My Story as an American Au Pair in the Loire Valley : French Illusions

  • by Linda Kovic-Skow
  • Narrated by Lucy Floyd
  • Series: French Illusions
  • 8 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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 becomes 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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A pleasure to listen to

Where does My Story as an American Au Pair in the Loire Valley rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I have listened to only two audio books, both of which are of excellent quality.


What did you like best about this story?

This story is told skilfully, honestly and without pretensions by the author, and is beautifully delivered by the reader.


Which character – as performed by Lucy Floyd – was your favourite?

I liked Lucy's portrayal of Linda, although her Madame Dubois was suitably stern and forbidding.


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, I didn't feel compelled to spend one whole day doing nothing else but listening to Linda's book, although my answer should not be taken as a comment on the quality or delivery of the story.


Any additional comments?

It has been a pleasure listening to the style, so easy on the ears. I will listen to this again another time.

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- Graham Higson

Wonderful to be read to. Great narrator.

The idea was to have something to listen to while I did decorating. In the end I just sat and soaked up the story. Terrific narrator, who had all the relevant accents nailed and also spoke French. She didn’t just read the book she dramatised the story which put the listener smack bang in the middle of it all.
Linda applied for the job as an Au Pair with a French family in the Loire Valley. Linda lied in her application. Applicants were required to be able to speak French. Linda didn’t.
She imagined, as a guileless twenty one year old, that all would be forgiven when she arrived from the USA at her new employers’ chateau. It wasn’t. The relationship between Linda and Madame Dubois never recovered from that first ‘tense’ encounter, probably not helped by the fact that Monsieur Dubois remained amenable throughout. I personally felt that the very pregnant Madame was feeling a little vulnerable. I started off having more sympathy with Madame Dubois than with Linda but as the story unfolded I could see how exposed young girls, who take up these types of jobs, can be. With little or no knowledge of the language, poorly paid with few rights and less means of being able to extricate yourself from the situation or return home, it was easy to see how these girls can become exploited. Linda was made of sterner stuff and when her love interest, Adam, comes onto the scene to complicate matters, events escalate. A highly recommended Audible story.
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- jill s.

Book Details

  • Release Date: 26-10-2016
  • Publisher: Dreamland Press, LLC