The film was strongly recommended to me, but I thought I'd read the book first. It came in French and I am glad it did! Much better in the original language (if you can read it!). I am 60 and hadn't read any French since I was around 22....but I have spoken it. Surprisingly, I was able to read it straight through......so, go for it if you are doubtful re your French abilities. The book is a "classic", beautifully written with a great story line. I know I will re-read it with pleasure in the future. Somehow it reminded me of "The Leopard". Now I am going to read "Manon des Sources".