“But you are in France, Madame,” Catherine’s first memoir, is set in the majestic French Alps. You are invited to join her family as they take their first steps in a new country. Comfortably familiar anecdotes about changing countries, surmounting challenges and learning about oneself give way to unexpectedly dark times. But it is a light-hearted tale overall: to be enjoyed by those who are planning a trip to France, dreaming of France or simply curious to read the stories of others.
“Weaving a French Life: An Australian story” is Catherine’s second memoir. Seven years have passed since the family returned to Australia. Has she been able to close her emotional French-living chapter or has turning the page led her straight back to France?
“With bare feet and sandy toes: Growing up in Australia in the 1960s and 70s,” came at the right time for Catherine after a difficult period. Gusts of wind in the wild, sighs on the breeze, fluttering leaves, toes in the sand … it was a rejuvenating, soothing reconnection with her past. She found laughter and hope, felt the magic of innocent dreaming, and relived the frissons of first love. Perfect? No. But with their telling, even the tough memories re-wrote themselves as salient lessons, and illustrated that relationships—especially those between a parent and a child—are complicated, and that flaws and forgiveness go hand in hand.
Catherine’s story begins in the 1960s in Adelaide, Australia. Hers was a simple early life and whilst a caterpillar-to-butterfly transformation was not her lot, the socially awkward girl that was impressed upon her grew in self-belief and was given the confidence to wander and experience the sparkling facets of people and places.