What French Women Know by Debra Ollivier

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I admit it.  I find French women fascinating.  What’s funny is that I don’t even know any.  Oh, but I’ve heard about them, and read about them, and tried desperately to try and learn to tie a scarf with panache. So when I stumbled upon, What French Women Know: About Love, Sex, and Other Matters of the Heart and Mind by Debra Ollivier, I didn’t even think twice before adding it to my cart.  

I’ve read lot’s of books about French women, from what they wear to what they eat.  This book was different.  It delved more into why they are what they are.   More than that, it helped me see why, as an American, I am what I am.

Like most other American girls, I grew up wanting to be like everyone else.  Wanting to fit in, wanting to be liked.  French women don’t want to be like everyone else, they want to stand out, they want to add their individual touches.  And as far as being liked….they don’t care.  They don’t feel the need to be nice, to go around smiling at everyone. 

Another interesting area was in child rearing.  They are much more inclined to try and raise independent children.  The author talks of the day care that her two year old attended.  The daycare was taking the two year olds off on a two day field trip!  The French parents all let their children go and enjoyed a lovely two days relaxing with their husbands, while none of the American women would let their children go.

All in all, I enjoyed this book.  Do I think that French women are better than me?  No.  Do I think I am better than French women?  No.  Do I think that perhaps we could learn from each other?  Yes? 

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  1. says

    This sounds like an extremely interesting read. I guess I never really thought about why French women are French women and why American women are American women. Maybe it’s something they’re putting in the brie.

  2. says

    Sounds very interesting. Sometimes I think we need to stop caring what other people think. Sometimes. Sounds like we could learn a lot from each other.

  3. says

    It’s funny, that you mentioned this topic about French women. Of course many stereotypes prevail in Europe about American women-what I find fascinating is that once you experience the culture from either side, you gain a perspective that helps us understand why, we are the way we are and an appreciation is born as a result.

    This sounds like a great book. I know that I would enjoy it too.

  4. says

    I’m thinking I need to be French! Someone take my kids for two days? Oh yeah. Well, had it been the lady who did our daycare years ago I would have said yes! I will have to look for this too.

  5. says

    Isn’t there something about France in general and its women in particular that fascinates all of us? I made my hubby watch Julie and Julia with me last night – he grumbled that no idiot can make a 2 hour movie about freakin’ cooking, but actually liked it – and I can see why Julia never wanted to leave Paris. Of course, I also enjoyed Paul’s comment that everyone there, normally cold and reserved, loved her because she was so vivacious. Makes you think.

  6. says

    An interesting synopsis. The book sounds like it could be a great read. Thanks for the review. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings…Mary

  7. says

    It sounds like an interesting book. As much as I would love a two day weekend alone with my husband, I can’t imagine sending my kids off at 2 years old. Wow.

  8. says

    Sounds like an interesting book. I have several friends who are French. I do think French women have a sense of style that comes naturally.

  9. says

    You have most definitely piqued my interest. I think I need to think a bit more like a French woman! Maybe Joanne is right…it must be something in the brie!

  10. says

    Thanks for the great book review! I have also read lots of books about the lives of the French. I read “Entre Nous,” “Joie de Vivre,” and a few others. I find them fascinating and think I will like this one too. Like you, I don’t want to be French but I do enjoy considering another point of view. Their perspective is unique and, in many ways, worthy of consideration.

  11. says

    Parlesvouz Francais madameoiselle? French women are really very interesting read. Even when they allowed the daycare center to bring their toddlers to a two-day outing. That daycare is the first school that those French toddlers will be immersed in. I just read in this link- Daycare that the creative arts, including music, movement, dramatic play, puppetry, painting, sculpture, and drawing, are a crucial part of early childhood. Not only do the arts allow children to express themselves, but creative activity can enhance development of children’s skills in literacy, science, math, social studies, and more. Check it out. I am sure that your precious kids will learn a lot, improve their IQs and EQs, even at so young an age. Merci beau coup!

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