Release date: October 3, 2012
at Dreamland Press
About French Illusions:My Story as an American Au Pair in the Loire Valley
French Illusions: My Story as an American Au Pair in the Loire Valley, is the first of two books based on the author’s diaries.
It’s 1979 and Linda needs to learn a language fast in order to fulfill her dream of becoming a flight attendant. Broke yet determined, she chooses French immersion and contracts to become an au pair for a wealthy family in the Loire Valley. Yielding to poor judgment, she lies on her application and claims to speak basic French, confident she’ll be forgiven once she arrives at the Château de Montclair.
As she struggles to adapt to her challenging new environment with the hard-to-please Madame Dubois and her two incomprehensible children, Linda signs up and attends language classes at the local university. When she encounters Adam, a handsome young student, her life becomes more complicated—much 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.
I never realized how vulnerable an au pair is until I read Linda’s story. You travel to a foreign country, most likely unfamiliar, you have no idea what the family employing you is like except for what you’ve discovered through minimal correspondence via paper and phone and of course the contract which needs to be crystal clear as we gather from Linda’s woes. You are completely at your patrons mercy unless you have financial freedom and alternate housing, employment arranged. Pretty scary, rewarding if all goes well.
Linda’s story was interesting, I’m sorry it didn’t turn out as planned. She certainly handled herself well and was far more patient and tolerant than I would have been. Despite not being fluent in French and embellishing her fluency to Madame Dubois, doesn’t excuse Madame’s horrible behavior and treatment. The way things ended could have put Linda in danger, luckily this wasn’t the case. Madame Dubois issue with Linda’s personal life during her off hours was ridiculous. In my opinion a few of the tasks requested of Linda were a bit much, Madame was clearly taking advantage of Linda and her white lie.
I am happy Linda moved forward and enjoyed her stay in France once out of the clutches of virulent Madame. Linda found love, friends and became more comfortable with the language making leaps and bounds. Thankfully she encountered many kind people lending a hand.
I wasn’t a fan of the ending, clearly leaving the reader hanging only to have resolve in the sequel. Not a fan when authors do this.
A story of one young womans experience as an au pair as she finds her place in the world, stumbles upon love and enjoys meandering through France. A great story for those curious about life as an au pair or those considering.
About Linda Kovic-Skow
Linda Kovic-Skow is a best-selling author in travel in France.
Originally from Seattle, she currently winters in Gilbert, Arizona
and spends summers on a boat in the Pacific Northwest Waters
of Washington and British Columbia.
She earned an Associate Degree in Medical Assisting in 1978
from North Seattle Community College
and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration
from Seattle University in 1985. She has been married for 30 years and has two daughters.
An enthusiastic traveler, Linda also enjoys hiking, boating, gardening and socializing with friends. French Illusions: My Story as an American Au Pair in the Loire Valley, was her debut memoir. The sequel, French Illusions: From Tours to Paris, recounts the rest of her adventure in France.
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