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' 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.
Charming and optimistic
The idea that a small, seemingly inconsequential, decision may be life altering—like going to dinner by oneself or taking a hat from a park bench— resonates with those of us who can identify such moments in our own lives. The mystery being why we didn’t act sooner.