Lessons in French Hilary Reyl Reading Group Guide This reading group guide for Lessons in French includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Hilary Reyl. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.
Set against the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, Lessons in French
follows Kate, a recent Yale graduate who moves to Paris to work with renowned photographer Lydia Schell. Lydia proves an unstable tour de force who introduces Kate to the likes of Umberto Eco and Henri Cartier-Bresson while testing Kate’s patience with unpredictable work assignments. A talented artist in her own right, Kate struggles to establish her own style in both her artwork and personal life, both of which are challenged throughout the novel. As Kate’s relationships with Lydia and her family become more complicated than she ever could have anticipated, she is faced with a decision: sacrifice her burgeoning individuality for the sake of her job or sacrifice a budding career to maintain her integrity. With guidance from family and an eclectic group of confidantes, Kate rejects the Schell’s enticing but complicated bourgeoisie lifestyle in order truly to develop her art and stay tr