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About Catherine Berry
One family, three children, five bags and the promise of adventure living in the French Alps.
It got to me. Living in France was supposed to have a beginning and an end. It nearly did have an end in a way that I could never have imagined, but now it can’t. I belong amidst the bewildering complexities and incongruences of French life, and wherever I am, for as long as I am, this will not change.
Nothing from my Australian upbringing pre-supposed this French fascination. My first steps in the language were coincidental, and it was probably luck that saw one of the young, groovy teachers allocated to my beginner’s French class at school.
I enjoyed writing, but was gently encouraged into maths and science subjects, where non-essential creative writing was relegated. Thereafter, I adopted an academic approach to getting through an undergraduate degree, teaching diplomas and a master’s degree in education. Despite these intervening diversions, my French obsession remained present and it was only natural that when my own children were old enough that we head to France.
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Books By Catherine Berry
Our story ‘But you are in France, Madame’ was written from the heart. If you love France, reading about France, are curious about the lives of others or are planning your own trip to France, then this might just be the book for you.
June 2022 update: I have just released a third memoir: "With bare feet and sandy toes: Growing up in Australia in the 1960s & 70s." If you have found me because of our common love of France, I would love you to keep me company again despite heading in a different direction from my first two books.
Does looking back help you move forward? Not always. But, like Catherine’s first two memoirs, writing With bare feet and sandy toes: Growing up in Australia in the 1960s & 70s came at the right time for her 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 gifted the desire to wander and experience the sparkling facets of people and places.