Most helpful critical review
80 of 90 people found the following review helpful
The usual French stereotype
on 16 November 2005
My origin is half French, I spend most of my time in France and my best friends are either French or Swiss French. At first I was shocked to discover how very French I actually turn out to be as described in the book, and how the traditions and values that I've been bequeathed are very French too. But then the word "archetypal" is mentioned in the proloque and you'd better bear in mind all throughout your reading that this book is more about the ideal French woman and how to bring out the archetypal French woman in you rather than a description of what French women actually are like. Though many of my friends and acquaintances fit into the French girl description, I know scores of French women who are nosey, frumpy, tacky and gauche as anybody under the sun. Especially if you've never been to France, don't be misled: this book is full of the typical prejudices and stereotypes about the French women as seen through the gawking eyes of the American outsider who thinks the grass is always greener in Gaulle. There are also some mistakes in the book, like ascribing Madame de Pompadour as Louis XIV's lover (she was Louis XV's) and the fact that other women reviewed as favourite French girls (Anaïs Nin, Catherine de Medici, Marie Antoinette or Pauline de Rothschild) are not even French. Anyway, the book makes interesting beach reading. The prose is feisty, fast-paced and you'll find the book hard to put down.