Johanna Baker-Dowdell, Strawberry Communications
One of the things I love about taking it easy at the end of the year is having time to catch up on reading I didn\’t get to do throughout the year. French Kissing by Catherine Sanderson was the perfect summer read, with its fun romantic plot and intriguing characters, some of whom I\’m sure I\’ve met in a past life.
Set in Paris, French Kissing follows single mum Sally Marshall\’s journey as she picks herself up six months after leaving her boyfriend of 10 years, Nico, who was also the father of her four-year-old daughter Lila.
Registering on the country\’s most popular online dating site Rendez-Vous after deciding she was ready for a relationship, I smiled wryly at English ex-pat Sally\’s indecision about how much to reveal to her potential online suitors, and then the highs and lows of being newly single in a changed dating world.
Learning how different the dating rules as a single 30-ish woman and a mother are than they were in her early 20s, business English teacher Sally discovers all is not what it seems when it comes to men, friends, family and even her ex-boyfriend. She grows as a person, mother, friend, daughter and partner throughout the course of the book as a result of her experiences and realisations.
While a very light and easy read, French Kissing was ideal for a short summer fiction escape. I have visited Paris so found myself remembering some of the places mentioned with a fond smile, but the most amusing parts were Sally\’s collection of disastrous (and some successful) dates. Some were comical, other poignant and one was described so vividly that her feelings were palpable.
In a time when online dating is becoming an easier way to meet potential partners than spending night after night at nightclubs and pubs, French Kissing is a fun look at how single life, motherhood and full-time work can be juggled.
Available now: Penguin $22.95