Stories of a real-life blogger transformed into a novel

2008-07-09 00:00

I am a total sucker for an easy light read after a hard day at work engaging with very serious stories, and so I loved this book. A true story — what began as a real-life blog for an English gal living in Paris — has now evolved into Catherine Sanderson’s first novel detailing her personal and, at times intimate, experiences.

The Franco-centric Catherine lives with French “Mr Frog” (we never find out his real name) and their charming little daughter, Tadpole, in Paris. Sadly, the workaholic Mr Frog is no disguised prince and the disenchanted Catherine details all her disappointments on her popular blog, which she initially started as a “fish out of water” account of a Petite Anglaise (English girl) living in Paris. We are introduced to her as she embarked on an affair with the seductive James, also English. Guilt-stricken knowing she is breaking up their family unit, Catherine cannot resist the charms of the sexy James and falls headlong in love.

Sanderson has an easy writing style and the book presents a fresh breezy perspective of all-too-familiar human failings. I’m keen on books that I can really engage with on an emotional level, and I vicariously lived the romantic highs of her affair with James, bit my lip and held her hand as she guiltily broke up with Mr Frog, and was enchanted with the adorable Tadpole, relishing each little account of her. But also I was exasperated with Catherine at times and mentally chastised her when I felt she had behaved badly. What fun!

Although it is really difficult not to spill the beans on what happens next, I will resist. It is best if you procure the book, switch off your phone, bar your door and settle down for a weekend’s reading of delightfully light, entertaining chick lit.

Incidentally, Sanderson later got fired from her job as a secretary because of her blog and subsequently won a hefty lawsuit against her employer.

Her blog’s huge success has brought her fame and now fortune. Once you have read the book check it out on www.petiteanglaise.com/ and catch up with what she’s been up to since the end of Petite Anglaise. Don’t go there first because it will spoil the book for you and that would be tragic.

Stephanie Saville

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