MOTIVATION for READING: I had been wanting to read Ms. Thornton’s Hearts and Minds (still do – will probably download to the iPad) and had made it one of the top 3 books I absolutely must read this year and somehow, the author found out. She offered to send me The Tapestry of Love and I just couldn’t turn down her very kind offer. I didn’t get to it right away but was was recently reminded* that I have quite a few author-sent books** that should be read as soon as possible. I scooped this off the shelf and began.
WHAT’s it ABOUT: A divorced mother of two grown children decides to move to France and start a tapestry business. She meets the neighbors, enjoys the seasons and wonders if France is too bureaucratic. OK, before you tell yourself that this sounds really boring, let me assure you it is not boring. It is NICE. Catherine is just very likable. She’s ‘capable’***; sensible but not perfect. The author is skilled at describing everything without it feeling like you are reading descriptions of everything. This book was probably the right book at the right moment. The setting was completely gorgeous and won me over.
Not having any clue how to pronounce French words and not quite getting all the enamored-ness with everything French (even though my BFF is married to a guy from Marseille), I admit I was not that enthusiastic at the outset. I am not interested in French things in the least. I’ve been to Paris. Cross it off the list; I have many other European cities I prefer to visit. The beer I ordered in Paris came with a shot of cherry syrup or something. It was gross. I know NOW that I was supposed to order wine not beer in France but that is water under the bridge. I read this entirely because I really REALLY wanted to read something by Thornton because she is so highly praised – and now I know why. She’s that good.
Luckily, she didn’t include so many French words and phrases that I was put off. In fact, I am now quite eager to learn more French cooking. Take that back – I am more motivated to push my husband to cook more in the French style. He’s the chef in the family. I turned down many pages of food descriptions!
p.134 SALSIFY – an edible European plant of the daisy family, with a long root like that of a parsnip.
p.150 GAUCHERIE – awkward, embarassing, or unsophisticated ways.
p.170 GAINSAID – formal deny or contradict (a fact or statement) • speak against or oppose (someone)
p.227 “Sage was his favourite. He liked me to cook a loin of pork, when we had killed a pig, simmered slowly with sage and lemon and milk. The lemon sets the milk to curdle and thicken, until it’s sweeter than cream.” (bring it on – I want to taste this!)
p.246 “He had no dog, it unexpectedly occurred to her. They all had dogs, all the men here, even Guillaume. Especially Guillaume. Patrick went shooting but he went alone. She should have known there was something not quite right about a woodsman without a dog; something unreliable, something impermanent. He ought to have had a dog”. (hear, hear.)
p.268 “There were times when she wondered whether she might be going just a little mad – whether she was spending too much time by herself. Perhaps the sun was addling her brain. These extremes of detachment could not be normal, surely. And yet it didn’t feel like detachment , but rather like a closer form of engagement. It was like looking at a painting or a tapestry and abandoning yourself to the detail of colour and shape. Maybe she wasn’t losing touch with the world at all; in fact, maybe she was more properly in touch with it than she had been before.” (another hear, hear)
RATING: Five slices of pie. Plum pie. Plum torte, more like it which is fine.
Jenny’s Books –> she links to Litlove’s (I adore LitLove.) Honestly, Jenny links to many reviews so you can be assured that she has done her good blogging linky-love duty. TrulySomeMore, Jenny’s review had me bobbing my head in agreement the whole post-through.
* The reminder was another author offering to send me her book and I just had to say no. I have too many!
** I have Karen Harrington’s Janeology and Linda Gillard’s Emotional Geology – a giveaway prize.
*** The accusation, this unsexy accusation!! is something the love-interest-dude suggested.