Friday, July 18, 2008

Petite Anglaise - Catherine Sanderson

(A book that may be of particular interest to bloggers…)

“If I’d walked past him on the street one day, without the crescendo of emails, the electronic foreplay, would I have even given him a second glance? To what extent had I let myself get carried away by how inherently romantic it was to fall for a reader who had worshipped Petite Anglaise from afar before he’d ever seen my face?” (excerpt p.176)

Petite Anglaise is an intriguing, delightful read. Catherine Sanderson has written a personal memoir based upon the changes in her life brought about by “a click of a mouse.” An Englishwoman living in Paris with her partner and their young daughter, Sanderson starts an anonymous blog out of boredom and frustration. Writing about her emotional traumas is a form of release – soothing to her soul and bolstering to her ego.

Petite Anglaise (her nom de plume or nom de blog) soon becomes an extremely popular blog – her large audience fascinated with her openness and willingness to reveal so much of her private life.

And then Catherine falls in love with one of her regular commentors. The feeling is reciprocated. Since I don’t want to spoil the story, I’ll stop here as to what ensues.

With this engaging, well-written memoir, Sanderson tackles the issue of the blog personae vs. the “real” self and the conflict that arises when these “two worlds collide.”

We all put our best foot forward in our blogs, even when lamenting our woes or completing a list/meme of our “Ten Worst Traits.” (Why would we do otherwise?) And an anonymous blog grants great latitude but when this anonymity no longer exists (i.e. when we actually meet fellow bloggers) we are then forced to deal with how we have presented ourselves on our blogs, the perceptions others have of us, who we truly are and how these different “selves” must be reconciled.

Are you brave or foolhardy to allow the virtual creation of yourself to lead you to unknown paths and adventures? Interesting question because in essence, both the virtual and “real” selves are you.

Petite Anglaise provides a captivating glimpse into the life of a blogger who has most definitely ventured beyond any barriers I have set for myself (intentionally or unwittingly) in the blogging world.

I’m not sure whether to applaud this author/blogger or shake my head in amazement at her willingness to be so open – to bare her soul in such a manner. Either way, her story is an enjoyable read.

As an added bonus, once you’ve finished the book you can continue to follow her adventures by reading her blog at Petite Anglaise.

(And with every review this book gets, Catherine Sanderson’s stats are going to sky rocket!!)


Sherry said...

Oh my, oh dear...I hope I've been putting my best foot forward the times we've met!! hee!!! And I am not going to say what you think I'm going to say -- not even for the laugh!!! lol!!!!

I think there is honest, there is who we want to portray ourselves to be (i.e. at our best, not our ratty underwear, but there is no doubt that once you have met a blogger you have only known through cyberspace, it does change the relationship you have -- good, bad or otherwise.

Must read this book!!

oreneta said...

Have GOT to read this book...absolutely.

Shari/"Whiger" said...

Moving this book to the top of my list while I recourperate from surgery. A must-read for me. You got me with that quote from the book-hook, line, and sinker.

Seraphine said...

that sounds like a wonderful book! i love reading things like that, romance, self discovery and mystery. books that have meaning.

Charlotta-love said...

On my 100th post, I listed 100 facts about me. One was that I always have my toenails painted. A friend admitted to me yesterday that he tries to see my feet anytime we are together to see if he can catch me saying something on my blog that isn't accurate.

Athough I'm flattered on one hand that he remebers something I posted last year, it makes me cautious about saying too much on my blog. I've often wondered what fellow bloggers would think of me if we personally met.

That sounds like an interesting read.

La La said...

I just wrote this long-ish comment and it wouldn't go through and got lost in cyberspace somewhere. I ABSOLUTELY HATE IT WHEN THAT HAPPENS.

I said something like, I have no idea how I come across on my blog. I really don't. I try to be honest without being too depressing. I know I hold back a lot, though, and that my photo is actually cuter than I am in person! I'm actually not very cute at all, so I guess that's misleading. I like that shot though, because it shows my blue eyes better than any other one.

I checked out this author's blog, and I'm intrigued and will read the book because I think you are cool (that's how you come across on your blog) and I happen to know that you are COOL, and I like to READ memoirs!

Beth said...

Glad I met you - the relationship simply (and quickly) got better.
(Did you see my ratty underwear too that day?!!)

You like books that make you think. This one certainly does - about a topic we're involved with every day.

Yeah, I love that line - "electronic foreplay." Recuperation date coming soon!

I should also have mentioned that the book is written with humour - add that to the (great) mix.

Judging from what you've let us know of you on your blog, I think I'd like you very much if we met!

la la:
You come across as honest, compassionate, well-written, "sweet," soul-searching, a great sense of humour...I could go on and on.
Oh, yeah, and you are cute. You've shown other photos of yourself.
(Me, "cool?" I like that...)

Princess Pointful said...

I find it so interesting that the psychology and details of the experience of blogging are coming to the mainstream.

MyUtopia said...

Interesting. I am reading Icy Sparks for my book club this week.

Eileen said...

This sounds like a must read for me. I love reading other blogger's books and this one sounds interesting. Something I think about a lot.

I am just finishing up Belong to Me by Marisa de los Santos. Thank you for telling me about it, I liked it very much.

I also like when you do your book reviews. Keep them coming!!

La La said...

Thank you. Your kind words brought tears to my eyes. I'm super sensitive right now, so I really appreciate your observations of me. And, I choose to accept them! :)

Beth said...

princess pointful:
We bloggers are a fascinating phenomenon!

my utopia:
I'm going to check out Icy Sparks.

I just bought her other novel (I forget the title) - the one that proceeded this one - same main character. I'm looking forward to it.

la la:
I think my impressions are all very true - or else you write great fiction. And if that's the case, that too is a compliment!