Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Hector and the Secrets of Love

Has this ever happened to you? Someone uses a turn of phrase you've never heard, or you learn about something new and all of a sudden it seems to be everywhere: on the telly, on the radio, your friends are saying it. Well, that's the case with Francois Lelord's Hector and the Secrets of Love for me.

Gallic Books sent me a copy, I thought it was non-fiction, so when it arrived I thought, Geez, I don't know if it's for me. But then I saw it everywhere - in magazines, in every book store - I couldn't get away from it. It was like the cosmos were telling me to read it. So I did.And what a lovely surprise it was!

The general synopsis:
What is the secret formula for love?
Hector, our intrepid psychiatrist, sets off on a new globe-trotting mission – and this time he's looking for LOVE.
One of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies has employed him to track down their brilliant scientist, Professor Cormorant, who has disappeared abroad with the secret of a modern-day love potion.
Leaving behind his troubled relationship with girlfriend Clara, Hector's adventure takes him to the Far East and into the arms of beautiful Vayla, forcing our hero to think deeply about what love really is/means.

It was light, engaging and an easy delightful read. Although it was originally written in French and translated by Lorenza Garcia, nothing was lost in the translation. I'm usually not fond of translated books but Perfume by Patrick Suskind remains one of my favourite books of all times (not the movie, mind you).  It did have it's moments of cliched comments on love: 'Love is smiling the moment you see each other' (I may be paraphrasing) but overall it was a thought provoking and practical look at true love.  It's peppered with wonderful thoughts on love: 'In love, if we really knew what the other person was saying maybe we wouldn’t understand them at all’ and 'sometimes we argue most with the people we love the most.'

Overall, it's an excellent read. If you're wondering what the secret to love is, this won't solve it but it certain does try and it's an entertaining look at what love is all about. My favourite line: 'love isn’t easy, even for psychiatrists’. Amen to that.


  1. Yes. Turn of a phrase. I'll be watching for it.

  2. Ooh, that sounds fabulous. I'm on to it :)

  3. ooh, ooh...available as an ebook. Now I'm really on to it!

  4. Having been married to a psychiatrist it is my belief they tend to think to much about everything to fully understand love!

    Just saying like...

  5. I am intrigued, another book for the list. It's a long list....

  6. Hi there, nice to meet you, came through Expat Mum. Jody here, Living in CA. Have not heard of this book but sounds like a good one maybe for my book club. Yes those two quotes are brilliant and really so true, I offload on my hubby like I would never do to a friend. Plus you never really know someone (and quite good that you don't) As Bill Clinton would say: not even the two people in a relationship know what's going on...how could an outsider. Um, maybe not a good person to quote...


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