A New Book Reveals the Secrets of French Joie de Vivre

If you would like to learn how to wine, dine, and romance like the French, you will love the new book, Joie de Vivre, written by my long-time friend, Harriet Welty Rochefort. More than thirty years ago, the author, an American from Iowa, arrived in Paris where she soon met and fell in love with a Frenchman. As a wife, mother, and journalist, she spent the next three decades discovering why the French savor their pleasures like no other culture, and how they have perfected the art of savoir vivre.

Would you like to know why Parisian women look so chic and stay so thin, or why they part so willingly with a king’s ransom to own Hermès scarves? Or, do you wonder why the French insist on those two-hour lunches—whether for business, romance, or friendship?

Asked recently in an interview in Travel and Leisure Magazine what she found compelling about the French, Rochefort responded that she believes that the current French paradox is not why the French can eat foie gras and drink red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks. She explains the French are presently suffering an economic downturn and hard times, but that “recent polls asking about their private lives show they are immensely satisfied, positively filled with joie de vivre.” The paradox is that the French enjoy the daily pleasures of life without guilt. That is truly joyous living!

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