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. (Amazon.co.uk)
The story is that of a certain type of woman of a certain age, escaping from her former life. With the requisite amicable ex husband, pretty and successful sister and two grownup children in the background, I decided early on that the story would frustrate me as contrived and shallow, something that has been written about and read many times over. I was wrong. My mutterings and misgivings changed as I read on from the scene-setting early chapters. ‘The Tapestry of Love’ is a beautifully crafted book, eloquent and quiet in how it creeps up on you.
Rosy Thornton’s descriptions are vivid in their eloquence, each word and phrase is measured and certain. The story opens slowly, it’s pace making me feel a little hindered at times, being so used to the fast paced thrillers and crime novels of my favoured genre. I ploughed on with it, and before long I appreciated the time taken and the drenching in beautifully crafted paragraphs that I had received.
The movement of rural life and the forging of bonds between the characters is captured with an eye for authenticity. Local folklore and the more universal issues of life, love and death are contained here. Before long the initially perceived insipidness of Catherine our heroine gives way to ardent admiration for her steadfast refusal to be that certain type of woman, of a certain age escaping her former life.
The three parts of this tale take unexpected paths at times, and just when you think that nothing has really been happening you realise that all is somehow different. This is such a vague review in so many ways because reading what does take place is worth getting to without foreknowledge. Just know that this reader thoroughly enjoyed the experience and gave a satisfied sigh as that final page turned.
Posted on behalf of Chrissy Sales