The Pleasing Hour

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Grove/Atlantic, Inc., Mar 22, 2010 - Fiction - 256 pages
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Lily King’s highly acclaimed, award-winning debut novel is the story of Rosie, an American au pair in Paris whose coming of age defies all our usual conceptions of na´vetÚ and experience. Rosie is fleeing an unspeakable loss that has left her homesick for her family. As she awkwardly grasps for the words to communicate with and connect to Nicole, the cool, distant, and beautifully polished mother of the three children she cares for, Rosie’s bond with the patriarch of the household develops almost too naturally. When Lola, the middle child, begins to suspect an indecent intimacy between Rosie and her father, Rosie moves to the south of France to care for Nicole’s elderly guardian, the storyteller of the family’s secrets. There, she discovers a past darkened by war and duplicity, and finally comes to understand the tragedy behind Nicole’s elusive demeanor.

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User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

An intriguing but fractured debut about a downhearted American au pair's year in France: it's intended as a retreat from pain but instead brings her awareness of the painful burdens others must bear ... Read full review

The pleasing hour: a novel

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

YA-Only gradually do readers learn why Rosie, an 18-year-old American, has been caring for the three Tivot children on their family houseboat. Raised by an older sister now happily married but ... Read full review

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About the author (2010)

Lily King studied at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Syracuse University, where she won the Raymond Carver Prize for fiction. A MacDowell Colony fellow, her stories have appeared in Ploughshares and Glimmer Train. King is also the recipient of a 2000 Whiting Writers' Award.

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