The French Art of Living Well is a tremendously enjoyable read of all things French, their culture, history, literature, food and much more, written by a woman who has lived there and immersed herself in trying to understand and live and understand the life of joy they all seem to have, and how they were able to feel this all the time.
Yandell who was born in the Unites States but has lived on and off in France as a single woman as well as a married woman with children for years. In this artful book which I would recommend to anyone thinking of going to France, she outlines just about everything one would need to know as well as tries to answer how she tried to learn how to achieve the Joie de vivre (joy of living) which the French seem to have discovered and mastered.
Within the book of essays, she tries to explain the differences in American life versus French life, including the way in which even doing the simplest things are totally different. In France, life is just so much slower, easier and less complicated. In almost every sense, the French always seem to stop and smell the roses no matter what is happening. They listen. To each other, to their surroundings, to their history. They respect each other, their history, their art and culture.
Within the stories, Yandell gives amazing history lessons as to why the French were the first at certain things, why they covet their art, food and the people themselves. We get a glimpse at the freedom the French feel and the respect they have for their country, although sometimes their government sees things differently!
Some examples of the differences between cultures which jumped out at me are the respect they have for each other. It is always important to greet someone no matter what the circumstances are and to say goodbye to them. Never bring carnations to someone hosting a dinner party. No matter how late you are nothing comes between the French and their coffee and croissants. When you use your words, sometimes its meaning may not translate appropriately.
The French Art of Living Well is a wonderful life lesson of all things French, filled with funny enticing antidotes, interesting history, music art and food lessons of a proud people who simply live their life every day in a thrilling, pleasurable way.
Thank you #Goodreads #St.Martin’sPress #TheFrenchArtofLivingWell #CathyYandell for the advanced copy.