Linda Kovic-Skow’s Frugal Find Under Nine:
Description of French Illusions:
“This is a wonderful debut memoir, made much more appealing because it is true. A well written, fast-paced book enhanced by sprinkles of French…”
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 Château 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.
—A. Stephenson, Amazon Reviewer
“I was a little leery thinking that it was going to read like a stuffy non-fiction but in actuality the author writes in such a way that at times I forgot it was based on her real story and not a fiction. It drew me in and I didn’t want to put it down.”
—Colletta Miller, Colletta’s Kitchen Sink
“There are few books that can make one laugh, cry, and cheer for the main character but this is one of them.”
—Fishergirl003, Amazon Reviewer
“There was a lot to like about this book. The author’s dialogue between the characters was natural and organic.”
—devour, Amazon Reviewer
“I read the book in 2 days. It kept me interested from the 1st page to the last and I can hardly wait for the sequel.”
—BonnieJ, Amazon Reviewer
French Illusions currently has an Amazon reader review rating of 4.4 stars from 24 reviews. Read the reviews here.
An excerpt from French Illusions:
Venturing Out of Songais
When my alarm sounded at 6:30, I leapt out of bed, eager for another opportunity to attend a course at the Université François-Rabelais. I wanted to make a good impression on my professors and peers, so I spent a bit more time on my appearance, brushing some blush on my cheekbones and curling my eyelashes before applying mascara. The result prompted a grin from my mirror image. Pulling on a sweater, I grabbed my purse and ran downstairs.
After I completed my usual morning routine with the children, Madame Dubois rattled off a list of chores, my pulse accelerating with concern as I listened. Has she forgotten that I’m going to Tours today?
“Wash up the dishes in the sink, change the sheets on my bed, and sweep the entranceway.”
“I have to catch the ten o’clock train, or I’ll be late for my class,” I reminded her.
“Well then, you had better get started.”
Rushing out the door an hour later, mumbling angry words, I half-jogged the road to Songais and barely arrived at the train in time.
Oooh . . . she makes me so mad!
Out of breath, I boarded the coach and found a place to sit down. Unclenching my jaw, stretching my neck right, and then left, I willed myself to relax. I was determined not to let Madame Dubois ruin my day.
As the train pulled out of Tours, the attendant, a young man about my age, sauntered down the aisle, his gaze darting back and forth as he identified new passengers. I watched him, admiring his masculine features, until he reached me. Our eyes locked, his sky blue on my moss green, and my stomach lurched.
“Vous visitez Songais?” he asked.
“Non, je suis arrivée récemment,” I said handing him my rail pass. No, I arrived recently.
He glanced at my document and leaned in closer. So close, in fact, that I smelled his cologne, musk with a hint of citrus. “Linda . . . d’où êtes-vous?” Where are you from?
“Je viens des Etats-Unis.”
He smiled and my heart fluttered. “Enchanté,” he said, and added, “Je m’appelle Renaud.”
“Enchantée,” I responded, feeling tongue-tied.
Renaud tried out his English. “How long you visiting?”
“Many months,” I muttered.
“It is wonderful!” he exclaimed, and heads turned to look at us. I felt the heat rush to my cheeks. “I go now, Linda, but I hope to see you again.”
Picking up his pace, he moved down the aisle and exited into the next coach. A few of the passengers glared at me, but I ignored them. I had enjoyed my interchange with Renaud and felt flattered to receive so much attention from such an attractive Frenchman. From now on, my rides to and from Tours might be the highlight of my day.
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