THE SUITORS by Cecile David-Weill
This is the story of two sisters who are flabbergasted to hear that their parents have plans to sell their summer home, L'Agapanthe. The house is a place of charm, elegance and above all, good manners; where the relationship between the two sisters has blossomed. Neither is willing to give up the summer retreat and all it represents, so they hatch a plan to find a wealthy suitor who can afford to purchase the estate. Unfortunately, the suitors are not all they're cracked up to be...
I loved this story. Maybe it was the very French elegance of it, the astutely observant main character, Laure, or perhaps it was the suitors themselves, totally unaware of their place in the sisters' plot and failing miserably to hold up their end of the bargain. Either way, I loved it. It was like stepping into an entirely different world, the world of the fabulously wealthy, where manners and codes of conduct rule the day. I have to admit (not that I was planning to argue), the French really do have style and elegance down pat. You really must pick it up, if just to feel the sensation of that world.
The writing is sublime, even the typeface of the book is elegant. And the story is charming and sympathetic, despite how different most of us are from the main characters and their charmed existence. And who hasn't felt the panic of change, the longing to hold onto things just the way they are? Read it, and come back and tell me what you think!