cover image They Eat Horses, Don’t They? The Truth About the French

They Eat Horses, Don’t They? The Truth About the French

Piu Marie Eatwell. St. Martin’s/Dunne, $26.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-250-05305-3

British-born francophile and France-resident Eatwell conducts a lighthearted journey through her adopted country by setting the record straight on commonly held stereotypes about the French. Divvying her subject up into 10 categories ranging from food and drink to the shifty relations between the United Kingdom and France, Eatwell includes a series of myths for each section that she explores with historical and contemporary anecdotes backed by secondary sources, but her conclusions seem somewhat subjective, and she concedes, “opinions and conclusions in this book are entirely my own.” It is true that the French kiss upon greeting, tend to forgive political adulterers, have not quit smoking, and dislike pooper scoopers, yet it is surprising to find resistance among Parisians to the once ubiquitous bidet. While the point of view is decidedly British, the combination of history, trivia, and firsthand observations offers insights into the cultures on both ends of the Chunnel. Agent: Andrew Lownie, Andrew Lownie Literary Agency (U.K.) (Dec.)