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Petite Anglaise: In Paris, In Love, In Trouble [Hardcover]

Catherine Sanderson
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)

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Book Description

28 Feb 2008
Living in Paris with her partner, the workaholic Mr Frog, and their adorable toddler, Tadpole, Catherine decides to alleviate the boredom of her metro-boulot-dodo routine by starting a blog under the name of Petite Anglaise. Writing with disarming honesty about Paris life, about the confines of her hollow relationship with Mr Frog and about the wonder and pain that comes with being a mother, she finds a new purpose to her day. As Petite Anglaise, Catherine regains her confidence and makes virtual friends, including one charismatic and single Englishman who lives in Brittany, James. And after meeting James one evening in a bar, Catherine feels she has regained her ability to fall in love, too.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 341 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Joseph; 1st edition (28 Feb 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718153049
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718153045
  • Product Dimensions: 22 x 14 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 887,350 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'Addictively readable' -- Mail on Sunday

'I loved it' -- India Knight

'Light, frank and tremendous fun. Like all good writers, Catherine's work enables us to appreciate the diversity, possibilities, trials and beauty of life.' -- Rory MacLean, Guardian

'Self deprecating, funny, sensitive, interesting, Sandersons' book is an insight into the nitty-gritty of life as a "Petite Anglaise"'
-- Spinebreakers

'Written with breathtaking candour, it will appeal to existing fans and new readers alike' -- Daily Express

`A wonderful train journey read.'
-- In Style UK

`Petite Anglaise is an addictively readable account of the highs and lows of life behind her alter ego' -- You Magazine

`Written with breathtaking candour, it will appeal to existing fans and new readers alike' -- Daily Express

From the Back Cover

'I hear returning footfalls and moments later anxious fingers prise my arm from my face; a pair of grey-blue eyes gaze questioningly into mine.

"Maman?"

"Mummy's got a bad, bad headache," I mumble feebly, turning on to my side and burying my feverish face into the cool pillow instead.

But there is no pain, at least not in a physical sense. I am, quite simply, stricken with horror; aghast at the thought of the upheaval I am poised to inflict on our little family. And yet, at the same time, every cell in my body vibrates at a higher frequency. Never have I felt so guilty, nor so intoxicatingly alive.'


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Petite Anglaise 31 Oct 2009
By Leah Graham TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Petite Anglaise is a memoir by Catherine Sanderson based on her blog of the same name. In 2004, on a whim, Catherine decided to start up a blog about a thirty-something British woman living in Paris. A year after she started the blog in 2005, she left her then-partner Mr Frog (with whom she had Tadpole) for a commenter on her blog. Then in 2006 she got dumped, dooced (fired from her job because she mentioned it in her blog) and outed but landed a bookdeal. Thus, Petite Anglaise.

When I started the book I wondered how on Earth I'm supposed to review a non-fiction book. I still don't know so I'm going to wing it! I apologise if my review causes offence, and there's a good chance it might, but I have to be honest and admit: I really disliked Catherine and thus, I really can't say I enjoyed the book.

It was interesting is as much as I enjoyed Catherine's honesty. I didn't like what she did but I admired her honesty. Apart from that I didn't like Petite Anglaise at all. Catherine was just too difficult to warm to - she came across selfish and very self-absorbed. Her treatment of Mr Frog and Tadpole really wasn't great. I couldn't have cared less if her relationship was failing, she should have broke it off before having her affair with James. The way she and James got together was beyond belief. She met him online in the comments of her blog - it sounds so unreal.

There also didn't seem to be much between James and Catherine in relation to their relationship. Sure they talked about what they might do but it never really seemed as if anything would come of it. (And ultimately, it didn't.) I was with Mr Frog when he said that all James had to do was to say the things Catherine wanted to hear.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars France from the English point of view 21 Mar 2008
By Damaskcat HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am not sure what other reviewers expected from this book but surely anything autobiographical is going to be about that person's life and thoughts? If the author is being honest then their actions and thoughts are not going to be palatable to everyone reading the book. To me this is warts and all autobiography and far better than sanitised versions that are often published.

Catherine does not attempt to justify her thoughts or actions. She does listen when other people criticise her - e.g. her friend Amy telling her that she has been very self-centred and unobservant of what other people are going through. She is aware she is hurting Mr Frog, but knows he is unhappy with the relationship as well. I think it is just part of the human condition to become bored with long term relationships and to want to escape. Life can sometimes seem to be the same day after day. Some people stay with the situation, others choose to bail out - it is a personal decision.

We only learn of our effect on other people as we get older - it is not something which is easy to learn. Perhaps she should have realised her relationship with James was doomed, but it is so easy to get caught up in the excitement and not see it for what it is.

I found this book interesting and enjoyable. If the author had presented herself as perfect I would probably have given up on it. Her failings make her more interesting not less. Set aside your pre-conceptions and read this as an example of the blog to book phenomenon.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing 2 Oct 2008
Format:Hardcover
I'm afraid I have to join the people who were disappointed with this book. For me, it illustrates the point that writing novels and blogging are totally different arts, and just because you write a successful blog does not mean you can write a decent novel. The narrator comes across as unbelievably self-absorbed and, as a mother of two, I just shudder to see the way the baby girl in the story is treated as a background prop in the mother's romantic and sexual adventures. The truth is that,if the author had not achieved a great deal of publicity over the dramatic events in her life/blog, this novel would probably not have been published but if it had, almost certainly would have gone unnoticed.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars just average... 20 Jun 2008
Format:Hardcover
I am really glad I did not follow the blog first and then purchase the book...because I saw the book as a gap filler! Also glad I got this book from the library and can give it back!

I picked up this book because the cover suggested a light read..chick lit style and I did not notice it was based on a blogger and real events. I read blogs and really enjoy some of them. But I am sorry to admit I just did not enjoy this book.

Right from the start I found it almost difficult to believe that someone of the author's age and with a child could be so fickle and self absorbed. I have a daughter Tadpole's age and while I can sympathise being in a difficult relationship that needs to end, I can not believe that someone could plough headlong into another relationship that potenitally could have uprooted a young child and separated a father and daughter only months after meeting. For a 'real' story it seems to me so unrealistic and unbelievable... If it had been fiction I think I would have been able to relax and enjoy it more knowing it was not really true.

I agree you should not really judge an author and their private life, but in this case it is different for the blogger is opening up their life...and in turn putting it out there further via her book. For me I was not able to find the author sympathetic or likeable. I just found her annoying and felt so incredibly sorry for the continually shunted Tadpole. I was also shocked at the total lack of appreciation for Mr Frog and in particular his parents. Wow what amazing people! I wish I had parent's in law who would look after my daughter. I can not imagine for the same lengths of time (three weeks...OMG!!!!) but at least for the odd long weekend and ocassional week.

The writing style is very easy to read and if you love Paris as I do the descriptions of places and venues are sections that you will appreciate and enjoy. I suppose what I am saying is all the bits peripheral to Petite's life!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Not much fun
This book made me very sad for her and for her family. It seems that she gave up on them without so much as a fight!
If you are looking for a light read this is not it.
Published 10 months ago by M. Harffy
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable read
I read the audio book version as I spend a lot of time in my car. It is read by Anna Bentinck who is obviously bi-lingual. I loved the story and really admire Catherine's honesty. Read more
Published on 9 May 2011 by Mrs. Gerry McDougall
4.0 out of 5 stars Petite Anglaise
This was recommended to me by a friend and although I liked only paying 1p for it I was very surprised when I received the book to see a sticker from the British Heart Foundation... Read more
Published on 19 Dec 2010 by Adala
1.0 out of 5 stars Stupid shallow woman
I spent an hour or two looking at the blog. Don't need to read the book. Extreme narcissism, total absence of self-awareness and complete indifference to the feelings of others. Read more
Published on 11 Nov 2010 by Walter Fane
3.0 out of 5 stars A well written novel on a complex subject matter
I picked this book up in a charity shop, woefully misled by the pretty cover to believe that this was infact chicklit. Erm, actually its not. Read more
Published on 12 Feb 2010 by Nicola F (Nic)
1.0 out of 5 stars A sham
I don't understand how anyone sponsored publishing of that book?I glanced through authors blog and it is equally unworthy of stopping by. Read more
Published on 14 Dec 2009 by Gekko
4.0 out of 5 stars my review
I found some of the reviews I read about this book to be very jugemental. Plus confusing because personally I enjoyed this book a lot. Read more
Published on 15 Nov 2009 by db
4.0 out of 5 stars not merde...actually
I adore Paris, we honeymooned there (my husband and I that is, obviously!). Because of my complete adoration of Paris and my longing to live there, I tend to devour any real life... Read more
Published on 22 Sep 2009 by Liverpool Poet
4.0 out of 5 stars Honest, witty and interesting
Catherine Sanderson was made famous when her boss discovered her blog, didn't like what he read, and fired her. She sued for wrongful dismissal, and won. Read more
Published on 4 Sep 2009 by Lucy Felthouse
4.0 out of 5 stars Sequel please!
I really hope Catherine writes a sequel to Petite Anglaise. An utterly absorbing book which I read in three (late) nights after my son was tucked up in bed. Read more
Published on 25 Aug 2009 by Lancashire Lass
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