Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Book Review: French Toast

French Toast: An American in Paris Celebrates the Maddening Mysteries of the French
Author: Harriet Welty Rochefort
Title: French Toast An American in Paris Celebrates the Maddening Mysteries of the French
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publish Date: Nov 15, 1998
Buy: Amazon
Blurb: Demystifying the French, freelance journalist Harriet Welty Rochefort makes sense of their ever-so-French thoughts on food, money, sex, love, marriage, manners, schools, style, and much more.

Review: I have mixed feelings about this book. It was a cute fun read about a woman from Iowa who was transplanted in France, marries a Frenchmen and stays there. I think the problem I had while reading this, wasn't that the book wasn't witty or didn't offer a funny view of how the French were, it was that I genuninely didn't like Harriet, or her husband, Phillipe.

The other thing that irked me was how this book was definitely scewed to the more well to do people. But then again, how many poor schmucks like myself can afford to take off to Paris to live and while there find a man to marry?

The book is written with a combination of wit and comparison. Harriet likes to name drop the various doctor's who have written about marriages of different cultures. I'm not sure what she hoped to accomplish with that, as most of the references didn't feel like they added anything to the book. They just seemed to be there to make Harriet feel like there was some credibilty to the story. But then again, why does there need to be credibility. It is a memoir! Not a travel book. Only it is a bit of a travel book, because Harriet doesn't share a lot about her life, just some viewpoints, most of which make me dislike  her.  Have I mentioned that? I think I have.

The one thing I particularly found annoying was her take on the mother/daughter relationships. She felt that French mothers and daughters were a bit too close, siting that she didn't need to talk to her mother every day.

Harriet, that is you, and that definitely doesn't speak for the whole USA. Just as her complaints about packing her husbands suitcase for trips...Women's lib aside, I could think of a lot of worse things a husband could expect from his wife.

Harriet doesn't really paint France or the French in a positive light, yet it is obvious she loves living there. I think the reasons might be education and health care. Two things the USA could stand to shape up.

So would I recommend this book? If you were bored and needed a little chuckle and had nothing else to read.

Rating: 3 flowers


heavenisabookstore said...

Ick, books like that I simply cannot finish. It's pretty awful when you can't like the main characters.

Blog Design by Use Your Imagination Designs using images from the Tea Time kit and the Saturday Night kit by MK-Designs