Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What French Women Know

So on Sunday I picked up a handful of books at Barnes and Noble, all French related and plan to do reviews on here as I finish them.  I finished "What French Women Know: About Love, Sex, And Other Matters Of The Heart And Mind."
You can't actually click to look inside. :(  I had to get the photo from Amazon and it stuck like this!
This was an interesting read because it's less conversational than some I've read, more about studies, interviews with French women, etc.  The author married a French man, moved to Paris for a decade, had a couple children, and wrote this book (as well as another I already had).  I found it informative.

And also relieving.  Growing up in what is clearly a puritan nation, there are pressures to be "nice" and to not yell.  Oh, but as a woman you are to complain about men, because they're awful, right?

Well, I happen to like men.  I love my husband (even when he is driving me crazy and I'm telling him I'm done).  And as much as I love my girlfriends, I much prefer a group that is a mix of both men and women.  I love that this book discusses flirtation as a sport, how if you're well liked by everyone you're probably bland, and how important it is to have passion.

I tend to be extremely passionate, on every level.  If I'm mad at G I argue with him, sometimes quite loudly.  I don't believe that you should be quiet and sweep issues under the rug (that just builds up a lot of dirt).  If I'm in a great mood, I'm excited about life, I want to get out and do things.  If I'm feeling loving, well, G enjoys that too.  And I'm passionate about food, art, music, natural products...the list could go on and on.

So last night, we discussed this book.  We talked about how she's right, many women here want men to be their "best friend" to an extent that they feminize them.  Now, don't get me wrong, G is my best friend...but he was for years before we were romantic.  He's a guy and I encourage him in manly pursuits.  We talk a lot, but I do try and maintain some mystery.  And passion.

One thing I loved about this book is that it discussed liking yourself, rather than aiming to be like others and gain popularity.  That you need to be interesting, different, and not the same as everyone around you.  It was what I needed to gird me when I'm out in social groups, because it's so easy to without thinking hide anything special about yourself in order to conform and "fit in."

Overall, it wasn't an easy read because it wasn't conversational.  But It was a quick read and I found some of it helpful for my own marriage.


  1. This is a fantastic book. I actually got it on audio book format too and enjoyed that it was read by the author.

  2. I might have to order this book off Amazon :) I'm not looking to becoming any more French than I already am (by process of passive osmosis), but am always curious to better understand the locals ;)

    Hope you are doing well. Nora is adorable!

  3. What other French books did you get? This genre is a passion of mine lately too!