The highly rated TV drama Mad Men on AMC has spotlighted the subject matter of men and women in the 1960s business world and taken it to task. In the first season I watched only one episode. It was painful. I had lived that life in the advertising world where a token woman worked harder than the men for far less pay and still had to serve coffee while listening to degrading remarks about sexuality, femininity, defined skills and forbidden opportunities. Women in mundane jobs had to take orders and ask permission from men who were less qualified than they. Funny thing, many of us didn’t mind the remarks. We were flattered when a man paid attention to us. Was that a lack of self-esteem on our parts or didn’t we know any better? We knew that good looks got us in the door, and we used them.While I was writing No Sex in St. Tropez I decided to soften some of my feelings about the way women thought and were treated in a man’s world. The parts about being a single mother and how I got to be a single parent were part of a back story I chose not to reveal. It was hard enough to explain my position on motherhood of two teenage boys who wanted to live with their father.
No Sex in St. Tropez
“Jacques was fascinated with me. He couldn’t believe a thirty-six year-old American mother would stop her life to traipse after a dream in another part of the world, climbing in and out of people’s lives, leaving a mark on many, gobbling up memories then moving on to the next adventure. Was that me?”
Rosalie Linver just has to experience Europe. So when her sixteen-year-old son living with his fourteen-year-old brother and their divorced father asks her, “What are you going to be when you grow up, Mom?” it’s confirmed that she hasn’t grown up, and now is not the time.
It’s 1974. Rosalie is obsessed. She doesn’t want to stay home and raise her children. She wants to live in France. Her mother suggests she find a rich husband to take her to Europe like her sister did. “She has everything you should want.”
Lacking enough funds to live in Europe for a year, she will have to work. A singing trio of two African-American girls and Rosalie might work. Roger and Jenny in London share their whirlwind lives with her. She renews last year’s love in Italy, then meets a crazy American writer living in Morocco. She lands in the middle of a coup d’état in Portugal where she meets the handsome and attentive Eduardo. But, they don’t have a language in common. Does it matter?
In London her application at the au pair agency is accepted. She is hired by a French family in St. Tropez, the world’s most glamorous resort, to take care of two small children. No one in the Dorel household speaks English. Rosalie speaks no French.
The summer of 1974 is one every reader will want to live. Sunshine and topless beaches. Beautiful people, luxurious yachts and the blue Mediterranean Sea. French cuisine and a language made for love. This is what can be, but Rosalie is taking care of eight-year-old Frederic. His precious one-year-old sister, Geraldine, captures Rosalie’s heart. Everyday is an adventure in NO SEX IN ST. TROPEZ. Find out what happens when Frederic puts laxatives in the pepper mill and pees on Rosalie’s head from a balcony. Laugh, then cry when she has to leave.
Meet Liz, the Australian au pair in St. Tropez, Colette who comes to paint glorious landscapes of the Côte D’Azur, Stanos who wants Rosalie to work for him in another paradise on the French Riviera and a cast of quirky characters who add charm and hilarity to this funny, fast paced and sexy memoir.