First of all, I want to tell you that this book was sent to me by the author for review (thank you Rosy). I was pleased to see when I opened the package that Penny Vincenzi, one of my favourite authors, had given her praise for Rosy’s books.
The cover of this book is so lovely and relaxing – the promise of an escape to the French countryside, something I’m sure that all of us have thought of doing at one time or the other (even those of us on the other side of the world). That’s what this book is – relaxing.
The premise is simple – Catherine, divorced mother of two adult children, sells up and leaves England for the mountainous French countryside. What will she do there? Well, she’ll start a little business (tapestry – see the title falling into place?) and enjoy the fruits of her small farm and the local village. It all sounds perfect…but of course it’s not! It rains a lot, French government bureaucracy is neverending (Catherine can’t start a business as she lives in a national park), back in ten minutes means a good couple of hours and her workaholic sister suddenly descends on her peace and quiet, interfering with her blossoming friendship with her neighbour Patrick…
It has all the ingredients of a manic chick lit, but it’s not. It’s a gentle, dignified look at this genre. Full of detailed description about the landscape (I could picture it even though I’ve never visited France) and the delicious food. The supporting characters are well-written, and I was upset when tragedy befell one of them. Catherine’s sister and daughter are both wittily written, particular her daughter’s various jobs!
If I had to pick a downfall of this book, it’s that my French was not good enough to pick up the French dialogue (Australian schools tend to offer more Asian languages these days). However, I’m sure that could easily be solved with Google Translate.
This book is subtle, wonderfully descriptive and relaxing. I’d suggest it while you are lazing in the French countryside.
8 out of 10.