Antoine Laurain – The President’s Hat

Since he has to spend the evening alone, Daniel Mercier decides to have dinner in a brasserie and to enjoy himself there. He can hardly believe his eyes when next to him M. le Président de la République, Francois Mitterrand, is seated with two friends. During dinner, he eavesdrops the small group and when they leave, Daniel finds the president’s hat forgotten by its owner. When he puts it on, his life starts to change. An experience that also Fanny makes when she discovers the hat in a train forgotten this time by Daniel. In this way, the hat starts to travel across Paris, miraculously changing the lives of the people who put it on.

I really enjoyed reading the novel. First of all, we are sent back to the 1980s, a completely different era with Mitterrand as socialist president and Paris undergoing dramatic changes. The idea to have an item which triggers your own superpowers is funny in one way, in the other it also shows that just by believing in something you can achieve quite a lot. Not to forget: this is a novel to enjoy and indulge in since the changes are positive ones. Each possessor makes a stop forward in life, overcomes old believes and finds the courage to end things. The novel leaves you with a smile on your face and a bit of sadness when you have reached the last page knowing that the hat’s story will not go on.