The Suitors: Book summary and reviews of The Suitors by Cecile David-Weill

The Suitors

By Cecile David-Weill

The Suitors
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2013,
    432 pages.

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Book Summary

A comedy of manners that serves as an insightful look at the lives of those in the upper classes.
 
After two sisters, Laure and Marie, learn of their parents' plan to sell the family's summer retreat, L'Agapanthe, they devise a scheme for attracting a wealthy suitor who can afford to purchase the estate. Selling it would mean more than just losing a place to go during the summer - for the sisters, it's become a necessary part of their character, their lifestyle, and their past.
 
L'Agapanthe, a place of charm and nostalgia, is the perfect venue to exercise proper etiquette and intellect, though not all its visitors are socially savvy, especially when it's a matter of understanding the relationships between old money and the nouveau riche. The comedy of manners begins: with stock traders, yogis, fashion designers, models, swindlers, the Mafia, and a number of celebrity guests.
 
Laure - the witty, disarming, and poignant narrator - guides the reader through elegant dinners, midnight swims in the bay, and conversations about current events, literature, art, and cinema. The Suitors is an amusing insider's look at the codes, manners, and morals of French high society.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"David-Weill draws readers in as graciously as any good hostess, but because of her personal background - she comes from an old-monied French family who vacation on Cap d'Antibes - readers may wonder if this is a roman à clef and will likely try to play a who's who guessing game." - Publishers Weekly

"Deceptively charming and delightful, this novel by the French American David-Weill (Crush) portrays class issues and changing mores with the kind of intelligent taste that would make the Ettinguers proud." - Library Journal

"The idea of this 'behind closed doors' among the ultra-rich is excellent and merciless in its charms…we can imagine seeing the film, and the realization is brilliant: it's Vanity Fair meets Rules of the Game. You laugh a lot, you try to guess who is who, and you learn useful things." - Le Point

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Cécile David-Weill is French and American. She published her first novel, Beguin (Grasset, 1996) under the name of Cécile de la Baume, which was released in an English translation, Crush (Grove, 1997). She is also the author of Femme de (Grasset, 2002). The Suitors is her third novel. Cécile is also a regular contributor to the online French news magazine Le Point, with a column entitled "Letters from New York." She was born in New York, where she currently lives.

Linda Coverdale has translated more than sixty books. A Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, she won the 2004 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the 2006 Scott Moncrieff Prize, and the 1997 and 2008 French-American Foundation Translation Prize. She was a finalist for the 2008 French-American Foundation Translation Prize for Life Laid Bare (Other Press, 2007).

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