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Dreaming in French: A Novel por Megan…
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Dreaming in French: A Novel (edição 2009)

por Megan McAndrew (Autor)

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9619216,194 (3.37)5
"Charlotte Sanders a precocious American girl growing up in Paris in the late 1970s, leads a charmed life. As students at an elite international school, she and her peers study in Paris's cafes and tabacs, see movies at the Cinematheque, and experience the thrills and agonies of first love to the sounds of Serge Gainsbourg and Pink Floyd. Charlotte's father, a lawyer and quiet intellectual, devotes his spare time to Balzac and opera. Her sister, Lea, is a star equestrian. And her mother Astrid's passion for left-wing causes is equaled only by her fashion sense.". "But this idyllic childhood is turned upside down when Astrid has an affair and the family is shattered. Leaving her sister in Paris, Charlotte follows her mother to New York. There, reduced circumstances and Astrid's unwillingness to face reality force Charlotte to quickly grow up. In the shadow of her glamorous and erratic mother, Charlotte has to negotiate her own path to womanhood, eventually living through her own unhappy love affair and returning to a Europe that has been reshaped by the downfall of Communism." "At once a coming-of-age story and a meditation on cultural identity, Dreaming in French is an enchanting portrayal of the challenges of adolescence and an honest account of one girl's discovery that where we come from makes us who we are."--BOOK JACKET.… (mais)
Membro:whitefieldpl
Título:Dreaming in French: A Novel
Autores:Megan McAndrew (Autor)
Informação:Scribner (2009), 320 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
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Dreaming in French: A Novel por Megan McAndrew

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Charlotte Sanders is fifteen in 1979, living on the Rue de Seine in Paris and attending the Ecole Bilingue Colbert, a school populated by rich Americans and exiled royalty. Charlotte seems to have the perfect life: a doting, if distant father; a ravishingly fashionable mother that she adores; the requisite older sister to admire and abhor; and a boyfriend who is brooding and sexy. All that is shattered when her mother is arrested in Poland, behind the Iron Curtain, where she followed her lover, a Polish revolutionary. Charlotte is forced to choose between father and mother, and with her sister choosing their father, Charlotte cannot abandon the mother she has always adored.
Dreaming in French follows Charlotte on her road to becoming a woman, to understanding her mother and father, and to deciding what kind of person she wants to be. McAndrew writes with such confidence, this could be a memoir. Her voice is natural and charming. The characters evolve with time, delicately aging, dragging their flaws and dreams along. Major historical events are interwoven with quotidian details, evoking the decades and cities Charlotte passes through. When the book ends with Charlotte, age thirty, comfortable with her self and her life, we know the story is not over. Charlotte's life will continue; she will age and evolve as will the people and places around her, in the same way our own lives move through time. Finally, that is what Dreaming in French captures with such richness: the story of one person, different from us-- but the same too, living the life given to her. ( )
  elizabethcfelt | May 15, 2017 |
Esta crítica foi escrita no âmbito dos Primeiros Críticos do LibraryThing.
After putting off reading this book for 8 months, I finally picked it up and was captured by the writing on the first page and loved the book clear to finish. The writing was beautiful and clever. I liked the European slant given to the characters/locals as it really helped convey a sense of place very different in tone from books set primarily in the US. I liked that there wasn't a perfect American 'sealed with a bow' ending and that all the characters didn't end up all happily married and I liked the exploration of European sensibilities in regards to sex, politics, class and money. I intend to search out other books by this author. ( )
  maryolliffe | Apr 19, 2010 |
Esta crítica foi escrita no âmbito dos Primeiros Críticos do LibraryThing.
While a decent story, this was not my kind of novel. I'm glad I gave it a chance, but I'll be passing it on to someone that might enjoy it more. ( )
  sublunarie | Apr 5, 2010 |
Esta crítica foi escrita no âmbito dos Primeiros Críticos do LibraryThing.
Megan McAndrew’s Dreaming in French is the tender, funny and smart story of Charlotte, a teenage girl in 1980’s Paris, growing up against the backdrop of a rapidly changing Europe. After the divorce of her American parents, Frank a stuffy, conservative lawyer and Astrid, a bohemian free-spirit, she and her newly penurious mother move to New York where they must start over. Charlotte is forced to mature quickly in order to bring some order into a household badly mismanaged by the extravagant and impractical Astrid. But ultimately, it is a much more daunting challenge that is Charlotte’s true right of passage to womanhood.

Something about the subject matter and tone very much reminds me of the coming-of-age novels I gravitated to when I was in school. Iris Murdoch’s Flight From the Enchanter, Francoise Sagan’s Bonjour Tristesse and Nora Johnson’s The World of Henry Orient all come to mind. It has all the drama of youth with its bigger than life emotions - the yearnings, rebellions and heartaches. And every character, Astrid in particular, is colorful and affectionately rendered. It’s refreshing to read a novel where you have no sense that the author is passing judgment on her characters. She merely presents them, warts and all, through the POV of her somewhat ennuyé, but level-headed, narrator, Charlotte, and leaves it up to the reader to form his/her own opinion. As for me, I liked all of them - even a boy who seemed rather caddish at the outset, reveals redeeming qualities by the end.

While I mostly enjoyed the book, several minor, but cloying, details were a bit hard to overlook. Astrid, a svelte and fashionable sophisticate, and her sister Maybelle, an overweight polyester-clad yokel, seemed too appropriately named. Almost as if their parents knew in advance what they would grow up to be. I realize this is almost too small to mention, but obvious false notes tend to pull me out of the story somewhat. Plus, the ending is a just a bit too tidy. Although, to be fair, sometimes it’s enjoyable to get a satisfying sense of closure…even in literary fiction, which can be quite bleak.

I very much enjoyed this book. It brought me back to all my youthful aspirations about one day living a glamorous life in a cosmopolitan center like London, New York or Paris. If you're a fan of such authors as Penelope Fitzgerald, Francoise Sagan or Edna O'Brien, you'll love Dreaming in French. ( )
  blakefraina | Mar 22, 2010 |
Esta crítica foi escrita no âmbito dos Primeiros Críticos do LibraryThing.
I liked this book. It was relatable and realistic, it was funny at times and sad at times but always held my attention. I would deffinatly recomend it to friends. ( )
  djfox | Dec 28, 2009 |
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Astrid became a Marxist after it stopped being fashionable, even in France, but fashion, as she always told us, was for people without imagination.
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"Charlotte Sanders a precocious American girl growing up in Paris in the late 1970s, leads a charmed life. As students at an elite international school, she and her peers study in Paris's cafes and tabacs, see movies at the Cinematheque, and experience the thrills and agonies of first love to the sounds of Serge Gainsbourg and Pink Floyd. Charlotte's father, a lawyer and quiet intellectual, devotes his spare time to Balzac and opera. Her sister, Lea, is a star equestrian. And her mother Astrid's passion for left-wing causes is equaled only by her fashion sense.". "But this idyllic childhood is turned upside down when Astrid has an affair and the family is shattered. Leaving her sister in Paris, Charlotte follows her mother to New York. There, reduced circumstances and Astrid's unwillingness to face reality force Charlotte to quickly grow up. In the shadow of her glamorous and erratic mother, Charlotte has to negotiate her own path to womanhood, eventually living through her own unhappy love affair and returning to a Europe that has been reshaped by the downfall of Communism." "At once a coming-of-age story and a meditation on cultural identity, Dreaming in French is an enchanting portrayal of the challenges of adolescence and an honest account of one girl's discovery that where we come from makes us who we are."--BOOK JACKET.

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