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March 28 , 2017

The French Tour Guide

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The French Tour Guide is a beautiful and touching love story about Lauren and Remy Joubert. The story, which spans two continents and four decades, is told by Paul Joubert, the couple's son and a physician with Doctors Without Borders. Paul has returned to his boyhood home to spend Lauren's remaining days with her. As Paul watches Lauren's cancer riddled body grow weaker, he shares in the memories of his parents love together, amazed at how they still manage to find humor is almost everything.
Lauren, whose high school sweetheart had been killed in WWII, travels to Paris on a junket with several other teachers. Their French tour guide, Remy, is handsome, charming and available. Though most of the others on the tour find him irresistible, he seems to have eyes only for Lauren. As the trip progresses, Remy invites her to stay longer and enjoy the "real" France with him. Lauren, aware of their age difference, is hesistant but flattered. Lauren is forty-five and Remy is thirty-five. Remy persists and finally prevails as Lauren agrees to spend an extra week with him providing he does not expect any kind of intimacy. Lauren explains that she is, after all, not an easy woman. They will simply be two people appreciating the joy of travel.
Lauren and Remy discover the joy of being together and exploring new places. They spend the a good deal of the next two years exploring Europe during Lauren's vacations. One day, when Lauren meets Remy in Washington, he confesses to her that he has found someone else and will marry the following February. Remy is beginning to feel the need for a child and knows Lauren cannot give him one. The break is amicable as Lauren had always encouraged Remy to find a girl "his own age."
Lauren is on the phone the day of Remy's marriage, assuring a friend that she is fine, when the door bell rings and Remy is on the front porch, looking sheepish. He confesses to Lauren that he could not marry Elise as he does not love her. Remy not only professes his love to Lauren, but proposes as well.
Still sensitive to their age difference, Lauren refuses his proposal, but confesses she loves him also. The following summer, while Lauren is visiting Remy in Paris, he receives a note from Elise informing him she is about to deliver a child and if Remy wants the child he should declare himself the father or Elise will put the baby up for adoption. Remy and Lauren agree to take the baby they both desperately want. Lauren even agrees to marry Remy so the child will have a proper home. Their lives are glorious and blissful. Remy and Lauren open a travel agency of their own, which allows them to expose the child, whom they named Paul, to a worldy education.
Lauren dies as Remy lays beside her. They had led a charmed life and Paul is devastated by her loss.
On his way back to his assignment in Africa, Paul meets and is dazzled by another doctor assigned to the same camp. She is older than Paul and he realizes the family tradition will be kept intact. They agree to adopt a child from the camp and Remy agrees to help them raise the boy.
Most days, Remy can found beside Lauren's grave, telling her the story of his day.

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