2 May 2011

Book Review: The Tapestry of Love, by Rosy Thornton.

About two months ago, in honour of International Women's Day, I bought Rosy Thornton's latest novel, The Tapestry of Love.

I finished it a few days later and started writing the review, but with April's A to Z blogging challenge ahead, I didn't manage to complete it at the time.

Now I'm glad I didn't, because I've made so many new friends through the challenge, I can now recommend the book to a much larger audience - which it deserves.

I don't often review books on this blog, but I wanted to devote some time to this one, for several reasons:

1. I really liked it.
2. Through my previous blog post, I came in contact with Rosy (we're both on Litopia, a great online writers' community), and she's a lovely person - in other words: the kind of writer whose books you'd gladly recommend to your friends, especially when they're a great read like this one.

The Story.

A few years after her divorce, Catherine Parkstone sells her house in England and moves to the idyllic, rural French Cévennes.

Surrounded by beautiful scenery and in often harsh living conditions, she rebuilds her life and starts a business, under the watchful eyes of her Cévennois neighbours - one of them being the charismatic Patrick Castagnol.

We follow Catherine on her journey through the seasons, from foreigner and outsider to a woman who weaves lasting and meaningful threads into the community fabric.

The Novel.

'The Tapestry of Love' is one of those novels you need to read slowly and savour to the full. Rosy is as much a painter as a writer: she sketches the scenery and the characters with care, then colours them in with a beautiful sunset palette.

This is the kind of novel you want to read in summer, lounging in the garden, relaxing in a rural or Mediterranean holiday setting - or on a cold day in front of an open fire. Every page takes you one step further into the beautiful Cévennes region, and into the lives of the people who've grown up there.

What I loved most about 'The Tapestry of Love' is the romantic realism that oozes from the pages. Rosy writes with a gentle touch, with wisdom and a mature, assuaged acceptance of the ups and downs of everyday life.

She takes an honest approach to human relationships and emotion, showing joy as well as pain, love as well as loss, without overdramatising.

In my blog as in life, I look for sparkles of 'life, love and authenticity', and I can assure you I found plenty of each in 'The Tapestry of Love'.

Therefore, on the threshold of summer, I would recommend you to buy this book, curl up on the couch with a good glass of wine, and reserve a good chunk of time for yourself, to transport your mind to the Cévennes in the company of Catherine, her neighbours and her lively English family.

For more information, visit Rosy Thornton's website.

Image 1: 'Vue d'Alès depuis l'Ermitage (Gard, Cévennes)' by Modestine l'ânesse des Cévennes. Available under a creative commons license. © 2009, Modestine l'ânesse des Cévennes.
Image 3: 'Cévennes automne 2010' by Association Djivan. Available under a creative commons license. © 2010, Association Djivan.
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  1. Ooh, it sounds a little like Under The Tuscan Sun, which I admit I only watched the movie.

    I love a good novel that makes you feel like you've been transported to another place. France sounds like a lovely place to spend some virtual time this summer. Thanks for the recommendation.

  2. Hey L.G., great to see you back so soon :-)

    It did remind me of the atmosphere of Frances Mayes' Tuscany and Peter Mayle's Provence novels, so if you liked those, I'm pretty sure you'll like this one.

    It's got an interesting flavour of its own, though, and I think it's because of the interaction between the characters: subtle, complicated and not always pretty. Quite close to real life. =)

  3. Thanks for the visit hope to see you around:) I look forward to following your blog.

  4. @Rosemary: I hope you like the book :-)

    @Josh: Great, and likewise :-)

  5. +1 follower from blog hop, cool blog

  6. Thx, N4M3L3SS. Interesting blog you have!


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