Entre Nous: A Woman's Guide to Finding Her Inner French Girl Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Entre Nous: A Woman's Guide to Finding Her Inner French Girl

"Entre Nouz" is a memoir in which the authoress compares and contrasts her life in American culture with her experience as a citizen of France. Debra Ollivier was born in America and had her first encounter with French culture through a native French boy whom, briefly after meeting her in a class, cooked her dinner in her own home. From thereon, her life was changed and she became increasingly interested in French culture due to its vast differences from the American life she knew. When he invited her to move to Paris with him, she couldn't figure out what exactly it "meant" in terms of defining their relationship, marking her first entry into the strikingly contrastive dating norms (or lack thereof) of France. After their relationship runs its course to an end, she returns to America with heightened understanding of French culture as well as some advice as to how she can attain the mystique, sexual allure, and sultry sophistication that seems to come natural to French women. Years later, she meets her future husband in San Francisco, a French man whom she eventually moves to France with despite the cultural confusion that complicated her last relationship. They've been happily partnered since, a merry conclusion to a story that is interspersed with guidance to enlighten American women as to how they embrace the "joie de vivre" that characterizes the elegance of France.
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Best part of story, including ending: I really loved how the author gleans insight in pertinence to the differences between French culture and American culture, clarifies many misconceptions about French culture, explains where American misconceptions about French culture arise, and how American women can benefit from her experiences in France as well as how we can better our lives from French ways. However, I don't like how this story has a Parisian "slant" to it because not all of France acts like the residents of Paris.

Best scene in story: I love it when she explains her experiences with French dating and how they really don't even "date" in the first place. I also enjoy when she elaborates upon how flirtation is an integral part of French interaction although it does not necessarily imply the desire to have sex. I also like how she explains why French people disdain us and how the American ideal of archetypal attractiveness ("the dumb blond bimbo") directly contrasts with the French ideal of attractiveness which regards intelligence as the most important trait of all.

Opinion about the main character: I like that Ollivier is kind to American readers when explaining why France as a whole disdains American culture for its willed ignorance while also shedding light as to how the French aren't the snobs that Americans accuse them of being.

The review of this Book prepared by Ghia Vitale a Level 1 Blue Jay scholar

Chapter Analysis of Entre Nous: A Woman's Guide to Finding Her Inner French Girl

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Plot & Themes

Ethnic/Relig. of subject (inside)    -   French Gender/Class story?    -   woman's story If this is a culture clash:    -   visiting a different culture Ethnic/regional/gender    -   Yes Period of greatest activity?    -   1950+

Subject of Biography

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   writer Ethnicity    -   White Nationality    -   French Unusual characteristics:    -   Mentally Ill


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   France Century:    -   1980's-Present

Writing Style

Book makes you feel?    -   very happy If this is a kid's book:    -   Age 16-Adult Pictures/Illustrations?    -   A few 1-5 B&W How much dialogue in bio?    -   significantly more descript than dialog How much of bio focuses on most famous period of life?    -   26-50% of book

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Debra Ollivier Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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