This is a very charming book. It didn't set my life on fire, but it was one of those entertaining reads with endearing characters and happy endings that are just what the doctor ordered, sometimes.
Madame Claire, the eponymous character, is enjoying her 80s. She can finally step aside from the ebb and flow of the world and spend time with the children and grandchildren she likes, and avoid the child and grandchild she finds boring. (This is all done with great charm, although perhaps it should cause a little pause.) Her son is in an unhappy marriage because his wife hates that he is still attentive and loving and she can't feel superior to him. Her one daughter is in a very traditional marriage, concerned with status and propriety, as is one of her grandchildren. (Overconcern with social mores and social climbing are the cardinal sins in this book). Her two other grandchildren love her to pieces and entertain her greatly. One of them falls in love with an eminently suitable but poor man, and her mother is shocked.
Her third child ran off with a series of men over her life, and shows too little concern for herself or society, which I guess is the other cardinal sin. She reappears, and Madame Claire and one of the grandchildren endeavour to straighten her out.
It's all very domestic comedy, and and ends up with everyone happy, and as such, the story is entertaining to read and enjoyable to visit, but not indelible in impression.
But everything else, I liked.