The Tapestry of Love by Rosy Thornton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Quote from Goodreads:
A warm and uplifting story of how a woman falls in love with a place and its people: a landscape, a community and a fragile way of life.
A rural idyll: that's what Catherine is seeking when she sells her house in England and moves to a tiny hamlet in the Cévennes mountains. With her divorce in the past and her children grown, she is free to make a new start, and her dream is to set up in business as a seamstress. But this is a harsh and lonely place when you're no longer just here on holiday. There is French bureaucracy to contend with, not to mention the mountain weather, and the reserve of her neighbours, including the intriguing Patrick Castagnol. And that's before the arrival of Catherine's sister, Bryony...
I enjoyed my "visit" to the Cevennes mountains in France with Catherine the 49 year old heroine of this book, despite never having been there, the authors genuine love for and in depth knowledge of this region is very apparent throughout the book, as is her knowledge of needlecraft when she describes Catherine establishing herself as a seamstress and tapestry stitcher.
It takes a wry and nostalgic look at how a middle aged divorcee, fresh from city life in Britain battles to adapt to life in rural France, running her own business, and struggling to come to terms with her ageing Mothers decline into Alzheimers, back at home in the UK.
We meet her new neighbours, including the enigmatic Patrick and share her frustration at the red tape of French rural beaurocracy.
Its a very easy read if in some parts a little gloomy, lightened by unexpcted touches of humour. I laughed aloud at the string of jobs for diverse and unlikely publications her journalist daughter ricochets between.
Characters who jump off the page and shake hands with you and a setting you can see and smell combine to make this a lovely cozy read to take you away from wintry Britain.
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