Praise for Demystifying the French

“…a witty, wise, and keenly observed cultural guidebook.” Jake Lamar, author of Rendezvous in the Eighteenth

“The only way to get under the surface of this country is to learn to understand and love the French themselves. Janet Hulstrand serves as your very wise, practical, and entertaining tutelary spirit. She invokes her own experiences as well as the insights of other wonderful writers on France to guide you to behavior and habits that ultimately show respect for French values and pave the way to some of life’s most enriching friendships.” Jeffrey Greene, author of French Spirits

…“a triumph! And funny! I laughed out loud in lots of places. The glossary alone is a treasure. So much good advice for travelers to France…” Diane Johnson, author of Le Divorce

“…if you only have one primer on the French to read before your trip or bring along with you, this is the one…” Harriet Welty Rochefort, author of French Toast, Joie de Vivre, and Final Transgression

“I highly recommend that anyone visiting France for the first or the twentieth time, read this book. I think that means I give it five stars!” Sara Somers, Out My Window

“In this energetic, informative book, Hulstrand uses her forty-plus years of French experiences to help Americans better understand their French counterparts and French customs. She splits the book into two sections, “Essential Tips for Even Very Brief Encounters” and “Understanding the French Mentality.” The result is part linguistic manual, part cultural guide, part personal essay — and completely fun to read.” Lauren Paley, in Frenchly 

“…charming & informative… Demystifying the French delves into the cultural differences between the French and the rest of us…a must if you plan to visit or live in France…” Lisa Anselmo, on My Part-Time Paris Life 

“Peppered with amusing personal anecdotes, this practical guide is written to help you avoid common mistakes with the French.”  France Today 

“I teach high school French and found this book to be a fantastic resource for my students…appropriate, accessible and focused on the higher order priorities. The kids were very engaged with the reading and it always sparked a great discussion afterwards…A must for any students who are curious about cultural differences!” Katelyn P

“I’ve been to France several times and speak semi-fluently. [But] no one had ever spelled out so clearly for me the way to communicate courteously when greeting and speaking with the French.” Wendy W 

“Gentle and forbearing, Janet Hulstrand appears to share the Francophilic world view of Laurence Sterne, who began his magnificent 18th-century opus Sentimental Journey with the declaration, ‘They order…this matter better in France.’… For visitors desirous of pleasing their French hosts, avoiding embarrassment, and getting the most out of the country and its natives, Hulstrand’s pithy primer is an upbeat, well-written resource, with tips galore and a useful glossary (including an explanation of “the very rich meaning of bfff”). As she reminds us from the get-go, in this complex country, a smile is not a smile is not a smile—at least not a smile of the kind readily understood by the rest of the world.” David Downie, author of A Taste of Paris, A Passion for Paris, Paris to the Pyrenees, and many other books about France and Italy.

“…Like the Cliff’s notes version of some of the heftier works that aim to provide insight into French culture, and in particular why Americans sometimes feel they rub the French the wrong way (and vice versa)…For immediate, practical tips — including many original insights based on [the author’s] 40+ years of living in France — this book is it. Expect lots of encouragement in a very conversational tone with lots of laughs as well! To anyone who wants to visit but is feeling hesitant because of past or potential cultural missteps, reading this book might be just what gets you finally take the plunge and book that flight!” Bonjour Books DC (in Kensington, Maryland)

Demystifying the French is available for purchase from BookBaby Bookshop, or from your local indie bookseller, IndieBound, or

You can also buy the book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Kobo.

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