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"[Ollivier is] ideally suited to contrast and compare the two cultures that seem to fascinate -- and irritate -- each other." 

The Los Angeles Times

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"A Gallic prescription for living a life that is richer, more sensual, messier, and a lot more fun."

The Boston Globe

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"Ollivier is sure to dazzle any reader with a fondness for French women with this batch of anecdotes and corresponding hypotheses, drizzled with a winning combination of sarcasm and wit." 

Publishers Weekly


Publishers Weekly Best Books 2009 

Audio Reviews 

"Ollivier's manifesto belongs in that rare class of books that must be listened to on audio rather than read in print. Her performance of her own book is so delicious and pitch-perfect that it demands a hearing, if for nothing else than the hilarious recounted conversations between herself and various French female interlocutors, whom she presents with a faultless blend of Gallic style and nonchalance. Her accent is impeccable—to American ears, anyway—achieved during a decade of living in France and being married to a Frenchman. As she wends her way through love, sex, food, sex, child-rearing, sex, politics, and more sex, Ollivier compares American women's neuroticism and anxiety to French women's devil-may-care attitude. Vive la difference!"

Publishers Weekly


"Why is it everyone finds French women so sexy? Why are French women so fascinating? Why so chic? Why so thin? Ollivier has some answers..." 

The Washington Post 

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"Les French Women n’ont pas fini de faire jaser. Debra Ollivier révèle à ses consoeurs américaines ce que savent les femmes françaises sur la passion dans son nouveau livre What French Women know, about love, sex and other matter of the heart and mind."

French Morning

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"We all know about the French paradox when it comes to food, but what about everything else? An intriguing new book on the subject of love and life is What French Women Know. Narrated by the author, the book is a real eye-opener..."

Audio Review


"French women, ridiculously famous for not getting fat, also know the secret to appreciating men, being at home in their own skin, enjoying sex, food, parenting and accepting with esprit the imperfections of living. What French Women Know is a sharp-eyed and witty examination of the French mystique – a fascinating alternative to how we Americans view love and sex.” Karen Karbo, author of the Kick Ass Women Series 


"A clever, liberating book. Ollivier upends the conventional wisdom on relationships and offers a more realistic, more playful and surely a more satisfying model…If we all just followed Ollivier's sage advice, the battle of the sexes could be declared a truce." Pamela Druckerman, author of Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting


Delightful and instructive. Debra Ollivier has written a smart and sexy book that finally explains why French women are so and sexy.”  Julie Barlow, co-author of Sixty Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong and The Story of French


"Every American woman over 21 should read this book--a 12-step program for living La Vie En Rose.  Written with arch intelligence and light-handed irony, Debra Ollivier's uncanny understanding of the French woman is apparent from the start - - it's impossible to put down. Delicious, smart and not at all fattening. Learn how French women do it – put their Carpe before their Diem.” Jennifer Kaufman and Karen Mack, authors of Literacy and Longing in L.A.


"In What French Women Know, Debra Ollivier, who as an American married to a Frenchman has had plenty of time to study la femme française,   successfully takes on the tough task of depicting the French woman as she is and not as cultural stereotypes would make her out to be:   a relentlessly slim,  self-assured, sexy, exotic paragon of perfection.  By the time  American women reading this informative page-turner finish the book, they may envy - or not envy, like - or not like, the French women but at least they'll have a clear idea of what she thinks about love, sex, and other matters of heart and mind. That include a host of cultural differences, from her relaxed approach to cooking (from scratch), children (not babyproofing her home), and sex (seeing herself as a sexual creature well after the age of 50).  Vive la France and congratulations to Debra Ollivier for penetrating the mystique of what French women know with humor and distance."Harriet Welty-Rochefort, author of French Toast: An American in Paris Celebrates the Maddening Mysteries of the French


"Combining wit, aplomb and piercing perceptiveness, Debra Ollivier decodes French attitudes about sex, love, gender relations, body politics, and seduction. She reminds us that it is in the presence of the other that we discover ourselves. Accompanying her on the back roads of the French/American cultural divide, is a real ‘plaisir.’” Esther Perel, author of Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence


"(Ollivier) knows how to look at the oo-la-la stereotypes and tease out the reality, how to look at French women in the context of French culture—and she makes you think about how you think about the essential matters of the heart and mind."

Sueky Howard, Bookpage




“There are anthologies about dieting, Jewish guilt, divorce and breaking up with your friends, and forthcoming ones about money, aging and women behaving badly. But the books that give off the most heat … tend in one way or another to be about motherhood. … In terms of literary quality, by far the best of the anthologies is Because I Said So." - The New York Times


"A searing collection of essays from thirty-three women facing the challenges of motherhood in the twenty-first century.... from a terrific lineup of first-rate writers." - Bookpage


"Fierce, honest stories that are distinguished by their originality." - Chicago Tribune


"The follow-up to the bestselling anthology Mothers Who Think features thirty-three similarly candid, irreverent essays bound to inspire passionate dialogue about modern motherhood."

- San Antonio Express-News


"Women will appreciate the humor and candor, and men will gain insight into the stunning challenges of motherhood." - Booklist




"[These] essays...are not so much issues as personal truths, spun out with equal parts observation, honesty, and good humor. They are sad, and funny, and poignant, and real." - The Los Angeles Times


"Finally, we who share the joy and the fury can share a book that embraces both and, unlike any other book on the subject, invites us to honor ourselves for simply doing the best we can." Ms. Magazine


"This book is a lot like motherhood itself full of joy, trauma, insanity, hard work, exhaustion, and more than a few good laughs." - Miami Herald


"A must-read for anyone contemplating motherhood and a bible for all of us whose lives have been warped, splendored, and expanded by our dear little ones." - Austin Chronicle


"Most popular press articles on the joys and tribulations of mothering are mildly insulting. Good friends may share true feelings with you, but not the press. [The web site] "Mothers Who Think" is where you go when you realize you've been duped...Heartfelt, exuberant essays...Funny, straight-talking..." The Bellingham Herald


"Full of dames both besotted and fed up...Essays by these mothers who think deal with the sweet, the sour, and the unthinkable." - Mirabella


"Here, at last, is a parenting book for those of us who have made the desperate search for some literature (any literature!) that reflects our own intense, horrific, hilarious, joyful, maddening, bewildering, sublime experiences as mothers." - Minnesota Parent


"Motherhood, apple pie, angst. This book offers proof that good parenting exists on many levels...Reflective and crisply written." - New York Newsday

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