Author: Rosy Thornton
Source: Received a copy from the oh so generous author for review :)
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "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..."
My Two Cents:
Someday when I'm tired of city life, I know that I'll be looking for a place like Catherine's little hamlet in the French Countryside. Catherine leaves everything that's familiar to her in England, where she spent her life to live in a gorgeous area in France. She discovers that she's almost torn in a way between her old life in England and her new life in France. She is welcomed into the small community and begins to realize that she's found a place where she can truly be happy but old pieces of her life keep turning up with mixed effects.
She meets the lovely and mysterious Patrick, who seems to be running away from an old life of his own. Catherine lets her guard down a little with Patrick until her sister, Bryony, shows up seeking the peace that Catherine has found. Bryony gets involved with Patrick quickly and then leaves everything in shambles. Catherine isn't sure that her friendship with Patrick can be repaired. Will they ever be able to get back to where they were? On top of that, Catherine's dreams of starting a tapestry shop are squashed by the pure and rampant bureaucracy that pervades France. If I were Catherine, I'd be quite frustrated and wondering if I shouldn't just go back home again! I love how you see Catherine grow from a sort of nervous person into someone who really can simply roll with the punches.
The stand out for me in this book is the scenery. I've never been to France, let alone the French Countryside. After reading this book, I'm dreaming of sitting on a hill overlooking a sheep pasture, breathing in the mountain air and perhaps sipping on some tea or one of those homemade libations that some of Catherine's neighbors seem to have an expertise in making.
If you are looking for a book that has the ability to take you to gorgeous place with warm characters, pick this book up!
"Everyone should plant things and watch them grow. It is an impulse as old as man. To plough our furrow, to till our patch of earth, however small it may be- to form a connection with the place that is ours." (p.101)
Many thanks to Ms. Thornton for giving me the opportunity to review her book!