Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Tapestry of Love


I'm back again, ending the week with a Paris in July post with a review of a 2010 novel that has a French theme.

Tapestry of Love by British author Rosy Thornton is the story of Catherine Parkstone, a British woman, who is divorced with a grown son and daughter. As the story begins, Catherine has left England to live in her new home, Les Fenils, a farmhouse in the Cévannes mountains of France. The story centers around Catherine's transition to her new French life and the challenges she faces in France and from her family in England.

Parts of the plot are fairly predictable such as Catherine's love interest in the form of the mysterious Patrick Castagnol. The love story is thwarted by the appearance of Bryony, Catherine's high powered attorney sister.

Catherine starts a business of making slip covers for chairs and sofas as well as making curtains. Soon, there is the question of whether Catherine will succeed in registering her new business, as the law requires, despite the local government's attempt to stall her efforts. 

What I liked about this novel had nothing to do with the plot as much as Thornton's ability to write in an eloquent way about those solitary moments of Catherine's life. And there are many since Catherine spends a lot of time alone. Thornton writes about Catherine's long walks in the woods as she observes nature, her method of creating a tapestry, or even something as simple as having a cup of tea in the middle of a summer night. One of Catherine's neighbors gives her a gift of bees. It is fascinating how Catherine locates beekeeping equipment in her barn, does her research, and after a time (and a bit of trial and error with the bees) is able to harvest honey. 

I recommend Tapestry of Love if you're looking for a quiet, elegant story. I liked it, too, because the novel satisfied my own fantasy of moving to France!

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