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Petite Anglaise: In Paris, In Love, In Trouble Hardcover – 28 Feb 2008

3.2 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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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: 14.3 x 3.2 x 22.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,971,878 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


'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.


"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

Top Customer Reviews

By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 21 Mar. 2008
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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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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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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