Audiobook Review: French Illusions Books 1 & 2: Linda Kovic-Skow

French Illusions Book 1

Narrated by Lucy Floyd

French Illusions: My Story as an American Au Pair in the Loire Valley is the first of two books based on my diaries from 1979 and 1980. Twenty-one-year-old Linda Kovic needs to learn a language fast in order to fulfill her dream of becoming a flight attendant, so she contracts to become an au pair for a wealthy family in the Loire Valley. In order to secure the nanny position, she lies on her application and pretends to speak French, confident she’ll be forgiven once she arrives at her destination. This book captures Linda’s real-life story inside and outside the Chateau de Montclair, detailing her challenges and triumphs as she tries to adjust to her new life with the hard-to-please Madame Dubois, her husband, and their two incomprehensible children. When Linda attends language classes at a local university, she encounters, Adam, a handsome young student, and her life with the family become more complicated, adding fuel to her internal battle for independence. Join Linda on her adventure of discovery and romance in an extraordinary part of the world.

Elsie’s Rating – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Linda wants to be a flight attendant. One problem, though, you need to be bi-lingual. What’s a girl, fluent only in English to do? Total immersion into the French language, what better way to do that then become an au pair for a French family… except Linda lies on her application stating that she’s well versed in French. Only the hubris of the young allows Linda to think she can persuade the family to take her in without some serious repercussions.

It’s very rare that someone can beat my stories of youthful guts (or naivety, take your choice). Linda Kovic-Skow does just that by flying halfway across the world to France, on a lie, and in a country where she doesn’t speak the language! Now that takes cojones!

French Illusions is a wonderful and sometimes painful memoir about the trials and tribulations of life in a foreign land, but it’s also about the kindness strangers and willingness of others to help those in need.

Lucy Floyd is engaging as the narrator and does a wonderful job in this 9-hour audiobook. To be able to speak in both languages and have the average English listener follow along with no problem, is quite a feat.

I look forward to hearing the further adventures of this rogue adventurer.

This audiobook was gifted to me in exchange for an unbiased review!

French Illusions Book 2

Linda Kovic’s story continues in From Tours to Paris – the final book in the French Illusions series based on her diaries from 1979 and 1980.

Still determined to learn French and fulfill her dream of becoming an international flight attendant, Linda puts her disastrous stint as an au pair behind her and revels in newfound freedom in the city of Tours. She finds lodging, enrolls at a French institute, and spends eight glorious days with Adam before he leaves for the holidays.

When he returns, his shocking announcement propels her in a different direction, eventually leading her to Paris.

Join Linda as she struggles with money, faces challenges at school, and learns some tough lessons about love and life.

 

Elsie’s Rating – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

From Tours to Paris is the continuation of the youthful adventures of Linda Kovic. If you haven’t listened to French Illusions Book 1 get it now! When we left off, our traveler moved from the Loire Valley to the college town of Tours to enroll in a french language course for one-quarter. All on the dime of her understanding parents!

There Linda continues her relationship with Adam. All’s not what it seems when Adam comes back from a planned trip and drops a bombshell on Linda. Devastated Linda jumps from the frying pan into the fire when she meets Michel.

I didn’t think this audiobook could top the first one, but it did! As a girl I joined the Air Force at 18-years-old, I could totally relate to all the feelings and emotions that a 21-year-old Linda experienced. I could empathize with her naivety and trust towards men in particular. Especially, if you are brought up in a sheltered environment with two loving parents. I’m sure some will say that they were never that guileless even at 21. I say good for you, but there are many more of us who were.

I also felt a strong connection, when Linda revealed a family member was bipolar. I married someone who was bipolar, and her feelings and concerns about it rang true to me. I almost felt like we lived parallel lives in some ways!

The best part is Linda Kovic-Skow didn’t leave her listeners hanging at the end and she lets us know what happened to her relationships after returning home.

Lucy Floyd once again did a wonderful job narrating this 9 plus hour audiobook. The switch between English and French was perfectly suited for all us non-french speaking listeners. The audio production was clear and the sound quality was excellent.

Thank you, Linda, for an honest and intriguing glimpse into your young adult life.

This audiobook was gifted to me in exchange for an unbiased review!

 

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