Saturday, 20 July 2013


About the Book:

A rural idyll: that's what Catherine is seeking when she sells her house in England and moves to a tiny hamlet in the CĂ©vennes 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...

'Living in the French countryside isn't always as idyllic as it sounds ......'

What a gem of a book this is.  
48 year old Catherine swaps a sleepy English village for an even sleepier French one to start her own soft furnishings company high up in the mountains.
As she starts to settle into rural life growing vegetables, fruit, keeping bees, she also gets involved in the local community and the local neighbours, from the elderly endearing couple the Meriels who make cheese from their 87 goats, to the enigmatic and reclusive Patrick who is not what he seems.
I loved the vivid descriptions of the scenery, I could almost picture her little house on the side of the mountain with the rain lashing down and the beautiful views.  The electricity was temperamental, the phone line comes and goes according to the weather.

December drove out the autumn damp to leave clear skies  and bright sunshine.  In the early mornings, frost edged the twigs and rimed the stone window sills of Les Fenils, but after lunch it was warm enough for Catherine to take a chair out on to the terrace with a book and a cup of Madame Bouschet's lime flower tea.
I liked the way each chapter had a title such as 'The House of Silk' or 'L'Entente Cordiale' .... giving a flavour of what was to come in each neat, precise and short chapters.  This is a feel good book, gentle, quaint and full of real characters and I loved it!  I was sorry to finish it and leave Catherine and her mountains behind.

A perfect book for whiling away a sunny afternoon in the garden.....

Special Thanks to Rosy Thornton for sending me her book to read and enjoy.  

To read more of the story behind the book check out her website.

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