An engaging exploration of the style that permeates all things French—perfect for anyone looking to achieve that classic French flair
For Harriet Welty Rochefort, an American who has lived in France for many years with her very French husband, it’s clear that the French truly are singular in the way they live, act, and think—from the lightness of their pastries to the refinement of their Hermes scarves. They simply exude a certain je ne sais quoi that is a veritable art form. The French revel in the moment, appreciate the time spent in preparing a perfect feast, pay attention to the slightest detail--whether flowers on the table or a knockout accessory on a simple outfit--and work hard when not enjoying their (considerable) leisure time without an ounce of guilt. Their joie de vivre can come where you least expect it: for the French it’s better to have a chagrin d’amour than no amour at all, and for the Frenchman a day without discord is a day without a kick. They have fun (yes, fun !) when they fuss and feud, squabble and shrug.
When it comes to joie de vivre, Harriet is convinced the French are unbeatable. With good humor and genuine affection for the prickly, paradoxical, and pleasure-seeking Gauls, she takes the reader on her own personal journey through the often byzantine French mindset, sharing tips and tricks such as how to diet like a Frenchwoman and project confidence like a true Parisienne. In her signature warm, witty, and entertaining voice, Harriet shows how joie de vivre permeates the French way of life, precisely because it doesn’t include a “pursuit of happiness.” Fortunately, she discovered, you don’t have to “pursue” happiness in France. It pursues you.