petite anglaise

February 25, 2008


Filed under: book stuff — petiteanglaiseparis @ 6:32 pm

I’ll be writing some blog posts for over the coming weeks, and you’ll find the first one – the story behind the Sunday Times red dress photo shoot (much less glamorous than it may have looked) – here.

A big thank you to those readers who sent me emails to tell me you found a copy in your local supermarket, or your pre-ordered copy thudded onto your doormat on Saturday morning… It felt very odd, this weekend, imagining all those eyes on my book…

Once you have read it, I’d love to hear your feedback. One of the weirdest things about writing a book, for me, has been having to work on the manuscript for many months in isolation, offline, without any feedback from my ‘regulars’. When you’ve got used to writing blog posts, pressing “publish” and getting the first comment within five minutes, this feels very odd indeed.

My facebook page is be a good place to leave your review, or you might consider writing one here.

I’m saddened by some of the ugly reviews already received on the Amazon page. Not because I imagine everyone will love it. Of course I don’t. Petite Anglaise may not be everyone’s cup of tea, and I can handle that. But I have reason to believe some of these reviewers haven’t actually read the book. One, in particular, repeats almost verbatim an unpleasant comment left on the Sunday Times website and, given the person hated the extracts, I find it hard to imagine she rushed out to procure herself a copy of the book and read it so quickly. Hardly constructive criticism, that.

Ah well. Trolls will be trolls.


  1. Do not worry about the ugly review. I have read it and it is crystal clear that the reviewer is simply green with jealousy.You are a very talented writer and you would have been ‘discovered’ as a writer with or without a blog!

    Comment by Lisa — February 25, 2008 @ 7:03 pm

  2. Hi Petite,
    My copy arrived this afternoon, looking forward to reading it later(3 kids prevent immediate comsumption).Ignore the critisism, they are only jealous of your success.Good luck. Helen

    Comment by Helen — February 25, 2008 @ 7:44 pm

  3. I read the reviews, but it istn’t that bad, what I am most suprised is the price of the book already reduced. Well more affordable..:-))

    Comment by pchenge — February 25, 2008 @ 7:49 pm

  4. You forgot to mention that there is currently a special offer through !!!
    Well I am confident enough to buy 3 then: one for myself, the rest for presents :-)

    Comment by Vonric — February 25, 2008 @ 7:51 pm

  5. Bonjour.

    I haven’t posted before but I felt compelled to today, not because I am incensed by the ugly reviewer (although people often find it easier to criticise than to praise, if that can be used as an excuse!) but because i reserved your book, at the WH Smiths in Paris!

    I am a Londoner but I am visiting Paris and as I have already been to the Louvre, the Sacre Coeur and Eiffel Tower, so I thought I would drag my Boy to WH Smiths and buy your book!

    Maybe you could recommend a good restaurant to take him to (to make up for it)?!

    Well congratulations on everything you have achieved so far! I have loved the blog for so long, I don’t think I will feel any differently about the book.

    Comment by Hannah — February 25, 2008 @ 8:08 pm

  6. I think it just shows your true heritage Petite, it’s proof that stoical English blood still runs through your veins even after so long immersed in France. Can you imagine a French ‘Madame’ putting up with that and managing to look so professional after an hour on a roof in February wearing just a sleeveless dress??!

    Comment by Joanna — February 25, 2008 @ 8:13 pm

  7. It seems to me that those who post negative reviews and comments are often not criticizing your writing ability (which is fabulous) but your “lifestyle” choices. You have been forced to make some difficult decisions in the last few years and have even yourself questioned later if you made the right ones. Your blog was written “live” without the luxury of hindsight and a lot of what you have written took real guts to lay open for anyone to read. I cannot see how any but the most judgemental can criticize that.

    Comment by Zoe — February 25, 2008 @ 8:39 pm

  8. Petite I have read Kate Moche’s review and it seems to me that rather than review the book, for it’s style, quality of writing etc. she is reviewing you. It all comes across as very judgemental and unpleasant. Let she / he who casts the first stone etc. ‘Nuff said.

    Sadly your star rating on amazon hasn’t been helped by a good review accompanied by a poor star rating. Weird!

    Best wishes K

    Comment by Kanus — February 25, 2008 @ 8:41 pm

  9. Trolls will be trolls and jealous toads and unhappy poos.

    Comment by clarissa — February 25, 2008 @ 9:04 pm

  10. I have not read the book yet but I sure will be getting a copy. I don’t know you personally but I am extremely proud of what you have achieved. As for critics where there is praise, there will always be criticisms,just the way the cookie crumbles. Anyway the biggest of congratulations to you!!

    Comment by sugar007 — February 25, 2008 @ 9:14 pm

  11. Hmmmmmmm…well, have just read that not-very-nice review on Amazon…and can I just say, in my humble opinion, anyone who can’t even spell ‘across’ or (the admittedly more complicated) ‘jeopardise’, shouldn’t really allow themselves the luxury of criticising other people’s writing! :-O I’m not put off, have been following the blog for a while and would be intrigued to read the book version…though I quite fancy picking up my copy in Paris (rather than on Amazon) as will be going there next month for a few days to wander streets and soak up atmosphere. Am so excited as haven’t been there for ages! So seeking out ‘Petite the Book’ will no doubt be on the agenda :-) Congratulations by the way!

    Comment by Groovypoppy — February 25, 2008 @ 9:25 pm

  12. Hello Petite. If I remember correctly, there are two reviews on Facebook by people who had read advance copies. My copy arrived on Saturday morning and reading the book pretty occupied my entire weekend (I wrote my Amazon review after I had got to page 100, and reached the end late Sunday). Perhaps the book needs a comment box :-). For example, after I read about the electric loo, I wanted to say “I remember those from when I lived in Paris in the seventies”.
    I really enjoyed the book – thank you for writing it and the blog. It is also good that you announced your engagement recently; it make up for some very sad episodes in the book.

    Comment by Pierre L — February 25, 2008 @ 9:45 pm

  13. Don’t worry, better reviews (and reviewers) are coming. Some of us are just waiting until we finish the book (now on page 95).

    What I will say now is, I really like how you were able to tell your story without simply regurgitating the blog posts. I know you’ve said all along that this was the way you wanted to write it, but as a fellow writer I was very interested to see how you’d go about it. Well done, you! Even your faithful readers here will enjoy the book and feel like it’s fresh and new.

    Comment by The Bold Soul — February 25, 2008 @ 9:49 pm

  14. Bad reviews suck – I’ve got the stinker-from-hell on Amazon that some old trout left about my book and I still hate her for it.
    A savvy author I once met told me that the one-star reviews on Amazon are almost always written by jealous wannabes. I’m sure she’s right. Rise above the petty trolls, as everyone else has said. I for one am really looking forward to reading Petite Anglaise xx

    Comment by Lucy Diamond — February 25, 2008 @ 10:32 pm

  15. Read the lovely reviews and ignore the others. It will make you feel better. Reviews are just opinions. Some people just have better opinions than others!

    Comment by kaycie — February 25, 2008 @ 10:56 pm

  16. Oh, great: since I have just read the book (kindly delivered today) I may as well use the opportunity to share my impressions:

    I haven’t been reading your blog from the beginning and not always, but petite anglaise convinced me to order the book by Catherine Sanderson.I am well aware that I need to re-read the book, since I have only swallowed it today, but I did switch on my PC after the last page just to tell you how it felt reading…

    I discovered, for one thing, that I like Catherine much more than PA, not only because she is much more lifelike than her blogging part, she also appears stronger, with a distinctive voice of her own and a personality I can relate to, without discovering too many resemblances to my own. Actually, I did not read your life to compare it with mine, I was interested only in what you had to say about yourself and your family.

    And you were convincing me, very much so.

    Also, you made it a fluent read (not easy, but compelling), though I didn’t catch all the French expressions and will definitely need to read it again.

    Well done, a great pleasure.

    Comment by alcessa — February 25, 2008 @ 11:01 pm

  17. Maybe the subject matter might cause some fuss-pots to have a right old go. I have no idea I haven’t read it yet. But surely the over riding point is you are a genuine talent who’s got her break, and we can look forward to some really fun reads in the future.

    Good luck


    Comment by fjl — February 25, 2008 @ 11:18 pm

  18. Petite soon better reviews will erase the odd one. Don’t worry! It is just the beginning! It is a good book and very humane, the characters are real people, there is a good plot and after all somebody can see how the life is in Paris!A well rounded book.

    Comment by penelope — February 25, 2008 @ 11:28 pm

  19. I had to read it for my thesis on “trendy publishing” and I found it wrought with cliches and overly sentimental. I am always fascinated when people say this or that person writes well and you read their book and see that all they have is a bundle of emotions and a thesaurus (and not a particularly advanced level one) and some luck. Or is that not constructive enough for you? Call me a troll if that helps, I am proud to say it isn’t my cup of tea nor my cup of coffee.

    Comment by louise — February 25, 2008 @ 11:41 pm

  20. You cannot imagine how happy I was to see that your book was available in Lyon, I’ll be out to buy it first thing tomorrow morning ! And I’m also hoping to find a cheap-ish return ticket to Paris for the 20th of March so that I can have my book dédicasséd by the famous petite anglaise. Is it possible to bring our own book to the WHSmith in Paris or is it compulsory to buy a copy there ?
    Anyway, good luck with the princess wedding dress !

    Comment by petite lyonnaise — February 26, 2008 @ 12:20 am

  21. I enjoyed your article on Times Online. Being male, however, I can’t help noticing that petite anglaise is aimed towards women in the way it is presented (site colour scheme and borderline sycophantic “you go, girl!” comments on nearly every post), despite what you write being interesting for both sexes. I don’t know, maybe the recipie needs a little less sweet, a little more sour.

    That aside, you are obviously fluent in French. I’m studing it at college… is there a point at which you begin to think in French, read French and not have to translate it into English, but understand it in French – even dream in French? It seems like an uphill struggle up to that point.

    Anyway I don’t have any narcissistic desire to see my post online – so you dont need to put it there.

    (or Merci, or maybe I should write the whole post in French… or not)

    Comment by Post Humous — February 26, 2008 @ 1:17 am

  22. I just received an email that my book is on the way (from the UK) and I can’t wait!

    Comment by Janet — February 26, 2008 @ 3:03 am


    Alright? Now you can hate me :-) xxxxx

    Comment by rhino75 — February 26, 2008 @ 3:08 am

  24. As anyone attempting any artistic endeavor knows, you don’t set out to please everyone, as that is impossible. You wrote the best story you could, and there will be those that love it, those that hate it, and those in between. The fact that a reputable publishing house was willing and able to publish your work says more about you than all the negative reviews out there.

    The best thing you can take from a negative review is to drive forward and make the next book even better than the first. Even more so, be your own worst critic, and strive to do better.

    Comment by Dave of the Lake — February 26, 2008 @ 3:57 am

  25. You’re going to need a thicker skin Petite!

    can i buy your book in the US yet?

    Comment by corine — February 26, 2008 @ 3:59 am

  26. Do you think Kate Moche is real? After all, moche is as moche does, and several commenters have already characterized her review as ‘ugly’.

    Good luck with the book and best wishes on your impending marriage.

    Comment by Poppy Quince — February 26, 2008 @ 7:27 am

  27. What was the point of those comments on Amazon?

    I hate it when people write reviews like that; it’s just bitchiness and it doesn’t help if you are genuinely interested in reading the book.

    I guess it would be too much of a stretch of the old little grey cells to post an intelligent response or constructive criticism. What’s with some people? :-(

    Comment by Jacqueline — February 26, 2008 @ 7:45 am

  28. Don’t worry about the reviews. I feel the release, as in letting go, of a book is like watching your child disappear into school on the first day. You’re so nervous, and so want him/her to be universally popular, but there are always a few nasty ill-mannered little louts in the playground. Great achievement – can’t wait to get a copy.

    Comment by john — February 26, 2008 @ 9:12 am

  29. Sometimes fame causes jealousy, and a jealous reaction is rarely a pretty one. Let’s just say that you have achieved a certain degree of fame and perhaps, just perhaps, some reviewers are jealous!

    Once I finish the book I will put a review up and I am confident that it will be a very positive one!

    Comment by Lost in France — February 26, 2008 @ 9:55 am

  30. I think the bad review on Amazon is more about your style of life that it seems doesn’t appeal to her “morale values” rather than about your writing talent…. Le venin n’atteint pas la blanche colombe…

    Comment by Emmanuel Vivier / Vanksen| & — February 26, 2008 @ 10:10 am

  31. Be glad your book is so controversial.

    The gushing comments, as well as the ugly ones, have been left by people affected by your writing in some way. Every comment should be counted as a success. It’s the interesting things that divide opinion.

    You’ve reached out from the pages, and made people care. Well done!

    Comment by tui — February 26, 2008 @ 10:52 am

  32. Petite, you must bear in mind some of the poor reviews may be mixed with a tinge of jealousy. There are unpublished “career authors” out there who have never (and will never) be published and then you come along… I have ordered my copy and look forward to reading it! All the best

    Comment by Jane S — February 26, 2008 @ 11:30 am

  33. I’ve only read the Sunday Times extract which, does in fact, read very well, despite the editing. It’s because the prose is extremely good, and that’s what counts, isn’t it?
    I think that some reveiwers are confusing their opinions on you as petite anglaise and the actual book that has been written. It’s hard enough for us commenters to separate the blog from the book, because we feel that we know you and your story too well. So as for a reviewer who has trawled the press for articles already and has had a pop at the blog, who knows what preconceived ideas they have arrived at. En plus, they are reviewing what is essentially an autobiography and when they are ugly, is your prose and syntax in question? Thought not!

    Comment by Flighty — February 26, 2008 @ 11:35 am

  34. PS
    At least you’ve got a book out!

    Comment by Flighty — February 26, 2008 @ 11:35 am

  35. My two copies (one for a friend) have just landed on my desk in work. How apt if I got fired for reading the book in work!! ha ha. I will resist the urge to open it until I get home.

    No31 is right, if you make people write feverish comments you have achieved something great.

    Comment by susie — February 26, 2008 @ 11:48 am

  36. Kanus is right, that bad review on Amazon is envious and reviews you, rather than the book. It’s a bit trite to review a book badly because you don’t want to be friends with the central character.

    And how ridiculous to say that it was a bad idea for you to accept the publishing deal – as if anyone in their right mind wouldn’t have!

    Under “Was this review useful to you?”, I clicked “No”. I hope everybody else does too. (You got some nice reveiws there though – you must be chuffed by the guy who says he feels like you’re his friend now.

    Comment by Damian — February 26, 2008 @ 12:08 pm

  37. Loved the book. Better to have controversial reviews than no reviews; people will read it just to see what the fuss was about. Will recommend it to my book group; all women with no colour coordinating toddler in pushchair!! Courage!!

    Comment by georgiethewondercat — February 26, 2008 @ 12:19 pm

  38. Did you know you’re in the Parisian today? “jolie blonde de 35 ans”! Nice to have the compliment. Just ordered your book from Will let you know.
    In the meantime don’t worry about the harsh reviews. So far there are two good reviews which outweigh the bad one.
    Bon courage!

    Comment by laroseanglaise — February 26, 2008 @ 2:36 pm

  39. I’m forced to wonder if Kate Moche is actually Trevor with a nom de plume. ;-) (If this improper French don’t blame me, as I took Spanish in high school…..)

    Comment by Dave of the Lake — February 26, 2008 @ 3:11 pm

  40. There you go again, focusing on the negative. Let it go, and concentrate on the good stuff. Just make a mental note of how you react, and this will help you deal with instances of this nature in the future.

    Just because someone verbally ‘duffs you up’, doesn’t mean to say that they loath you. They may have a different agenda, maybe it’s a competitor, maybe they don’t like the book, or maybe it’s just good old fashioned jealousy. Whatever the reason, don’t pander to their provocation, just think to yourself, ‘yes, well I accomplished something’.

    And anyway, the sales figures will indicate whether people like it or not, because people discuss, and people recommend, and word gets out. So lap it all up, because you just got on the rollercoaster called ‘writing a book’ where the fun never ends!

    Comment by Steve... — February 26, 2008 @ 3:27 pm

  41. I just loved your book!!!!!

    Comment by miki* — February 26, 2008 @ 4:01 pm

  42. If I were you, I’d pay a whole lot more attention to the professional reviews for constructive criticism, not the amateurs, many of whom are likely to be either sycophantically adoring or jealously mean. I use the word “criticism”, by the way, in its purest sense, signifying both positive and constructively negative feedback.

    Comment by Passante — February 26, 2008 @ 5:17 pm

  43. I agree with the other commenters here, I think that there will be some negative reviews which stem from sheer green jealousy. You are obviously an extraordinarily talented writer, and while we can’t expect the book to be everyone’s cup of tea, I think there is a difference between a well-thought-out critical review and one in which the reviewer is, as some have mentioned above, reviewing you and your personal life rather than your creation. You’ve had these kind of people for as long I have been reading you, I think it’s best to just do what you have always done: don’t let them get you down.
    I can’t wait to read it, haven’t picked up my copy yet but plan to stroll on down to WH Smith soon and get my hands on it

    Comment by lapagefrancaise — February 26, 2008 @ 5:17 pm

  44. not sure if this will work..i am new at this..just want to say i actually cried as you described the moment you and james? broke up..the way he sat on the chair,the uninviting bodylanguage..the bags already packed,achingly beautiful writing..i went thru something similar..and every word hit home..keep it going

    Comment by stan — February 26, 2008 @ 7:15 pm

  45. Didn’t we all give up on The Times after the issues with The Girl?

    Can’t wait for the book to come out and to spend happy hours in Waterstones moving them to the front of all the displays :-)

    Comment by Mark — February 26, 2008 @ 8:35 pm

  46. Ugly reviews are from ugly minded people… look how many bloggers/others you are loved by! :)

    Comment by a life uncommon — February 26, 2008 @ 8:38 pm

  47. @45: many of us did indeed give up on the Sunday Times after the episode with The Girl. But I make an exception if I know that Petite (or, indeed, Rachel from North London) is going to be in it.

    Comment by Pierre L — February 26, 2008 @ 8:53 pm

  48. Just a suggestion:
    Maybe you should make a separate heading for Ireland in the press clippings section?

    Comment by happyforyou — February 26, 2008 @ 11:48 pm

  49. Hi Petite! I just want to let you know that I live in Canada, and today my copy of your book arrived at my work. I thought that it would take a week for regular mail to arrive from the UK to Canada! Anyway, I haven’t read the book yet. But I’m already loving the cover!

    About the negative review — I think you handle them pretty well, judging by what you write here. The truth is some people would never agree on your path in getting famous and getting a book published. That’s okay — but I think you know that too. :)

    Comment by Angela — February 27, 2008 @ 2:03 am

  50. Ugh. So now you need to make a plea to get even more attention . . . even more praise? It never seems to end. You’ll just be hungry for more . . .

    Comment by Emily — February 27, 2008 @ 4:26 am

  51. I am always fascinated when people say this or that person writes well and you read their book and see that all they have is a bundle of emotions and a thesaurus (and not a particularly advanced level one) and some luck. Or is that not constructive enough for you?
    louise | 11:41 pm

    I’ve yet to read the book, but I couldn’t help but notice how catty the particular criticism above read. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I found it annoyingly elitist and so condescending that I couldn’t help but remark on it. As far as I’m concerned, emotions are the guiding force in both life and literature. I’ve read your blog for months now, and I have never known it to be overly sentimental. I doubt the book is any great departure from your usual style.

    I’m not trying to be sycophantic or undermine the worth of criticism, but it irritates me to no end when people fail to do it in a helpful manner. The people who use the pretense of criticizing to rudely insult a work are the ones who appear infantile and envious in the end.

    As a previous reviewer suggested, I would place the greatest value in professional reviewers and their opinions and suggestions. A writer can always learn and improve, and I’m sure that a critic is more adept at helping you learn than the likes of louise. Congratulations on your success!

    Comment by Annina — February 27, 2008 @ 5:13 am

  52. Nr. 50: if someone writes a book on the basis of their blog, isn’t it logical and isn’t it the most transparent thing this author can do – to talk about it on her blog??????

    We have sooo many reasons to be thankful for it: no deceptive marketing anywhere, no tricks to make us buy the book, every possibility to avoid it, if we want…

    Common, no one’s buying the book because petite told them to and if they are, they need to generally rethink their ways.

    Comment by alcessa — February 27, 2008 @ 12:10 pm

  53. If I could add my two pennies’ worth (and having just ordered the book I feel I’m entitled to), with all due respect, if one is not prepared to face up to criticism, one should not seek publication. Even Dorris Lessing has had bad reviews, one can never please the taste of every reader — and one shouldn’t aim for that. But complaining about bad reviews seems just a little too twee.

    Comment by Teaperson — February 27, 2008 @ 1:04 pm

  54. Oh please No53 – she can complain all she bloody well likes – its her blog! Incidently, if you actually read the post, she is not complaining thas she got a bad review, PA is expressing her saddness that a review of the book seems to be from somoene who hasn’t read it – you will surely agree that she can complain about that?

    Comment by susie — February 27, 2008 @ 3:00 pm

  55. May I brag?! I got my copy through the post this morning, I got my copy through the post this morning!! The biggest ‘thump’ on my doormat EVER, and the most anticipated too! I am soooo excited! I’ve already read the first 20 pages, but I have to go back to work now (I work from home most days). So, more later….

    Comment by Lotus Flower — February 27, 2008 @ 4:19 pm

  56. Got my copy and you managed to totally write off the best part of my day – loved it, the emotion in your writing really comes through, and you’ve filled in all the “missing gaps” from the blog beautifully without repeating yourself. Ignore the pettiness, and when can we expect the next book?!

    Comment by pinklady — February 27, 2008 @ 8:13 pm

  57. Re: #53 and #54 (and petite herself!)

    I find it endlessly amusing that a bad review is labelled as “seems to be from somoene (sic) who hasn’t read it”, but the same assumption cannot be made for a good review? Some of the gushing in the “good” reviews seem very much to be from hardcore petiteanglaise fans who may or may not have read the book….

    Perhaps petite should acknowledge that some people are just not going to like what she writes – acknowledging it without name-calling, that is.

    Trolls? That just makes you sound like a poor sport, Petite. I agree with #53 on this one – though I would use “whining” instead of “complaining”.

    How lovely to laud the ones who like your writing, and call the ones who don’t… trolls.

    And of course Petite is entitled to complain away in her blog. And opinions will be formed accordingly.

    a troll, apparently.

    Comment by mel — February 27, 2008 @ 8:43 pm

  58. I sent in my pre-order for the American version. (I’m too cheap to pay for overseas shipping from the site.) Hopefully you managed to convince your editor to back off all of the American-isms and your charming British-isms are still there. Looking forward to a thud on my doorstep come June!

    Comment by Sakoro — February 27, 2008 @ 8:45 pm

  59. mel – I agree that whining about bad reviews in public makes a person a bad sport (I’ve searched for the typo you draw attention to, but can’t find it?) I had mixed feelings about writing this post and maybe it would have been better to hold my tongue.

    I’m obviously going to have to get used to reading many differing opinions of my book (and in this case, people’s opinions of me as a person) as I’ve put myself squarely in the firing line.

    I don’t shy away in the book from portraying myself in an unfavourable light and I think some readers will miss the point that I did this on purpose – to show human weakness, to be honest about my own failings – and simply brand me selfish, shallow, self-centred.

    My only issue however was with someone writing a bogus review about a book I was almost certain she hadn’t read. There is another which is pure hateful sarcasm from start to finish and makes no reference to the book at all. I wonder a little at the motivation behind something like that.

    You will see in my comments box that a good friend of mine has written a less than glowing review, which I responded to with good grace because it is constructive, well argued and makes sense to me.

    The upshot of all this is that I’ve decided not to react publicly to this subject any further, even if this is my blog and I should be able to do precisely as I please. It’s a case of whatever I say, I can’t win. So best to keep stumm.

    Comment by petite — February 28, 2008 @ 9:53 am

  60. i’m sure lucy d is right – one-star reviews are almost always from jealous wannabees. i had one on us amazon which the author was incautious enough to post in her real name. in the text of the ‘review’ she went on to recommend a far better book by none other than …. herself!
    can’t wait to read your book! x
    (need to ask you about morocco, btw)

    Comment by rivergirlie — February 28, 2008 @ 10:59 am

  61. Wow, good for you Petite. Very good decision. It doesn’t matter what you say or how you react – you can’t defend yourself and you can’t make a case for yourself either, people will always interpret your words or reactions as they see fit, out of spite or jealousy or, indeed, admiration. Just write your next book, don’t look back – your books and the sales will speak for themselves, I’m sure. Loving the book so far!

    Comment by Lotus Flower — February 28, 2008 @ 11:20 am

  62. I too have not read the book yet Petite, but have enjoyed your writings and admired your courage in the face of uncertainly. That’s what life is, vraiment?, an adventure in the face of adversity.

    So I congratulate you, and all writers, for doing the hard word and exposing yourself – in a manner of speaking – for the rest of us to see. It takes heart and I offer you some so you may ignore the small and small-minded reviewers.

    Bonne chance!

    Comment by mrhappy — February 29, 2008 @ 2:09 pm

  63. Petite,

    I’m in the States in Chicago and I ordered the Hardcover UK version from just because I couldn’t imagine reading Tadpole call you “Mommy”. As we say when butchering even our version of english: “That just ain’t right!”
    So, I ordered, and I recieved but quick! The minute I got it I sat down and started reading.

    Lovely! Just Lovely! After so much time lurking about your blog though, it is a little like being a Peeping Tom to read about your life from the beginning of la “Petite Anglaise”. Oh and yes, “Petite Americaine” has that same double meaning, mignonne et (disons) assez facile.

    Finalement, tres bien fait Petite! Felicitations!

    Comment by JeninChicago — March 1, 2008 @ 3:40 am

  64. Hey don’t worry about hateful feedback. Some people just like to look at the world in a really black way, but in the end it always turns against them.

    I have to say I can’t put your book down. I bought it when I was in London last week (I’m Dutch but I study English and I don’t like to read things in translation) and I started reading right away. I love your writing style, and it keeps you wanting to read on. Some of the things you describe in the book are really recognisable and it’s wonderful to read how you manage to analyse situations and put them into words in a way that I would never manage myself.

    You’ve put something out there you can be proud of. :)

    Comment by Marjolein — March 1, 2008 @ 6:42 pm

  65. Hmmm. Like Jean-Pierre Jeunet did in Amélie you’ve managed to make Paris appear idyllic and above all French, rather than the dirty, over-populated, crime-ridden metropole it really is. The Paris you depict hasn’t existed since the 70s, if it ever really did. Still, romanticised middle-class views of Europe’s capitals still seems to be in fashion, who can blame you for cashing in?

    Comment by deadSoul — March 2, 2008 @ 4:01 pm

  66. WRT bad reviews, you have to wonder why people buy books they don’t like. Of course, I realise that most of them haven’t actually bought it, in which case their ‘reviews’ are worthless, but it would be nice if Amazon could make a distinction. It wouldn’t kill them to tag reviews of unknown provenance – after all, they must know who has bought the book from them!

    Good luck with the book and your forthcoming wedding – I much enjoyed your interview on Woman’s Hour today.

    Comment by James — March 3, 2008 @ 11:25 am

  67. Hi Petite

    I heard your chat on BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour earlier today (March 3rd) and was moved to seek out your blog and your book. A comment has been added to the Amazon UK review you describe as “pure hateful sarcasm from start to finish”. It reads:

    “I don’t have much confidence in the opinions of someone who doesn’t understand the difference between baited and bated. This reviewer shows the worst characteristics of the critic: bile and spite disguised as wit, not very successfully.”

    And yes, it was I who added the comment. Anyone reading the reviews can leave a comment and/or say whether they found the review helpful.

    Good luck with the book, and NLTBGYD.

    Comment by David H — March 3, 2008 @ 4:00 pm

  68. I think that Kate Moche person is completely unhinged. It’s one thing to set forth a negative review which is dispassionate in tone, quite another to vent your spleen as she has. Your book has obviously hit a nerve but I think it’s more to do with her personal issues, not so much your book per se. I haven’t read PA yet but look forward to it when I have a bit of time! All the best.

    Comment by Deb McD — April 4, 2008 @ 5:11 pm

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