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What French Women Know: About Love, Sex, and Other Matters of the Heart and Mind | [Debra Ollivier]

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

In her groundbreaking and utterly liberating new book, Debra 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. What French Women Know debunks long-standing myths and offers savvy new thinking from an old sexy culture.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

In her groundbreaking and utterly liberating new book, Debra 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. Peppered with anecdotes from its Franco-American author and filled with provocative thinking from French sexperts, mistresses and maidens alike, What French Women Know debunks long-standing myths and offers savvy new thinking from an old sexy culture.

Less a how-to and more a how-not-to (how not to be dogmatic about love, how not to "date", how not to mourn the end of youth), it presents a refreshing counterpoint to the stale love dogma of our times, and offers realistic, life-affirming alternatives from the land that knows how to love.

©2009 Debra Ollivier; (P)2009 Penguin

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (98 )
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3.6 (51 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Josiane San Clemente, CA, USA 04-19-10
    Josiane San Clemente, CA, USA 04-19-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Truth and Nothing but the Truth"

    I was born and lived in France for 21 years. I really enjoyed your book that is extremely accurate about French Women in general. Living in America for many years and seeing the difference between the american woman and I always puzzled me. It is with pride that I finally understand the significance of being French and loving it. Your book is excellent. I look forward to promote it to my friends who in return will understand why I am so different from them. Thank you and Vive la difference!

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Benedict 02-20-11
    Benedict 02-20-11 Member Since 2003

    Benedict

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    "Now I know what French women know"

    I really like this book and highly recommend it. One good thing to know about French women is that they really like Men, a lot a lot. And vice versa for men--they like Women a lot a lot. That's a good start for both sides. Plus French women have a way of getting by the irritations and difficulties that men oftentimes present. The book reveals the secret of how French women stay trim: but I think it best to find out for yourself! It is most excellent advice compared to everything else written on the subject.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara Calgary, Alberta, Canada 08-15-10
    Barbara Calgary, Alberta, Canada 08-15-10 Member Since 2007

    information junkie

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    "Casual is good!"

    I have to disagree with the previous reviewer. I thought the author's narration was very good, changing pitch and adding an accent when the voice was to be delivered by one of her friends who shaped her conclusion about the difference between French and American women. I think the quality of the narration made the book fun to listen to and the content confirmed it. I found the content to be well laid out for the listener with citations and personal anecdotes to inform and entertain. I think casual makes for a easy and entertaining "read".

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    10-02-12
    10-02-12
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    "Very good !"
    Where does What French Women Know rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I quite enjoyed the book, it was fun and very insightful! I would definitely recommend it for anyone, but .. perhaps as a paper book.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Debra Ollivier?

    I don't know... but perhaps someone who isn't quite so... close to the material. The narration was quite good for the first half of the book, but towards the middle, every sentence started ending with a question-like tone? And it got really hard to listen to? Don't get me wrong, she has a lovely voice, but perhaps having someone else read it might have been preferable...


    Any additional comments?

    The stories were delightful though, and I loved the book, just thought I would put in my two cents!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rachael 01-19-14
    Rachael 01-19-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Flows of Life"

    I completely disagree with the idea of having affairs when married as long as you keep it quiet.

    However, I do agree with the idea that there should be mystery with a woman with her man. The section on beauty is fantastic. I agree Americans want understanding and ruled ways of life, boxed up and easy to digest in a false happiness.

    Also, the battle of the sexes and true feminism in America is a serious issue and is discussed in the book also.

    Ironically some of these french ideas are very biblical (despite the book blaming protestant ideals being America's biggest problem but many protestant ideals weren't biblical either!)

    Overall, it's a great book and the narrator is easy to listen to.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    La Donna J. Johnson Pontiac, MI USA 01-11-13
    La Donna J. Johnson Pontiac, MI USA 01-11-13 Member Since 2007

    Pure Joy Doc

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Refreshing"
    What made the experience of listening to What French Women Know the most enjoyable?

    As an American woman, it's a different approach to being a wife, mother, professional, etc. it strikes me as much lower stress. I really enjoyed the perspective.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joleen 12-23-13
    Joleen 12-23-13
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    "Interesting insights"
    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The author has a habit of putting an emphasis and "drawling" the last word of the sentence. This quickly becomes distracting.


    What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

    That French women take exceedingly good care of themselves.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    karui 08-07-10
    karui 08-07-10 Member Since 2009
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    "Probably better to read it than lto isten to it"

    The narration is why this book's getting 3 stars. I believe the content is well written and fun, but the author's narration was done in such an unprofessional tone that it was hard for me to give much regard to what was being said. Ending every other sentence in the upwward tone that sounds like a question was very annoying, even taken into consideration that I'm from the younger generation that tends to talk like that. I wish the author had spent a bit more time to work on the narration instead of just reading her book so casually.

    5 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Terrytown, LA, USA 04-21-12
    Mary Terrytown, LA, USA 04-21-12
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    "Disappointing"
    What would have made What French Women Know better?

    Not sure what the author intened in this book, but I think I don't like French people now...


    Would you ever listen to anything by Debra Ollivier again?

    probably not


    Which character – as performed by Debra Ollivier – was your favorite?

    none


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    are the French really that liberal?


    Any additional comments?

    uuhhggg

    1 of 6 people found this review helpful
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