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Left bank

By: Muir, Kate, 1964-.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: London : Headline/Review, 2006Description: 309 pages ; 24 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9780755326969; 0755326962.Subject(s): Nannies -- France -- Fiction | Celebrities -- France -- Fiction | Married people -- Fiction | Nannies -- Fiction | Family relations -- Fiction | Paris (France) -- FictionGenre/Form: Domestic fiction. | General fiction.Subject: "Enter the world of Olivier and Madison Malin, the glittering inhabitants of Paris's most exclusive neighbourhood, the Left Bank. The Malins' life together with their daughter is the stuff of dreams - and carefully-selected celebrity magazines. Madison is an American film star: her beauty, talent and perfect accent hiding her Texan roots, and the fact she's just turned forty (although that actually happened several years ago). Her husband, Olivier, is the darling of the sophisticated Left Bank: philosopher, gourmand and media personality, he craves adoration (and is a little too willing to return it). Everything seems perfect - if a touch pretentious - right up until the moment a new English nanny, Anna, appears at the imposing doors of their Rue du Bac apartment. Gamine and artless, Anna unwittingly sets in motion a chain of events that will gravely endanger the Malins' daughter and their charmed lives - in ways no-one could have foreseen."
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Enter the world of Olivier and Madison Malin, the glittering inhabitants of Paris's most exclusive neighbourhood, the Left Bank. The Malins' life together with their daughter is the stuff of dreams - and carefully-selected celebrity magazines.

Madison is an American film star: her beauty, talent and perfect accent hiding hiding her Texan roots, and the fact she's just turned forty (although that actually happened several years ago). Her husband, Olivier, is the darling of the sophisticated Left Bank: philosopher, gourmand and media personality, he craves adoration (and is a little too willing to return it).

Everything seems perfect - if a touch pretentious - right up until the moment a new English nanny, Anna, appears at the imposing doors of their Rue du Bac apartment. Gamine and artless, Anna unwittingly sets in motion a chain of events that will gravely endanger the Malins' daughter and their charmed lives - in ways no-one could have foreseen...

"Enter the world of Olivier and Madison Malin, the glittering inhabitants of Paris's most exclusive neighbourhood, the Left Bank. The Malins' life together with their daughter is the stuff of dreams - and carefully-selected celebrity magazines. Madison is an American film star: her beauty, talent and perfect accent hiding her Texan roots, and the fact she's just turned forty (although that actually happened several years ago). Her husband, Olivier, is the darling of the sophisticated Left Bank: philosopher, gourmand and media personality, he craves adoration (and is a little too willing to return it). Everything seems perfect - if a touch pretentious - right up until the moment a new English nanny, Anna, appears at the imposing doors of their Rue du Bac apartment. Gamine and artless, Anna unwittingly sets in motion a chain of events that will gravely endanger the Malins' daughter and their charmed lives - in ways no-one could have foreseen."

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Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Parisian celebs Olivier -Malin, who sounds a lot like Bernard-Henri Levy, and American actress wife Madison are smugly content until their daughter disappears at a theme park. A big debut for (London) Times columnist Muir. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Review

London Times columnist Muir's impressive fiction debut, an atmospheric tour of Paris, follows the contretemps of "the Great Mind and the Great Body of the Left Bank": Olivier Malin, descendant of an old-line French family (Victorieux ? Touts is the family motto) and author of Chechnya: Beyond Philosophy, is the telegenic intellectual pere de famille with an insatiable appetite for fine cheeses and slender young mistresses, while his wife, Texas-born "sub-pornographic art-house" film star Madison, is too old for nude scenes, but too young to retire. The discomfiture underlying their marriage ignites when their seven-year-old daughter, Sabine, disappears in a theme park. As Olivier and Madison search for Sabine, the family's circle of servants and supporters, knowingly or not, pulls the couple apart. Paul, a museum curator, has an unrequited passion for Madison; Anna, the English nanny, consummates Olivier's passion for her at the Hotel Select; and Madame Canovas, the nosy concierge, keeps the gossip circulating. Muir's book is filled with sensations, insights and barbs ("She was exquisitely polite but rather formal, with the reserved expression of the recently Botoxed") and is enriched by perceptions about culture, politics and the doomed love affair between America and France. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Booklist Review

Seat of the University of Paris, the Left Bank of the river Seine has been historically associated with a freewheeling, Bohemian lifestyle, but in the late twentieth century, the Left Bank found itself transformed by residents with extraordinary amounts of ready cash adopting lifestyles informed less by the Sorbonne than by Sybaris. It is this chic scene that Muir sets out to expose in this novel. In their elegant apartment, Olivier and Madison Malin live a surreally well-endowed Parisian life--the sharpest clothes, the finest cheeses, the most exquisite wines, the most celebrated acquaintances. Oliver springs from generations of French aristocracy, Madison from Texas roots suitably repackaged by Hollywood. Their perfect world of perfect appearance goes awry when their daughter disappears on an outing at a European version of an American amusement park that combines Disneyworld with Las Vegas, and the couple is forced to acknowledge the less-attractive aspects of their ethereal Parisian existence. Whether this semisatirical depiction of Parisian life deflates or encourages America's present anti-French popular sentiment remains to be determined. --Mark Knoblauch Copyright 2006 Booklist

Kirkus Book Review

Times of London columnist Muir (The Insider's Guide to Paris, 1999, etc.), in her U.S. debut, delivers a sharp, quietly feminist novel of manners. To the world at large, 40-something Olivier and Madison Malin, the "Great Mind" and "Great Body," respectively, of the Left Bank, have it all: intellect, beauty, health, riches. But their perfect life together takes a hairpin turn when their seven-year-old daughter disappears on a rare family excursion to PlayWorld Paris. From that moment, the shiny veneer of their bliss reveals itself to be as brittle as the caramelized gloss on a cr'me brule. Olivier, a popular French philosopher and philandering gourmand, and Madison (ne Ramswagger), a transplanted Texan model-turned-actress, for years have lived the public fantasy of reifying Sartre and de Beauvoir's open partnership. When Olivier begins to dally with his daughter's British nanny, however, the reality of how this plays out in private can no longer be ignored. Muir's prose abounds with irony as she deftly explores the psychological dimensions of the powerful, self-absorbed parents' relationship with their child. In a typically witty passage, Olivier fears his family will "win the Tolstoy prize for most varied and complicated unhappiness." In another, a cheese purveyor is described with enough gastronomic acumen to set foodies salivating: "Barthlmy prided himself on timing his cheeses to go off, like a gooey bomb, at the exact point of consumption." Sex and the City fans and francophiles alike will devour this feast of identity politics and character development. Deliciously wry. Copyright ┬ęKirkus Reviews, used with permission.