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The Secret Life of France (Anglais) Broché – 1 août 2013
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I have lived in France for over seven years and I too have a child in school and not everyone is pre-occupied with religion and politics. I have only ever been to Paris once for the day and that was enough for me, I hate cities.
Though some things she wrote made me smile like the 'yaourt' and yes some of the people in the offices of les Impots need to lighten up, and why do I always get the cantankerous fifty year old who thinks I'm stupid because I can't explain myself as eloquently as she thinks I should over the telephone. I feel like replying in English, I speak three languages and you how many do you speak?
It won't put me off buying Lucy's novels but I won't buy another biographical sorry Lucy!
The author argues that the main reason the French have different standards to British people and English speaking people in general regarding such diverse subjects as honesty, marital infidelity, money and basic good manners is due to a Catholic as opposed to a Protestant influence. If this were true, many other nationalities would behave like the French. Ireland for example is a Catholic country and Irish people are nothing like the French neither are British Catholics. If anything, I believe that the French difference in moral standards is more likely due to a lack of any kind of organised religion rather than a Catholic as opposed to Protestant ethos.
It is true that most of the author's experience has been gained mainly in an upper middle class environment but it is also true to say that many of the same cultural and moral standards apply to a population regardless of their social background. If the working class French are less likely to cheat on their spouses, this is most likely due to lack of time, money or opportunity rather than a Protestant or Catholic notion of what constitutes right or wrong.
I think that it would probably take five or six books to correctly analyse the French but this book is a good place to start.