Book #28

Petite Anglaise by Catherine Sanderson

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.

This was okay, quite a bit better than I had expected it to be. It was obvious almost immediately that it was complete chick-lit, and although this isn't normally my cup of tea, I was okay with this as I was in need of something a bit light-hearted after drenching a complete box of tissues at the end of The Book Thief.

Apparently, Petite Anglaise is quite a popular blogger. I had never heard of her, and had in fact thought the book was fiction until I started to get properly into it. I've now had a look at her site, added it to bookmarks, but only managed to get through one entry before hitting Escape. I may go back to it, who knows.

My favourite part of the book was most definitely the setting. Paris, La Ville-Lumière, was my home in 2008 and I miss it quite a bit. The descriptions of the streets, the views and the landmarks that the novel gave me were gorgeous and brought back some lovely memories. Sanderson's descriptions of the beginning of her life in Paris, and her love affair with the city that turned into more of an infatuation, were so akin to my own experiences of Paris that I had to love her.

My love of Sanderson, and her words however, quickly faltered as soon as she began to detail her life, rather than her surroundings. Not only is her writing far emptier when writing about the ins and outs of her life, I began to despise her as a character due to the choices she was making, and the subsequent reasons she gave for these. These led me to take her for a selfish idiot, vowing to myself that I'd never be as ridiculous as she, throwing major things in her life away in order to focus on fleeting, unimportant things such as pathetic lovers.

I wished that Tadpole, Sanderson's daughter, had featured more in the book. The entries about her cute little actions and comments are what made me read on, I wanted to know what was going to happen to this lovely little girl's life after her self-indulgent mother had turned the poor thing's world upside down for the purpose of an illicit romp with a guy she met on the internet.

I'd recommend the book to people who have visited Paris a few times, or lived there like myself, as the descriptions of the city truly are well thought out and gorgeous. However, the rest of the story completely infuriated me, and I'm not even a person who is particularly moralistic. Don't read it if you like to be in sympathy with the narrator. She is a complete loon.

28 / 66 books. 42% done!