AFGR Chapter News May

2019 One Book One Federation Selection


Here’s a good book for those of us who want to deepen our knowledge of the French language and culture by reading a book in its original French language. It’s the yearly recommendation from the Federation’s One Book One Federation program. The Federation, you may remember, refers to the Federation of Alliances Françaises USA, of which our chapter is a member. The Federation’s book reviewer, Barbara Bouquegneau, describes the book this way:

“Reminiscent of novels by Nick Hornby, Muriel Barbery, and Jonathan Tropper, internationally acclaimed novelist David Foenkinos delivers a heartfelt and deftly comedic tale of new love brightening the dark aftermath of loss—and of wounded hearts finding refuge in the strangest of places.

After her husband’s unexpected death, Natalie has erected a fortress around her emotions—and Markus, clumsy and unassuming, will never be her knight in shining armor. Yet slowly but surely, an offbeat romance begins between these two mismatched, complex souls, and contrary to everything Natalie knows of affection, her perfect suitor may turn out to be love’s most unlikely candidate—the fool, not the hero, who is finally able to reach her heart.”

You’ll find more information about the book, as well as about a study guide at and selecting “Programs”. If you’re interested in forming a discussion group around this book, write and she’ll get the word out.

Congratulations, Students of French

The spring session of French classes offered by Alliance Française de Grand Rapids has just concluded. Thank you very much to Rita Selles for her congenial and professional way of teaching us and to the students who continue to appreciate this opportunity to learn French. Both “Refresh Your French” and “Converse in French” were offered this spring and we look forward to offering them again in the fall.

Steve Soper Steps Aside

We’ve received many compliments about our website design and content: AFdeGR member Steve Soper deserves the credit and praise for it. He’s also been the editor of and principal writer for our monthly newsletter, but these two functions he’s ready to relinquish, as other responsibilities, such as lecturing for OLLI courses at Aquinas and his own writing projects, research and travel opportunities continue to grow. He will, however, still post the relevant news items and events information you send him. Thank you, Steve, for helping us relish illimitable France through the well-curated videos, photographs (and quizzes) you brought to the website.

Spring at Chateau Villandry in the Loire Valley

Spring at Chateau Villandry in the Loire Valley

Thank you for being a member of Alliance Française de Grand Rapids.