Can a hat belonging to a powerful political figure have magical properties? Can merely wearing such a hat change a person’s life? This is the premise, on a lighthearted level, of The President’s Hat by Antoine Laurain.
When France’s President, Francois Mitterrand, leaves his chapeau behind in a brasserie, it is picked up by admirer, accountant Daniel Mercier. Donning the hat, Mercier immediately feels more confident and ready to take on the world. Well, at least in his small corner of it. Then Mercier loses the hat.
Its next temporary owner, a young woman with aspirations of becoming a great writer, also feels the power of the hat. Is it the hat that inspires her to make a life-changing decision, or just a coincidence? The she too loses the hat.
The novel follows the hat as it travels from person to person, altering lives along the way. I read The President’s Hat in one sitting on a quiet weekend. I thoroughly enjoyed its charm and gentle wit. Although the ending was perfect, I was certainly sorry to see the story come to a close.
P.S. I’d also highly recommend The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain
– – Sandi H.