Top critical review
7 people found this helpful
on 31 October 2009
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. Even when Catherine was with James she still came across selfish when James couldn't be with her (like their day at the beach - they all went out and still she wasn't happy!) She also started picking faults with James as well saying he'd worn jeans she hated to meet her friends. I mean, come on!
What I'd really like to know is why Catherine said she'd like to do the book because many people would pick this up having not read the blog (like me, I'd heard of the blog but never read it) and would think, like I did, that Catherine comes across as really unlikeable. I also wonder about it's true story intentions as most of the dialogue seemed corny and stilted. It seemed fake, and filler for the book, rather than actual conversations had taken place. Catherine's friend Amy confused me - generally when people are cheated on they don't condone someone else cheating yet Amy seemed perfectly fine with it. The cover screams chick lit which in my opinion is false advertising. Some would pick it up expecting a light and fluffy read and what Catherine does is not light and fluffy! I really wouldn't recommend reading this unless maybe you enjoy the blog...