It’s a funny old thing, Facebook. Not long ago it reconnected me with my second cousin , Toni, a blogger whose posts I had already been reading. Expat Mum and I eventually met up and our mums are now picking up the threads of our family history.
Now Facebook has been instrumental in catapulting me back to my University days. Nosing about on a friend’s profile page a few weeks ago, I came across a name I recognised: Rosy Thornton. Rosy and I both went to Emmanuel College, Cambridge in the 1980s. We studied different subjects: she, Law and I, Geography. We weren’t close friends as such but we had mutual friends and a shared experience of a wonderful three years that shaped us for the future. I felt a warm connection just reading her name on the screen.
I sent Rosy a message and instantly received a reply. I discovered Rosy is now a Fellow in Law at our old college, Emmanuel, and she is a published novelist. I browsed through her books on Amazon and bought two: Hearts and Minds and Crossed Wires, the first because it is set in a Cambridge College and the second because it features a Geography don. A bit of nostalgic wallowing in store for me.
I haven’t got round to reading these two yet because Rosy sent me a copy of her new paperback, The Tapestry of Love, to be published 14 October, and asked me what I thought of it.
The book tells of 48 year old Catherine Parkstone, a English divorcee who moves to the Cevennes mountains in France to make a fresh start and set up her own business as a seamstress. At a gentle pace we discover how Catherine adjusts to her new life: the weather, neighbours and the relationships with her family back in England. No idiot abroad, Catherine is an intelligent woman finding her niche in the community and being respected for the way she adapts.
The novel demands to be read at leisure, with feet up, and time available to appreciate the beauty of the location and the writing itself. Rosy chooses each word with care, such that no others could be substituted: le mot juste, I believe is the phrase.
I finished the book yesterday afternoon, sitting in the garden, with the surprisingly warm sun beating down. I closed the book and felt enormously satisfied; the ending was just as it should be.
Having delighted in Rosy’s story-telling in France, I’m now ready to come home, pick up the threads of my student days and immerse myself in the courtyards of Cambridge once again.
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