Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Every Frenchman Has One by Olivia de Havilland

(Thank you to Blogging for Books for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

Back in print for the first time in decadesand featuring a new interview with the author, in celebration of her centennial birthdaythe delectable escapades of Hollywood legend Olivia de Havilland, who fell in love with a Frenchmanand then became a Parisian

In 1953, Olivia de Havilland—already an Academy Award-winning actress for her roles in To Each His Own and The Heiress—became the heroine of her own real-life love affair. She married a Frenchman, moved to Paris, and planted her standard on the Left Bank of the River Seine. It has been fluttering on both Left and Right Banks with considerable joy and gaiety from that moment on.

Still, her transition from Hollywood celebrity to parisienne was anything but easy. And in Every Frenchman Has One, her skirmishes with French customs, French maids, French salesladies, French holidays, French law, French doctors, and above all, the French language, are here set forth in a delightful and amusing memoir of her early years in the “City of Light.”

Paraphrasing Caesar, Ms. de Havilland says, “I came. I saw. I was conquered.”

my thoughts:

Olivia de Havilland turns 100 years old this month - how exciting!  To celebrate, her memoir, Every Frenchman Has One, has been reprinted.  Talk about a terrific birthday present!

Short, sweet, and utterly delightful this little book is the perfect way to spend an afternoon. Just settle down with a cuppa, some macarons, and Every Frenchman Has One and your are in for quite a treat.  I certainly enjoyed getting to know Olivia and her life in Paris during the 1950s - it cheered me up reading about her encounters with French doctors, French customs, and French laws. Told in a conversational tone, each chapter provides charming anecdotes that will leave you in stitches from laughing so hard or grinning from ear to ear at Olivia's mishaps and miscommunications.  She's funny and self-deprecating when recalling these memories from her life in Paris.  I loved her honesty and openness with sharing her experiences. Talk about a charming and refreshing book!  I would definitely recommend it to fans of Olivia, fans of books set in Paris, and fans of memoirs - you will LOVE this book to bits!!

I have to admit that this book makes me want to travel to Paris, watch Olivia's films, and read more books set in Paris.  It may have been short and sweet, but it definitely inspired me. And, I think its the perfect way to end Paris in July 2016.  Au revoir!

Thank you to Blogging for Books for providing me with a copy of this book!


Lark said...

That's cool that they reprinted her memoir.

A Bookish Way of Life said...

Lark, I thought so, too :)

Mae Travels said...

I bet it helped that she had lots of money! Paris life is charming when you can afford it. I had a friend whose French husband relocated her from Canada where they had met, and she spent the rest of her life in a 1 BR apartment, under her mother-in-law's thumb and struggling to raise her child. I believe they were pretty happy anyway, but money can do a lot!

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Louise said...

Oh wow, I really really want this. Thanks for reading it, so that I can too- I've never heard of it before. I'll be finding it some time soon.

A Bookish Way of Life said...

Mae Travels, I know! Money definitely helps - makes living in Paris a delight I'm sure. Cripes, that doesn't sound happy, but I'm glad your friend managed to make the best of it.

Louise, definitely check it out! You will love it :)

Caroyn B said...

Hi Nadia - great review. I'm in the middle of this one now and also hugely enjoying it. Just finished the chapter about her son's temperature in C/F and the reprint of the letters to the IHT - very amusing :)

Cheers and happy reading!

Lisa said...

I haven't see this one before - definitely sounds like something I'm going to have to pick up. Soon - before it goes out of print again.

A Bookish Way of Life said...

Carolyn B, thanks so much! I'm glad you are enjoying this book so much :) Cheers to you, too!

Lisa, check it out. Such a fun and engaging read.