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L'Affaire by Diane Johnson
In L'Affaire, Diane Johnson repeats the same formula she used in her previous novels, Le Divorce and Le Mariage, placing an idealistic and innocent American in a fish-out-of-water story in Europe. In this case, the American is Amy Hawkins, a millionaire from the dot-com industry, who checks into the Hotel Croix St. Bernard in Valmeri, France to study skiing, cooking, and French. She's surrounded by a cast of different Europeans, most of them disdainful of anything American. When an avalanche leaves a wealthy playboy and his wife in a coma, Amy steps in to help. Which country the comatose Englishman dies in affects the distribution of his estate, and Amy's help sets the comedy afoot. L'Affaire has received mostly positive reviews with the New York Times saying, "Ms. Johnson has produced a delicious goulash of a novel: she has turned cross cultural misalliances and misunderstandings into the stuff of comedy, the adventures of an American abroad into sophisticated farce."