her problems, and celebrating her triumphs.
By the end of the first book I felt I had truly come to know the author as a person; as she was then––a young girl struggling to find her way in a foreign country. Keen for more, I immediately purchased French Illusions Book 2, from Tours to Paris; which I also loved.
Highly personal and entertaining, as well as informational, I would recommend these stories for Francophiles and young girls thinking of becoming au pairs in France, or any foreign country for that matter.
You’ll enjoy this if you like: non-fiction travel tales.
Avoid if you don’t like: intimate personal memoirs.
Ideal accompaniments: cheese lathered on a hunk of baguette, accompanied by a chilled glass of dry French white.
Available from Amazon