CHRISTMAS LESSONS by Janine Boissard

CHRISTMAS LESSONS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Further laffable, luvable adventures of the Moreau girls (A Matter of Feeling)--in another bunny-slipper Gallic soap, with upbeat trimmings. Middle daughter Pauline, writer-in-the-bud, narrates, leading off with a cow-in-the-garden episode to exhibit the family: often bewildered but charming and supportive Daddy the Doctor; generally sensible Mother; horse-loving Bernadette, whose fiancÉ is in the army; CÉcile, ""the Pest,"" who's twelve; and eldest, languid daughter Claire, ""the Princess."" Soon Claire takes center-stage--winding up in the hospital after helping an old lady fend off subway punks. Worse yet, the Princess reveals that she's pregnant. The father? Californian Jeremy, whom Claire does not love. Will she keep the baby? Well, as soon as everyone calls it ""the baby"" there's no question. But what about young doctor Antoine--so conservative--who's obviously in love with Claire, not knowing about the""baby,""? And what about the fact that Pauline loves Antoine? Never fear. All problems will find glowing solutions during the Christmas holidays, which the Moreaus spend in the Burgundy home of charming and wise Grandmother--along with sporty octogenarian Uncle Alexis, lively social worker Aunt Nicole, boisterous Uncle Adrien, and his sour wife Philippa (who gets her come-uppance). Amid festive rituals, you see, family togetherness settles in like a fragrant cloud--with meals by housekeeper Henriette. Francophile gourmets will be stirred by Henriette's Pike Montrachet (cognac-flamed, creamed, garlicked and onioned), her turkey with celery root purÉe, and all of those truffles. And while the sit-corn/soap goings-on (there's also a starving reform-school escapee and new love for Pauline) are more Oeuf McMuffin than cordon bleu, they're cozily likable fluff for easygoing readers with a Gallic bent.

Pub Date: Sept. 17th, 1984
Publisher: Little, Brown