I wrote a book! It took forever and I cried almost every day for 6 months as I tried to finish writing it and wondered why I was bothering ("it's like giving birth to a horrible misshapen baby" said my friend Madevi and sent me this picture).
Now it is available to purchase and I would be delighted if you did so. It is the story of how my teenage obsession with France ended up - via Normandy, Oxford, London, a disastrous year in Paris and London again - in Brussels, taking in all the twists and turns, farce, tragedy and stupidity that happened along the way. The idea was for it to be both funny and sad, because that, it seems to me, is what life is usually like.
It is a book full of love and loss, both of people and places. It details my debilitating addiction to excessively dramatic French cinematic fighting, to French pharmacies and to the works of Emile Zola. There is Dr Capybara, Georges Brassens' Le Petit Cheval Blanc, Christine Ferber jam, French reality TV, Marks and Spencer, Betty's Tea Room and a nougat heron. There is also enough cake to give an entire nation type II diabetes.
First five chapters for FREE here on The Pool's Bedtime Bookclub
Blurb on the back:
The Times - I can't really tell if she liked it
Radio New Zealand - they hate the title! It didn't make her laugh! But she liked it anyway!
Stylist's April Round Up
The Women's Room being lovely
"We'll Always Have Paris is a joy - beautifully written, funny, sad. I urge you to get a copy today" - ONLY NINA ACTUAL STIBBE
"Grief, babies, Nina Stibbe/Helen Macdonald mash and SO MANY LAUGHS AT THE FRENCH" - Helen Rumbelow (Times writer. Not in The Times though. On Twitter)
"BelgianWaffling's bittersweet memoir is wonderful and contains cake, lots of cake" Trish Deseine
"Funny, sad, honest and touching - one of my books of the year" Jojo Moyes
"Vraiment bloody lovely" Marina O'Loughlin
"I LOVED this book" - Lissa Evans
"An honest, funny, touching read about the true meaning of home" - Good Housekeeping
"Droll and unexpectedly raw" - Glamour
"There's so much cake in this delightful, thoughtful book" - Red
"Warm and candid" - Sunday Express
"I cried through most of it, but in a Good Way"
"An eloquent hymn to loss" (I love all of this review)
"I have no idea why you would want to do something like this" - redacted
"Lacking dragons and car chases" - my mate Tom
"I read your book" - my father
Bonus Type Material
Guest Post on French Style Failures on That's Not My Age
Telegraph - I wanted to be a French Woman. Then I failed at it.
Blethering on about books for Shakespeare and Co
Interview for The Books That Built Me
Podcast of Shakespeare and Co reading
More French Fails for The Pool
French beauty - heavy legs, thalassotherapy and magnesium - for Sali Hughes Beauty
PLEASE, if you would like me to come somewhere (your kitchen, a bus shelter, the pub) and talk about Paris, France, cakes, pharmacies or my book, do get in touch. One of my main reasons for writing a book was hoping it would occasionally get me out of the house, but here I am still mainly talking to chickens.