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The French Girl (Hummingbird Women's Society Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Felicia Donovan
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $9.99
Kindle Price: $2.99
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Book Description

The heartwarming story of a young girl, Etoile, raised in a world of prejudice and despair who becomes orphaned under mysterious circumstances and is sent to live with her distant cousin and her cousin's partner. Embraced by their love and warmly welcomed by their community of lesbian friends, she slowly discovers the true meaning of family -- until the state decides to take her away.

"The story pulls us in immediately and keeps us wanting more. This is what a great novel should do..." - Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (Quarterfinalist)

Editorial Reviews


A very well-written novel, with great character development, and a wonderful (and different!) story line that moved right along. Touching, sometimes heart-wrenching, and a very satisfying read. I didn't want the book to end, and I will re-read it more than once because the characters feel like friends (well, most of them). A very rich read! Refreshing and touching. - 5 Star Amazon Review

The French Girl is a beautifully written story of one little girl's journey from inattentive mothering to unconditional, without reservation, instantaneous bonding...  The author does an amazing job of telling a story with such a difficult subject matter that you can actually feel the character's joy, and your heart will break with their sorrow.

You will remember this book long after you finish the last word. - Lori's Reading Corner 5 Star Amazon Review

I've never read this author before, but I read THE FRENCH GIRL from start to finish and could not put it down! What a beautiful story about a group of loving women who take in this little girl. I cried when they tried to take Etoile away. I highly recommend it! - 5 Star Amazon Review

About the Author

Felicia Donovan is the author of several books including The Hummingbird Women's Society series, The Black Widow Agency series of comedy-mysteries; and others. Please visit

Product Details

  • File Size: 580 KB
  • Print Length: 238 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1469934477
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006RKRUG4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,808 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully Written February 28, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
When I purchased The French Girl I opened it just to see if it downloaded correctly. My intention was to skim through a couple of pages. I did not put it down until I finished the book. The story grabs you from your first meeting Etoile and her older sister Anais, all the way to Etoile's life with Giselle and Jean. It is a solid story of what family is. The French Girl is a moving story that will not be forgotten. It is a book that challenges long held belief that only a "normal" parental unit can raise a child. A belief that has denied children loving care in a two parent household just because the parental unit was of the same sex. This book wrung so many emotions from me. Beautifully written, this book is a must read. I highly recommend it for anyone who works in social services, especially adoption and foster care.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Storybook Tale of Love and Family -- 4.5-stars February 18, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed THE FRENCH GIRL although it was not my usual read. The last book I read with a child narrator was THE LOVELY BONES, and of late I've read mostly dark noir authors like Sam Millar, Ken Bruen and David Peace. When THE FRENCH GIRL came to my attention, I sampled it and knew I'd have to buy this captivating tale.

Seen through the innocence of 11-year-old and recently orphaned Etoile Toussant, the author weaves the influences and biases of a New England fishing village against the idyllic setting of a country cottage near a liberal arts university in New Hampshire during the late 1970s.

It is here in the home of two women that Etoile finds the loving family she has been missing. And it is here that the reader sees beyond a child's understanding the struggle a same-sex couple must face to be a family.

My only disappointment was discovering that in the land of "Live Free or Die", Etoile's storybook ending couldn't happen for another 20 years. But as another reviewer observed, this is a minor flaw that does not detract from the beauty and love of Felicia Donovan's finely-written novel.

Since finishing THE FRENCH GIRL, I've also read -- and enjoyed -- Donovan's private detective tale THE BLACK WIDOW AGENCY. But I have a sneaking suspicion that it is THE FRENCH GIRL to which I will return again and again.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written book that makes you think! February 9, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book does what a really good book should - make you think! The main theme is what constitutes a family and what does a family do to nuture and encourage the best of each member. This books succeeds on that basis alone; however, I do have a problem with the timeline, which the author at the end acknowledges. While the story takes place in the 70s, the ending, as written, would not have happened until the 90s. For those of us who remember the 70s well, that's a disservice in some ways. It's not enough to distract from the book and is merely my personal observation. This is a work of fiction and my personal bias aside, it is well written and was a delight to read.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rich in characters, details and story line February 28, 2012
By zzz
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A very rich read! Refreshing and touching.

A very well-written novel, with great character development, and a wonderful (and different!) story line that moved at an pleasant pace. Touching, sometimes heart-wrenching, and a very satisfying read. I didn't want the book to end, and I will re-read it more than once because the characters feel like friends (well, most of them).

The story lends itself very well to a sequel.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Beautiful January 26, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In the tiny town of Cote Nouveau, Massachusetts, Etoile, and her older sister, Anais, live a rough life with their mother, a woman who prefers the bottle to her own children. Their father, a fisherman, was lost at sea years ago. They make do with what they have and watch out for each other. Especially when word spreads that the county lady is making her rounds. Then a tragic accident occurs, and the girls are forced to live apart as Anais is not old enough to take care of Etoile on her own. Anais is sent to a school run by nuns, while Etoile is sent to New Hampshire to live with a cousin, Giselle, and her partner, Jean.

Giselle and Jean welcome Etoile into their home with open arms. While Giselle takes to mothering the precocious Etoile right away, it takes a while for Jean to find her own mothering gene. But once she does, the pair are virtually inseperable. The love, guidance, understanding, and attention they, along with their friends, show Etoile is instantaneous. It is as if she was born to them, as if she were meant to be a part of their immediate family, as if she were coming home.

But unfortunately not everything is as perfect as it seems. Even though Etoile writes to Anais often, she still misses her deeply, cherishing the visits she has with her. Etoile still doesn't know the whole truth about what happened to her mother, Anais has her own secret that she's keeping. Taking place in the late 70's, there are those that aren't happy to see Giselle and Jean raising a child together. While Giselle and Jean have a large network of friends, their "type" is still not widely accepted. Children are supposed to have a mother and a father, not two mothers. And when the state tries to take Etoile away, well, hell hath no fury like these women scorned.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching Story January 31, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Like the other reviewers, I too found this book to be beautifully written and one of the best stories I have read in a long time. It's also one of the few books that have made me tear up--in public no less. The story, at its core, is about love and family and ultimately whether the law could or should define that for us. But this is not a book about legal proceedings or soap box grandstanding. This is about a little girl who is given the chance to be cared for and loved by two committed women.
What makes it such an enjoyable read is the detail the author pays to each of her characters; everyone has a unique personality and character quirks. We're immediately brought into Etoile's world, living with a emotionally abusive mother who chooses to drink over feeding her family, a fisherman father who drowned at sea years earlier, a protective yet morally ambiguous older sister, and a tight-knit French community that would rather gossip about the family than provide support--this is all within the first dozen or so pages. When Etoile is sent to live with her cousin, we see a beautiful progression in the older women from slightly uncomfortable or nervous around Etoile to fully-rounded mothers. None of these character "journeys" are done with heavy-handed blunt descriptions or inner monologues. The reader gleans this all from the actions of the characters; the author is a master of the "show, don't tell" principle.
I can't recommend this book enough, it's a definite keeper and one I will be thinking about for quite awhile
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed this book
I was easily drawn in to the story and had a hard time putting down this novel. I look forward to Book 2
Published 1 day ago by Anony Mouse
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
This book made feel I wanted to go to France and travel around some of the old countryside
Published 3 months ago by Lola Patricia Moir
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent story
This is one incredible story so don't start it before bedtime. It's absorbing, cliff hanging and thrilling. What a terrific story line. No way can you guess the ending. Read more
Published 6 months ago by patti jane
4.0 out of 5 stars Not my usual genre
I must admit, I only downloaded this book because it was free. I'm glad I did though. Great story about complex issues that is told in a very innocent way. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Nikki
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A very easy and exciting read
Published 7 months ago by diane lorking
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful story with great characters!
A great story from a unique point of view, even more interesting when you consider the time and circumstances it was set in. Great all around read.
Published 7 months ago by Failtelorn
4.0 out of 5 stars pretty interesting
It's nice and lovely book about French girl adopted by non traditional family. She didn't understand from the beginning how lucky she was.
Published 8 months ago by Luska
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching & Beautiful ~ LOVED IT!!!
I got this book for free after seeing it on the Kindle Buffett list. I did not know the author but thought it would interest me. Read more
Published 8 months ago by UBizz
4.0 out of 5 stars really good!
This has been sitting on my kindle for ages, waiting to be read. I finally started it and got so engrossed I finished within a day! It's an easy, yet satisfying read. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Zoe
5.0 out of 5 stars Wish I could give it another star!!!
The story and characters were well developed. At times I laughed and at times I cried. But in the end I finished this book with hope for the future in my heart!
Published 12 months ago by KT Hops
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More About the Author

Felicia Donovan is the author of the comedy-mystery series, THE BLACK WIDOW AGENCY (nominated for the Barry Award), and several other novels including the acclaimed, THE FRENCH GIRL, an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Semi-Finalist.

She spent many years in law enforcement and lives in New Hampshire with her partner.

Please visit her at and on Facebook at and Twitter @feliciadonovan

IMPORTANT NOTE TO READERS: Please make sure you purchase the newest versions of The Black Widow Agency series (the ones with the silhouettes of the Black Widows and magnifying glass on the covers). These are updated versions of the original Black Widow Agency series.

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