cover image Ooh La La: French Women’s Secrets to Feeling Beautiful Every Day

Ooh La La: French Women’s Secrets to Feeling Beautiful Every Day

Jamie Cat Callan. Kensington/Citadel, $16.95 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-0-8065-3557-9

As a young girl whiling away the summers with her French grandmother in Toulouse, Callan (Bonjour, Happiness!) spent many a late afternoon admiring a print of Guy Dessapt’s Le Moulin Rouge. In this combination lifestyle guide and travelogue, Callan interviews French women and Francophile expats from Paris to Lille to Normandy on topics like beauty, fashion, and feminine hygiene in an effort to divine the wellspring of a French woman’s je ne sais quoi, or her “ooh la la,” as Callan puts it. A “charisma expert” weighs in on displaying confidence, a masseuse explains the French approach to fitness (they “don’t like to get sweaty in groups”), and Callan’s friend Sylvia describes her government-funded, postpartum vaginal rejuvenation therapy. The author also muses on her favorite iconic fashions and their histories and the French reverence for “femmes d’un certain âge,” one of whom—Madame Poupie Cadolle, the “Queen of Lingerie”—cuts a particularly striking figure. This charming foray into French femininity will make a perfect cadeau for any Francophile lady. Agent: Irene Goodman, Irene Goodman Literary Agency. (June)