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(McCabe Sisters #1)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  1,428 ratings  ·  63 reviews
Catriona McCabe, 28, only ever known as Cat, is trying to improve her career as a sports journalist and get over a failed relationship. What better way to do both than to spend the summer following the Tour de France?

Freya North's previous novels are Sally, Chloë, and Folly.
Paperback, 448 pages
Published August 8th 2003 by Arrow (first published 1999)
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Average rating 3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,428 ratings  ·  63 reviews

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Jul 12, 2015 rated it did not like it
I'm sorry to say that I really struggled through this one. At 448 pages it was much too long for its rather weak story line and there was much too much information about cycle racing included which was also to the detriment of the story telling. I was obliged to skim large chunks of the text especially the bits where certain characters sat and had mental debates with themselves. That was an odd narrative technique that I could not come to grips with. So for me a bit of a disaster really:)
Jo Linsdell
Mar 21, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book I've read by Freya North and I'm fast becoming a fan. Not only was this book a great read it has also inspired an interest in cycling. I've already made plans to follow the next Tour de France!

Freya North has a talent for creating characters that you feel you can connect with. You feel the ups and downs they face and become a bit like a best friend cheering them on from the sidelines.

I'll definitely be adding more Freya North books to my to-read li
Fiona Story
Jul 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
A sweet, lovely, funny, light-hearted book. I now know more about cycling than I ever wanted to. Look forward to reading more books from this author.
Jan 05, 2017 rated it did not like it
Long-winded and waste of my time...

I will add a full review when I am bothered and mostly recovered from exhaustion of reading thanks to this boring book.
Lesley Book Lover
Mar 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Enjoyed reading this again, as it's several years since I read it.
Jun 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed, owned-books
Years ago, my then girlfriend, aware of my interest in the Tour de France, suggested I read Freya North's "Cat", purely on the basis that it was set against the backdrop of the event. Quite a few years later, when my bookshelves became our bookshelves, it returned to its rightful place amongst her other Freya North novels, still unread by me. Until this year's even combined with the appropriately bright yellow cover in a prominent position in the bookcase reminded me of my wife's failed attempt ...more
Karen Jean Martinson
Jul 02, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cannot-do-it
Looks awfully chick-litty. And so it is. I couldn't finish it, it was so bad.

Admittedly, chick-lit isn't my thing. I happen to believe that women think about more than just men, and I think they do this in a way that goes beyond mentioning that they think about other things and then writing about men for 300 pages. I also think that they way they think about men goes beyond the boys-on-bikes way she talks about them in this book. Finally, I think that relationships are more complicated than jus
Chris Babcock
Jun 02, 2014 rated it liked it
This was a reread for me, and honestly I can't remember why I kept it. And British chick lit is one of my top three genres.

The writing is just not particularly good.

There are two major flaws:
1. A really annoying storytelling device where the characters have interior dialogues with the third-person non-existent narrator. I guess they're supposed to be representing the reader. Or maybe the writer? Either way it disrupts the flow of the book and rather than making me f
Amk256 King
May 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
I started originally reading this book years and years ago, read some, never got into it and gave up ... but it has sat there looking at me and I loved other books by this author ... so yep ... started it again and it has taken me forever to bring myself to finish it .... let’s put it this way ... whilst I admire the research done ... if I have to read the words Tour de France once more I think I might actually puke ... bikes, bikes, men, thighs, bikes, like stop already ... I’m sure there was a ...more
Juliana Graham
Jul 30, 2011 rated it liked it
I'm so glad I didn't read this Freya North book first, as I have read lots of her other books and much preferred them to this. I found that there was far too much discussion of the various riders of the Tour de France - so many that they merged into one and it became confusing which rider was which. This made the book hard to get into. I also found North's style irritating in this book - constant 'he said', 'she sighed', 'he confirmed', 'she gasped' at the end of every line of dialogue struck me ...more
Jun 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Cat McCabe is 28 years old, she is a Reporter she is very excited about
going to the Tour De France for 3 and a half weeks to report for the
Guardian, to help her get a promotion, she has a keen interest in
Cycling. She is mending a broken heart.
Cat finds it hard it is a male dominated environment and she has to
fight for her stories, does Cat succeed and get her promotion? Does she
find love again?
I found some parts of this book really good, however in other parts I
was bored, this
Nov 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: paris, france, cycling, romance
This is a light hearted novel that follows sports journalist Cat as she gets to grips with the mad world of the Tour de France while working on her first reporting assignment. This is a well researched book that combined my love of writing, cycling and reading, where I could feel the real tingle of excitement at the finish line each day. There was also plenty of romance and humour mingled with life behind the scenes of one of the greatest sporting events in the world.

I loved this book, I loved
Barbara Elsborg
Aug 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really liked it. I've just watched the Tour de France and this brought it all alive again. Ms North has a very unusual style that's instantly recognisable and I LIKE it. I know it wouldn't suit everyone, just as the detail on the Tour wouldn't suit everyone either but CAT was fun and educational and as much fun to read for the second time as it was the first!
Be warned though, I don't think it's fair to call this chicklit. If you're expecting a sweet romance - this isn't it. It's far more
Mar 14, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I found this book I wasn't sure whether to read it as it combined the sport I love with romance fiction but I thought I'd give it a go. It took me a while to get into and that is partly because Fraya North mixes real life cyclists, cycling teams and events with fictional ones so that took a little getting used to. Also the personalities of the fictional cyclists didn't fit with the personalities of the once I'd read in autobiographies. Once I'd got over that I liked it and read it as a fun ...more
A bit of 'seasonal' reading. Good, fun rollick through the Tour de France. Felt like she did some research and produced a moderately accurate picture of behind the scenes. However, the book was published in the late 90's, a time when doping was rife among the peloton (c.f. review of 'Racing through the Dark' earlier this year). A couple of oblique references. Was the 'omerta' so strong nobody spoke to the author about it? Or would it have inconvenienced her plot line?
May 02, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit
I have to say that this wasn't quite as good as the other two books in the series - I found the constant switching to a third viewpoint intrusive and totally unnecessary. But I loved the story. Like the other two stories about her sisters, this is Cat's journey from a bad relationship into fiding the man of her dreams. The vivid descriptions of the race itself were great too, as I know nothing about the sport. A good, happy read. Thanks again for sending this to me.
Not my favourite freya north novel. I wasn't too interested in the racing and there wasn't enough between the various cyclists to make them distinctive and so i mixed them up. the attraction between cat and Ben was its saving grace and what kept me going.
the narrator was intrusive to the point of irritation . glad that this author has reigned in this style in more recent novels they're better for it.
Julie H.
Jul 22, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
My best way of characterizing this book is that what Best in Show was for the dog show world, this is for the Tour de France. The main character, Cat, is a sportscaster who is thrown into the drama queen world of the Tour de France. The perspective is hilarious, as are the riders, the podium girls, and even Cat grows a bit along the way.
Jun 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Sally Aquire
This was a good read. Personally I would have liked more emphasis on Cat and Ben and their developing relationship, rather than so much interest on the bike riders and the tour itself. If you are interested in cycling or journalism then this book is for you. If you're looking for a deeply romantic encounter, I'd give it a miss!
Sep 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: buy-on-kindle
I just love this book. Have read it about ten times over the years, I think. For anyone to be able to make me care this much about cycling and the Tour de France is doing a sterling job as a writer, in my opinion. I love Cat and Ben, and the colourful characters that make up the peloton are just an added bonus. Fab!
The style of writing is annoying. It's naive. You're led the entire book by the proverbial hand and given obvious hints to predict what's going to happen next. And using the narrator as another character who pops up randomly throughout the book is juvenile. I don't like it!

In saying that, I loved reading about the Tour de France, really. I can't wait for it to come around this year!
May 12, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit, re-read, 2016
A 3.5 star reread to coincide with the Tour de France. I suspect this would be a bit boring if you weren't a Tour fan, and it is dated thanks to the Lance Armstrong doping scandals, but it's still a fun read. Vive Le Tour!
Aug 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed Cat. The setting in France with the atmosphere of the tour d'France was very nice and very well done. I enjoyed the tension, the passion and the storyline. Cat's a super heroine, she's got issues, but she's strong and funny too.
Suzie White
Mar 14, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Months I've been trying to get into this book. At page 138 I've given up. So disappointed as I loved her other book 'Pip'.
Siobhan Henn
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book started my love of the Tour de France over a decade ago. You can tell how much the author loves it as well. I'd love another McCabe book.
Aug 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
This one was for Women Bike Book Club, but I didn't go to the discussion that night because children.

The librarian told me this one was a bit of "chick lit" and I dismissed that but was shocked that a librarian would write off a book as chick lit when we all know referring to books as"chick lit" is a way to make women's writings seem less important.

But she was right- this is chick lit in the romance way.

This is supposed to be about a young woman, fresh off a hard break up, being a
Josephine Barly
Jun 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance
I read this second (I couldn't find it until after I'd read Fen), but I was glad I searched through and through to get it.
Cat was a great character; I loved her passion, aspirations and relentlessness. You don't always find female characters in chick-lit who are so passionate about their jobs (when they're not shopping related), and it was moreso interesting to find Cat submerged in a man's world.
The voice was well developed and I loved the characters; the pace was fast, I've got no clue about
Jun 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is my absolute favourite of Freya's books and I don't even have an interest in cycling! I liked going on this journey with Cat and the boys. The romance was particularly nice.
I've recommended this book to lots of people and the ones who read it almost always love it too.
The Tour de France focus in this book deserves four stars, but the inconsistent heroine and the painfully slow start had me giving it two stars until almost half-way through the book. Once the Tour starts, the riders and the author's apparent love of pro cycling steal the show.
Sep 29, 2016 rated it did not like it
Read four chapters & gave up, I have enjoyed other Freya North novels but this one really didn't get going, there seemed to be too much description on each character on how they were feeling & their thoughts & kept changing from one to another so much I could not follow the story.
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Freya North is the author of many bestselling novels which have been translated into numerous languages. She was born in London but lives in rural Hertfordshire, where she writes from a stable in her back garden. A passionate reader since childhood, Freya was originally inspired by Mary Wesley, Rose Tremain and Barbara Trapido: fiction with strong and original characters. To hear about events, competitions and what she ...more

Other books in the series

McCabe Sisters (4 books)
  • Fen (McCabe Sisters, #2)
  • Pip (McCabe Sisters, #3)
  • Home Truths
“how can he love me then not? He went,he ran. And I cannot bring him back. Yet I left the door metaphorically wide open, hoping he'd come back and bang on it proclaiming, "I want to be here with you. Always." Soon I'm going to have to shutit. For my safety and my sanity. Let go. I don't want to. Won't letting go be just that - letting go? Giving up? Admitting failure? Admitting that it is really, truly over?” 134 likes
“I was clinging to all that had been and, in an ideal world, all that we had hoped for. He, he wanted out.” 21 likes
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