Thursday, 22 October 2015

The President’s Hat by Antoine Laurain

The Content ReaderThis book was read by many during the Paris in July 2015 challenge, and with raving reviews. I had put it on my to-read list and was therefore happy when I found it recently at the Book festival in Brussels. On Tuesday, on my way to Mallorca, I finished it during the two hour flight. An easy read and very entertaining.

Wonderful story of the president’s hat, that is President Francois Mitterand. He forgets his hat in a brasserie in Paris, and Daniel Mercier, who dines at the table next to the President, finds it and takes it with him. Very soon he notices that the hat seems to have hidden powers. He acts totally out of character and achieves things he only dreamed of before. He realises it is the hat that makes him make decisions that changes his life in a positive way.

One day he forgets the hat on the train and is devastated. The hat is taken by someone else and her life is also changed. And so it goes…the hat makes stop overs with persons who are at cross roads in their life. The persons are not happy with their lives, but don’t have the energy, or, don't know how to change it.

It is a thought provoking book and it has a twist in the end which I like very much. One of these books that just gives you a positive feeling and hope for the future. Although the persons described in the book are totally different, Laurain manages to make us understand them and hope the best for them. It is written in a low tone which contrasts very well with the excitement of the individual stories. Highly recommended.

In my edition there is an interview with Antoine Laurain and one of the questions is:
"There are other real-life characters and actual events featured in the novel. Do you enjoy mixing the fictional and the real?
Very much. It’s a fundamental part of creative writing and especially so in the case of The President’s Hat. Some readers have even asked me if it was a true story! Perhaps it really did happen, without anyone knowing."

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