Top positive review
32 people found this helpful
Accomplished Woman With Good Advice For Others
on December 17, 2009
I admit that I opened this book with a slightly negative bias. I'm beginning to weary of authors who aggressively brand themselves these days. What used to seem original now often feels formulaic and pretentious.
Mirelle Guiliano understands her adopted country and knows how to impress us. On the one hand, she used her elegance and sophistication to good effect when she began with Veuve Clicquot and, yes, American women are rather intrigued by (apparently) effortless French style. On the other, "me + French = wonderful" can grow tiresome WHATEVER nationality is involved in the equation. While I'm sure peppering her conversation with French phrases is charming in real life (although she reminds us she is "equally" proficient with both languages) in a book it gets tiresome very quickly, c'est vrai.
But, ignoring the calculating branding (including the branding of nationality) and a bit of...hmmm...maybe too much self-assurance to be completely relatable, Mme. Guiliano really does have excellent advice for women. Particularly in American culture which can tend to the casual (especially with the younger generation entering the workplace) or the uninspired (note numerous political leaders who could all benefit from this book), specific advice about fashion--and more specifically, style--is very helpful.
I know some other reviewers have dismissed much of her business advice as common sense and maybe it is. But I found reading this book--especially the first half--surprisingly interesting and helpful. Yes, perhaps these are things I could write a paper about (mentors, proper approach to your work and workplace, actively LOOKING for opportunity and being prepared to take it when you see it, etc.) but I was reminded about actually APPLYING them to my personal life.
Time and again I made notes in the margins about something I should remember in MY workplace--and I'm not even in a business, but in a service industry. I think these reminders will be useful and will correct a few bad habits (of attitude) that you can forget to be aware of after a while at the same job.
She speaks from hard-won experience, has excellent advice well worth the length of a book (rather than, as many of these things, a magazine article), and her story is genuinely inspiring. "Women, Work, and the Art of Savoir Faire" is a good read at any stage of your career. For some reason, I found it hard to put down--odd, for a business book. Whether she wrote it herself or had (unacknowledged) help, the writing style is clear and engaging. I recommend this whether you're starting out at the beginning of your career or, like me, in the middle and need to ... reevaluate it--and yourself.