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

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

by Debra Ollivier

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Overview

The Los Angeles Times bestseller! "A Gallic prescription for living a life that is richer, more sensual, messier, and a lot more fun" (Boston Globe)

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 accept the passage of time, celebrate the immediacy of pleasure, embrace ambiguity and imperfection, and prefer having a life to making a living.

In What French Women Know, Debra Ollivier goes beyond stale ooh- la-la stereotypes, challenging ingrained notions about sex, love, marriage, motherhood, and everything in between. With savvy, provocative thinking from French mistresses and maidens alike, Ollivier presents a refreshing counterpoint to the tired love dogma of our times, and offers realistic, liberating alternatives from the land that knows how to love.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425236482
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/07/2010
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 659,837
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Debra Ollivier is the bestselling author of What French Women Know and Entre Nous. She was raised in Los Angeles and attended UCLA and the Sorbonne where she received degrees in French literature. Her writing has appeared in several publications including The Guardian, Le Monde, and Harper’s Magazine. Ollivier spent more than 10 years in Paris before returning to California.

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What French Women Know 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Annedo More than 1 year ago
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.
GigiJL More than 1 year ago
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.
Bri_Mondschein-Snook More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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."
Sararush on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If American author, Debra Olliver, sat down at my kitchen table and mentioned that she had lived in France for ten years with her French husband, and I in my exuberance asked her to tell me all about French women over coffee, What French Women Know would be a transcript of the resulting conversation. In a lengthy conversational essay, Olliver expounds on every personal anecdote, pop culture reference, and quote she can muster relating to the French woman¿a woman who boasts an internationally acclaimed allure. What can an American woman learn in the 240 pages addressing the secrets of the French approach to life, love and most definitely sex? If you¿d like to know, first you must concede that the average French woman is simply sexier, more self assured, and more sophisticated than the average American woman. If you can accept that premise, then this smartly explores how French Culture produces a distinct woman, and how that woman captivates the world. What French Women Know is an enjoyable read, and the only book I¿ve read to portray Edith Wharton as down right catty.
cooperca05 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really wanted to love this book -- so it was with dismay that I was disappointed. This reads more like a text book -- dry and witless -- I was looking forward to a sexy, funny, insightful read like Entre Nous. Overall it was just OK -- but if you do want to read it, I'd recommend you get it from the library and skim the areas of interest.
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