This prize-winning French bestseller is a charming fable about the power of a hat that takes the reader on a roller-coaster ride through French life during the Mitterrand years.
Dining alone in an elegant Parisian brasserie, accountant Daniel Mercier can hardly believe his eyes when President François Mitterrand sits down to eat at the table next to him. After the presidential party has gone, Daniel discovers that Mitterrand’s black felt hat has been left behind. After a few moments of soul-searching, Daniel decides to keep the hat as a souvenir of an extraordinary evening. It’s a perfect fit, and as he leaves the restaurant Daniel begins to feel somehow . . . different. Has Daniel unwittingly discovered the secret of supreme power? For two years the iconic item of headgear plays with the lives of the men and women who wear it, bringing them success that had previously eluded them. The story is set in the mid-1980s, a time before smartphones and multi-channel TV, when people searched for lost possessions and missed connections in the classified pages of newspapers rather than on social media as in our technology-driven world of today.