Critique de Livre

The Stranded in Provence Mysteries by: Susan Kiernan-Lewis


    “Ever wonder what you’d do if someone pushed the reset button on the world?

    The Stranded in the Provence Mysteries tell the story of an American woman on vacation in the south of France when the unthinkable happens.  After a dirty bomb explodes over the Riviera she finds herself stranded in a French village where daily life is essentially sent reeling back to the 1950s.  

    So now forget solving crimes with DNA or accessing massive criminal databases.  Likewise forget worrying about international terrorism, because that’s now gone too.  But you can also forget spending hours on your smartphone, tablet, computer or even TV set.

    On the other hand, the bistros are still open, the produce and cheese markets still run every morning, bicycles dominate the wide avenues instead of cars, and for a budding amateur sleuth and now permanent ex-pat, any murder she stumbles across will have to be solved the old-fashion way- with brain power and shoe leather.  

    Oh, and it turns out that romance still works the same as before too.”

                                Amazon: About This Book.


    Reading this book reminded me of all the reasons why I enjoy France and the way of life in France.  From the markets, to the cafés, to the people, it brought me back to my days of living in France.  It is also comical to see daily life through the eyes of an American who knows no French and very little about French culture.  The book is an easy read that brings to light many of the French traditions and customs we are familiar with but are new for the central character.  Great summer read.    



Weekend in Paris

Written by:

Robin Sisman



Weekend in Paris is a delightfully whimsical novel about a young woman who goes to Paris for the first time and has an unforgettable experience, one that changes her life forever.

Molly Clearwater is a young secretary who lives in London. She is a dedicated hard-working person who has been given the chance for a free work weekend in Paris, a city which she has never visited. Molly is very excited to embark on this journey until she realizes that her boss, Malcom has something else in mind besides work.

Disappointed by her realization, and ready to abandon the opportunity, she makes a sudden decision to go to Paris on her own, with no set plans, reservations or people to meet.  Filled with anticipation, she boards the train for Paris, not telling anyone that she is going, not even her mother!

Upon her arrival in Paris, Molly meets a myriad of interesting people that transform her reality into a colorful, exciting series of events, far from the conservative, uneventful life that she lives in London. Molly meets Alicia, a young Australian woman who works for Zabi, a clothing store owner. In a blink of an eye, Alicia and Zabi complete an amazing makeover. Using fashionable clothing from Zabi’s shop, the young women prepare Molly for the likes of Parisian nightlife. The result is a far cry from her conservative work wardrobe look.

Her experience in Paris is comparable to none. She meets the first love of her life, Fabrice, with whom she rides via his motorcycle, to a plethora of Parisian sites, meant for the first-time visitor. Using flowery and detailed description, the reader is transported through their own memories to the very places that Molly visits, brought to life through the sights and smells of Paris.

While attempting to manage this whirlwind experience, an unforeseen turn of events puts Molly in a predicament, one that leads to the meeting of an unsuspected character. This person, whom she meets among the beauty of the Luxembourg Gardens, is someone that she never dreamed of meeting, but who has an impact on her future.

For anyone who has spent time in the city of lights, Weekend in Paris, is a novel that will intrigue and entice, as it draws the reader through a journey of their own personal memories, while recounting the adventures of a young woman venturing out on her own.


Le Film Francais

Time to Enjoy Your Summer!

    By Denise Mahns and Sarah Woodward-Jones, Fayetteville-Manlius Schools

After a challenging crazy school year, SUMMER is finally here and it’s time to grab a snack, a drink and ENJOY some awesome TV or movies!  Luckily for us, there are some excellent streaming options out there to watch some French films and TV shows.  The following recommendations are not necessarily appropriate for class use, but they are an entertaining way to keep up your French this summer.

    Enjoy some short films available for streaming courtesy of the Manlius Art Cinema!  During the pandemic, in an effort to help closed small cinemas, an initiative from Kino Marquee is offering virtual streaming of different films.  Although many theaters have reopened their doors, the virtual streaming options are still available.  For a fee of $10, which benefits the Manlius Arts Cinema,  you may purchase a virtual “ticket” which is a streaming link available for 5 days from the purchase date to view the film.  One such option is called “New French Shorts 2021.”  It is a collection of seven short films including favorites from the Cannes and Sundance film festivals, the César awards and even the Oscar-nominated short film entitled “Genius Loci.” Who knows?  You may even find something to enhance your curriculum while enjoying yourself! See this link for ticket information and more information about the films :

    Another viewing option for French teachers comes to us from Netflix, whose original series Dix Pour Cent (Call My Agent) is available here in the US.  With your Netflix subscription, you are in for a treat!  The series features a number of cameos from favorite French vedettes as we watch often hilarious stories unfold between actors and their agents, not to mention all the drama within the company itself!  There are currently four seasons in the series.  A fifth is in development, as well as a potential movie-length episode set in New York.  Enjoy hours of well-written, funny stories that will transport you into the world of show business.


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December Film: Joyeux Noel


Here's a link to watch Joyeux Noël for free with ads:


For a description of the film please visit:

Are you looking for a good movie to show in class or as a French Club activity?  Tired of your tried-and-true classics?  Consider these films which have been featured at the AATF of CNY's annual French Film Night (English titles are in parentheses):

La Grande Séduction (Seducing Doctor Lewis)
Maurice Richard (The Rocket)
Bienvenue chez les ch'tis (Welcome to the Sticks)
Le Chat du rabbin (The Rabbi's Cat)
Entre les murs (The Class)
La Famille Bélier
Les Vacances du Petit Nicolas (Nicholas on Holiday)
Comme un chef (Le Chef)
and coming in Spring 2019... Henri Henri
If you are considering showing any of these films, feel free to e-mail Denise Mahns ( for a copy of the hand-out with comprehension activities provided to film night attendees.




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© Kimberley E. Harter