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Assez bien ...,
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This review is from: Two Lipsticks and a Lover (Paperback)
The pre-purchase book-extract is tantalising:the 14-year old author arrives in Paris only to be redirected by the hotel concierge to the digs of her father's latest squeeze. He's elsewhere, pursuing "a bottom". At the Parisian girlfriend's tiny appartement the author gets her first rose-tinted glimpse into what it takes to be really Parisian and indeed really French: pots and pots of unguents, a Zen-like living space and racily, "...two lipsticks and a lover".
There are musings a plenty: about child-rearing in France -- children eat well, eat everything and are well mannered to boot but they do get coddled. Interestingly the State plays a great part in helping women back to work (tax free child care -- now there's something for the incumbent UK government to seriously consider). Underwear - must be matching and expensive; lovers - infidelity and discretion are key and if it makes you happy, there you go; food - guard against junk products and eat only when hungry. Moreover the possession of a great intellect in a woman is not the preserve of the dull or dowdy. Being well read is seen to add to one's allure.
Whilst some of the chapters may test your patience for cliches about French women (they smoke a lot, eat high fat cheese, miraculously remain stick thin) many parts may simply reinforce what you had long suspected: that some French women take great care of themselves from the inside out, possess large quantities of self-confidence and self-belief, are well read and don't laugh in the raucous way of their British sisters.
In essence, this is an easy read for the St Pancras Eurostar. You'll have completed the book by the time you hit Gare du Nord.