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Petite Anglaise Hardcover – June 17, 2008

3.6 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal
The bestselling author of "Encyclopedia an Ordinary Life" returns with a literary experience that is unprecedented, unforgettable, and explosively human. Hardcover | Kindle book
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Sanderson joins the growing list of bloggers whose writing has been adapted from the computer screen to the page. In her first book, she writes about her blog, Petite Anglaise, the journal of a young British woman living in Paris. She reveals the details of her struggling relationship with her long-term boyfriend, Mr. Frog, and the joys and frustrations of raising their toddler daughter, Tadpole. She becomes part of a community of bloggers, and her life is irrevocably changed when she has an affair with a reader. Sanderson depicts an unfamiliar, less-romantic Paris: one of days at the office, walks through the neighborhood park, and trips to the grocery store. Readers won’t miss the clichés and will instead be taken by Sanderson’s poignant, honest portrait of everyday life. Reading such intimate details can seem voyeuristic, but they also make the book hard to put down. --Aleksandra Walker

Review

Praise for Petite Anglaise


"Compulsively readable."
PW


"[Sanderson's] prose is infectious, and even when things are dire for her character, they're a delight for the reader."
NPR


A digital-age fairytale in Paris. Petite Anglaise is light, frank and tremendous fun… Like all good writers, her work simply enables us to appreciate the diversity, possibilities, trials, and beauty of life.”
Guardian


"Written with the same panache as her popular blog...Petite Anglaise offers a fresh twist on the classic story of reinvention abroad."
WWD Scoop


Magnificent … Sanderson has a novelist’s gift for capturing certain eternal situations.”
—Financial Times


A wonderful read.”
InStyle


"Readers will be taken by Sanderson's poignant, honest portrait of everyday life [in Paris]...Reading such intimate details can seem voyeuristic but they also make the book hard to put down."
Booklist


"Her seamless, dramatically paced narrative reads beautifully, and her ear for dialogue is excellent. Evocative descriptions of Paris are an added plus."
Kirkus


A winner…Written with breathtaking candor … it’s the story of a love affair—not so much with Mr. Frog, their adorable blonde daughter Tadpole, or even her elusive lover James, but with Paris itself … Like Peter Mayle, she brings France to life on the page.”
Daily Express


Petite Anglaise describes daily life in Paris to a T, interspersing bittersweet domestic scenes with an amusing picture of French manners.”
Conde Nast Traveler
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Spiegel & Grau; First Edition edition (June 17, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385522800
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385522809
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,441,256 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
As with others who have expressed disappointment with this book, I have to agree and chime in. I truly wanted to enjoy this story as I am keen on memoir and had once lived in Paris. Despite my predisposition to its premise, I found I couldn't enjoy it as the author comes across as quite narcissistic. So much of the narrative was filtered through what appears to be an endless abyss of insecurity. It made it difficult to relate to let alone find sympathy in her story. For example, she is forever interpreting less than lovely interactions as being done to or as affronts rather than realizing it's her approach and attitude that cause so much inner grief. My opinion of the book was sealed when I found myself repeatedly cringing at the author's descriptions of her toddler daughter. The author exults her romantic life to the detriment of other vital relationships. This book is one dimensional and ultimately a waste of time.
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Format: Hardcover
WARNING: SPOILER.

For those of you who have lived abroad, this is a fun read. However, I was not comfortable with the public deception. Even though the character is not married, she and her long term partner had a baby together and her partner deserved more respect, particularly since this is a true story and the character maintains a not-very-private blog. In other words, I appreciate that we can fall out of love with our partners, but I can't imagine her partner appreciated the public display of her complaints about their relationship and about her feelings for another man.

Aside from that, I enjoyed her descriptions of Paris, her love affair with another culture and her honesty regarding being a working mom.
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Format: Hardcover
As her memoir opens, Catherine Sanderson has become an unhappy person. She loves her one-year-old daughter but finds motherhood demanding and frustrating. She is discontent in her relationship with her long-time partner. And even Paris, the city in which she's dreamed of living since childhood, is losing its luster for her.

So she finds a new love, ripe to be showered with devotion and attention. Well, she also has an affair. But the real object of Catherine's affection in the memoir Petite Anglaise is not "Jim from Rennes," who becomes her new boyfriend, but rather her blog, also called Petite Anglaise. Indeed, on a dull afternoon when her various sources of malcontent seem insurmountable, Catherine opens a page on her computer and starts writing. And then hits "publish," and a relationship is born.

This is the first memoir I've read about a girl and her blog. (The memoir "Julie and Julia" by Julie Powell stemmed from a blog, but the author makes only passing mention of it in the narrative, whereas for Sanderson it is a key player in her life.) At first, the blog is a creative outlet and an escape, but it gradually takes on the role of savior. Through her blog, she not only vents her feelings but also experiments a little bit. Like a lot of people, Catherine is a little more clever, a little sassier, a little more adventuresome in her writing than in her real life.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having followed Petite's blog off and on over a couple years, I actually had no intention of purchasing the book. Only because I thought perhaps it would be redundant of all her blog posts that I'd read. Wanting to support a fellow author, and because I'd always enjoyed her style of writing, I did pre-order this book.....and I was happily pleased.
First of all, I was impressed with the way Sanderson combined her blog postings effortlessly into a woven piece of work that read like fiction. I did recall a few of the incidents I'd previously read on her blog, but now written in a different way.
This is a delightful debut of a story that just happens to be true. The reader is allowed a glimpse behind the scenes, so to speak. I felt the depth of this author's writing was even stronger in her book than on her blog....and her writing on Petite Anglaise was excellent. But somehow I detected more emotion here than on her blog pages. So I was quite wrong to assume "it'll be identical to her blog."
Like the previous reader, I read this in two days. Much like her blog, I found myself setting the book down, only to be compelled to quickly resume reading.
Wishing much success to this author and looking forward to her fiction release.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I was looking for a memoir about raising cross-cultural children, my friend Christine mentioned Petite Anglaise by Catherine Sanderson. I was sold when I read the subtitle, “In Paris. In Love. In Trouble.” There’s nothing like a memoir with tension.

I’m planning on visiting Paris for the first time next year, so really enjoyed Sanderson’s vivid descriptions of the city. I want to go everywhere she mentioned. But what really brought me into her story was her honesty and her determination to carry on.

In the book, Sanderson is a British expat in Paris and has lived there for a decade. In her early thirties, she has a two year old daughter with a French guy dubbed Mr. Frog, but the two never married. In the book, she calls her daughter, Tadpole.

Sanderson starts a blog called Petite Anglaise and writes about her life as an expat in Paris, motherhood, and her stagnant relationship with Mr. Frog. This was all when blogs were still relatively new and not all that commonplace. Her readership skyrockets overnight and she’s a celebrity in Paris, although she doesn’t tell anyone at work about the blog for a long time. And then she only confides in her friend and colleague, Amy.

The story kind of shows its age when Sanderson feels a little uncomfortable meeting readers and other bloggers because they are still strangers and only know her online persona. I think things have changed a ton since then and no one would really think it’s weird today to meet readers or other bloggers. But I can see how it would feel awkward back then.

One of her devoted readers, another British expat named James, comments on her posts and sends her long e-mails. The two meet and things move quickly from there.
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