• Books

    Petite Anglaise

    I have a bit of a history of reading expat memoirs, and France is a popular place for expats to write about. One of my favourite expat memoirs is Paris to the Moon. In fact, I think I’ve read more memoirs of living in Paris than any other. Which is to say probably a handful. I think it’s mostly a habit now that if I hear of a decently written memoir about living in France, I’ll read it. It’s very easy since many expats write about France very well and very easily. While I am an anglophile, it can easily be said I am a francophile as I am semi-fluent in French. Though the reason I picked up this book was not only because it was an expat memoir, I knew of Petite Anglaise, as with many people, through her blog. I read it first in 2005 or late 2004 (definitely before she left Mr. Frog). While I was never a regular reader or commentator on her blog, I remember reading several of the posts and comments alluded to in the book. Even in blog format, I admired her openness in writing for her life. While I have had personal blogs over time, my visitor page was never a smidge compared to hers nor have I had the relationship rollerocaster, I could not be as open as she was in the blog. It is funny reading the book with things you’ve read about online or in a blog. It seems to be another perspective, and indeed, Catherine Sanderson seems to differentiate herself and Petite. I enjoyed this memoir because the question is elicits in personal blogging. How much do we or should we reveal? Do a lot of us blog when we are unhappy as a creative and cathartic outlet? For me, it’s fairly true because for many years, this domain has hosted a more personal blog (which is still here, but not been updated for more than a half year) in which I detailed many years of anxiety and doubt. Overall, I like how this memoir posed these questions about online dating, personalities or public writing. I think Sanderson writes in a clear style and voice.