Published by Headline Review, 2010
My Rating: A
Last year I read and reviewed Rosy Thonton’s Crossed Wires. I thoroughly enjoyed that book, particularly the characters. I especially loved the three little girls. When she asked me if I’d like to read her new book, I didn’t hesitate to say yes.
As soon as I started reading this book, I slowed down. I took my time because the author took me on a journey to a beautiful mountain area of France, the Cévennes. Her description of the area made me feel as if I were there. I honestly could see the stone buildings, the vegetation, the footpaths, the roads, the sky, well, all of it.
And then, I enjoyed getting to know the main character. Catherine Parkstone is divorced, her children are grown and on their own. She feels a strong desire to change her life so, she sells her house in England, with all the old memories, and buys another in France.
Her new home might be in a beautiful area but still, it’s a whole new world to her. It’s one she has to learn to live in. The basics of life are very different: she doesn’t speak French very well, the house is hard to figure out, the hamlet the house is located in has very few other inhabitants, and then there is the weather that’s unpredictable. But Catherine has chosen to live here and it’s enjoyable to walk through it with her and see how she makes the adjustment.
One aspect of Catherine’s character I really liked is her artistry. Catherine is an unusual needlewoman. She has a rough idea of what she wants to create. She has her beautiful silk yarns, but not until she selects the colors and starts the tapestry does the picture actually come to life. Here’s a little peak at how she creates a new piece:
She saw it all clearly now, translated into the colors of silk. It was funny how, even as a child, she began to visualize a picture or pattern as soon as she began to sew; she had only to begin and the image would emerge, a template for her to follow, like the outline that forms on closed lids after staring at something too long.
That section is early is the book and it captured my attention. I really wanted to know Catherine better. As I continued to read the story I saw that the tapestry Catherine is creating with cloth and yarn is like the tapestry of her new life. She has a rough idea of what she wants her life to look like and she has selected a few of the silk threads, so to speak, that will outline her new life. As she settles in and begins living in the Cévennes, the rest of the picture gradually emerges and the reader sees the link with the title of the book.
There are events and people that will come and fill in Catherine’s life. Catherine’s grown children are charming characters as are the neighbors. There is also a handsome, yet mysterious, man living nearby that Catherine is attracted to. Her sister, Bryony, comes to visit and is also attracted to this man.
Rosy Thornton knows how to create good characters. All of her people were ones I liked spending time with. Between the characters, the story’s setting, and the author’s attention to daily details, this was a wonderful visit with a new friend. I highly recommend it to you.
The Tapestry of Loveis available from Amazon. (I am an Amazon Associate.)