In the summer of 1979, twenty-one-year-old Linda Kovic contracts to become an au pair for an aristocratic French family in the Loire Valley. To secure the position, she pretends to speak the language, fully aware her deception will be discovered once she arrives at her destination.
Based on the author’s diary, French Illusions captures Linda’s fascinating and often challenging real life story inside and outside the Chateau de Montclair. Her compelling story details her challenges and triumphs as she tries to adjust to her new life with Madame and Monsieur Dubois and their children. Join Linda on her unforgettable adventure of discovery and romance in an extraordinary part of the world.
This is the eighteenth book I read from my post Credit Where Credit’s Due. I read about French Illusions: My Story as an American Au Pair in the Loire Valley by Linda Kovic-Skow from Ionia at Readful Things Blog. You can read her thoughts on the book here.
This book is the memoir of Linda Kovic-Skow’s time as an American au pair in France.
Although i was curious to read this book, i had my hesitations on whether i would like it because of the deception that gives her the opportunity to be an au pair. I wondered how this would be received not only at the beginning but for the duration of her stay. Although i understood why she did it in the first place, i was disappointed in how she handled herself from that point onwards.
I found it really hard to like Linda. I found her to be a bit of a selfish, spoiled brat. I thought her expectations were way off and her attitude wasn’t in the right place. I couldn’t relate to her and so because of all that, i couldn’t sympathise with her situation. Obviously i felt that Madame was out of line, however so was Linda. The rest of the family and acquaintances were in their parts likeable and not.
The romantic aspects in the book had my eyes rolling in my head. I couldn’t believe that this was actually a true story. Without trying to be rude, it read like a tween’s fantasy diary.
What kept me reading then? The descriptions of the French countryside, the French food, the French architecture. Basically the French parts of the story were a wonderful read.
By the end of the book i did feel truly sorry for Linda and the way she was treated – it was completely wrong. However it didn’t reconcile her to myself.
Overall i was quite disappointed in this book and would only recommend it if you like stories along the line of a teenage summer romance with A LOT of challenges in it.