dimanche 28 mars 2010

All You Need to Be Impossibly French by Helena Frith-Powell

All You Need to Be Impossibly French - a book review

A couple of weeks ago I went to a few op shops (opportunity shops, charity shops, thrift stores, second hand stores) for no particular reason other than to have a look as I hadn't been to them for years. I got some great bargains including some French related books!

I got: Reflets Methode Francaise: Level 2 textbook and workbook  and
Two Lipsticks and a Lover (Helena Frith Powell)
for $2 each at one store, and 
Language and Learning: An Introduction for Teaching (Emmitt, Pollock and Komesaroff) published by Oxford Press, 
Almost French: Love and a New Life in Paris (Sarah Turnbull) and 
French Kissing (Catherine Sanderson)
for 50c each at another store!

I couldn't believe my luck as I usually never find any decent second hand books that I'm interested in.

I just finished reading Two Lipsticks and a Lover which is apparently the same book as All You Need to Be Impossibly French: A Witty Investigation into the Lives, Lusts, and Little Secrets of French Women.

It was an interesting read but contained nothing new that I hadn't read before in all the other French books, magazines, blogs and websites I've read. I wouldn't say it's an especially good book but not a bad one either. Her writing style is very easy to read and she's a likeable person/author/character but the whole book almost seems an article for a university newspaper featuring interviews, rather than a book with any especially insightful comments.

The thing I found most interesting was the chapter on childbirth and childrearing! Helena is English, and there, I have to agree with her on all the points she makes in this chapter. She says that French people find it bizarre if you don't want to find out the sex of your baby ASAP, if you want to breastfeed and if you want to deliver naturally and drug-free. I don't know if this is true or not but she writes:

Back at the natural birthing centre in Crowborough Sussex, they practically won't allow you in unless you promise to breastfeed. In some countries, like Sweden and Australia, bottle feeding a newborn is akin to some minor crimes, in fact some major ones. In Australia women regularly breastfeed for a year. I was desperate to talk to these French women and tell them they were depriving their babies of the best possible start in life...

To me, feeding your baby cow's milk (or even worse, powdered crap) instead of what mother nature intended is just plain stupid! There are so many pros for doing so and very very few cons. I won't give away the reason why French women do this. Read the book and find out why. You might find it shocking, funny or just plain stupid and selfish.

There were some other insighful things in the book too.. so if you're interested in the lives of (upper middle class) French women (or Parisians rather) you should read this book.

Bonne lecture!


Enregistrer un commentaire

Related Posts with Thumbnails