What French Women Know: About Love, Sex, and Other Matters of the Heart and Mind

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Overview

"It's not the shoes, the scarves, or the lipstick that gives French women their allure. It's this: French women don't give a damn. They don't expect men to understand them. They don't care about being liked or being like everyone else. They generally reject notions of packaged beauty. They accept the passage of time, celebrate the immediacy of pleasure, like to break rules, embrace ambiguity and imperfection, and prefer having a life to making a living. They are, in other words, completely unlike us." Ollivier goes beyond familiar ooh-la-la

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What French Women Know: About Love, Sex, and Other Matters of the Heart and Mind

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Overview

"It's not the shoes, the scarves, or the lipstick that gives French women their allure. It's this: French women don't give a damn. They don't expect men to understand them. They don't care about being liked or being like everyone else. They generally reject notions of packaged beauty. They accept the passage of time, celebrate the immediacy of pleasure, like to break rules, embrace ambiguity and imperfection, and prefer having a life to making a living. They are, in other words, completely unlike us." Ollivier goes beyond familiar ooh-la-la stereotypes about French women, challenging cherished notions about sex, love, dating, marriage, motherhood, raising children, body politics, seduction, and flirtation. Less a how-to and more a how-not-to, What French Women Know offers a refreshing counterpoint to the stale love dogma of our times. Peppered with anecdotes from its Franco-American author and filled with provocative ideas from French sexperts, mistresses and maidens alike, it debunks longstanding myths, presenting savvy new thinking from an old sexy culture and more realistic, life-affirming alternatives from the land that knows how to love.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
American-born Francophile Ollivier follows up Entre Nous: A Woman's Guide to Finding Her Inner French Girl with a volume largely concerned with uncovering the behavior and lifestyle of the secretive French woman. For instance, Ollivier pointedly debunks the myth that French women deprive themselves of fattening foods and drink in order to maintain a suitable weight, but reveals that French women are masters of portion control. She also recounts instances with her French counterparts-she lived there for 10 years, has a French husband, and divides her time between L.A. and Paris-in which she came to the realization that, in France, women genuinely love men, and vice versa; both strive for more compatibility between the sexes, radically diminishing the "battle of the sexes" mentality so commonplace in American society. Intriguingly, Ollivier contrasts the French desire for mystery against the American need for knowledge and control, finding in the discrepancy a possible reason for the ever-escalating American divorce rate. Ollivier is sure to dazzle any reader with a fondness for French women with this batch of anecdotes and corresponding hypotheses, drizzled with a winning combination of sarcasm and wit.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425236482
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/7/2010
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 305,740
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Debra Ollivier lived in France for ten years, during which time she married her French husband and had two children. Ollivier lives with her family in Los Angeles and Paris.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

Men

Mystery

Rules

Perfection

Nature

Art de Vivre

Body

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 16 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(5)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

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1 Star

(2)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 23, 2010

    No Narrative - Lacking a Point of View -

    This book isn't really a "book." It's nothing but researched quotes and data strung together. It lacks narrative. It lacks a point of view. It's entirely unclear and presents conflicting information. I don't think the author asked herself before writing this what the point was of writing it. It's disorganized and feels like it was pieced together hastily by someone with ADD. A lot of interesting little anecdotes and amusing quotes, but there's no meat on the bones whatsoever. Highly disappointed. It was such an interesting idea for a book; it's a shame it falls so incredibly flat. I'm not an author, but I'd be embarrassed to put this forth and call it a "book." It's just strung together random bits of various research.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 14, 2009

    A fun read!

    This was unlike other self-help books. She really researched some great philosophers and writers to provide a larger context to back up her own observations and ideas. It's very deep in parts, but presented in a light-hearted manner.

    It reads quickly. It's fun and light-hearted, but gives you food for thought! If you want to know more about yourself, life and love...this is a book that will give you a lot to think about, in a fun and entertaining way.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 18, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Interesting point of view!

    What French Women Know by Debra Ollivier is a book that talks about the differences between the French culture and the American culture. The main areas she compared were about the differences in relationships, mystery, rules, perfection, nature and the body. Each one of these chapters was about one of the topics. For relationships she noticed that in every dinner party they always wanted the opposite gender there. They don’t go out for ‘girls nights’ and they don’t bash the opposite gender, instead they love the differences that drive many of us up the wall. Ollivier addresses the French women’s leg and underarm hair and how they have extreme self-control over food. They eat little bits of divine food. This books main theme is carpe diem. It expresses how the French live each day and love each aspect of life, while we live in such a fast pace society it makes us forget how to enjoy life the way we should. What makes this book so interesting is that this is an American woman showing the differences in the cultures. It makes the ethnocentricity relatable for other Americans to understand and relate to. The way she wrote this book makes you fall in love with the French and their relaxed but beautiful lifestyle. What I didn’t like was the amount of other people’s articles she included in the book. A few would have been interesting but not long pages of other people’s work. Everyone could benefit from reading this book because it gives another perspective and it never hurts to try to understand different cultures. You need to read this book if you are interested in going to France for a prolonged amount of time.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2012

    Wise advice

    I'm in my sixties now, and find that I have the self-confidence of French women; I don't care what other people think. This was not always the case, and for that reason I recommend this book to younger women who feel they must live their lives as "pleasers."

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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