Danuta De Rhodes’ The Little White Car is a deceitfully frivolous book. It is, on the surface, a lighthearted chick-lit style escapade. It follows Veronique, a young Parisian who has damaged her parents' car while they are on vacation. Needing to hide the evidence, she turns to her friend Estelle, her ex-boyfriend Jean-Pierre, and a rather greasy mechanic with an unfortunate romantic streak.
But that car was damaged in one of the twentieth century’s most maudlin media events, the death of Princess Diana. And Veronique may fool the police, but she can’t fool her terrifyingly dressed coworker Francoise. So the simple need to repair a car becomes a wild plan to destroy it, all without it ever being seen, and replace it, without anyone noticing.
If, like Francoise, you wept for hours over Princess Diana’s funeral, you should most certainly not read The Little White Car.
But if you think romance is a useful distraction from work and real life, you’ll get a chuckle from the casual disasters of Veronique’s love life. If you would rather have an interesting conversation than a boring job, you’ll find strength in the straightforward unimportance of work in de Rhodes’ France. If you have ever been held hostage by a friend who played tuneless music and silent tracks and insisted you appreciate it, you’ll feel a thrill of recognition with this erratic heroine. And if you dared to think that the death of Princess Diana was not especially sadder than the thousands of identical traffic deaths every year, if you for a moment may have even thought that people who ride in cars without seatbelts should expect a traffic death, you will find humor, support, and a surprising sense of relief in The Little White Car.