"Why did we put it off? We should have had the party last year for our fortieth. But we were busy, and it would have been a bit of work, and we thought fifty might be more of an event. You expect sunny weather to last forever, don't you, somehow? You never expect storm clouds. You think there will always be time." -- Pg. 288
We always think we have enough time to do the things we want to. Go on a cross-country adventure, write a novel, ride the space shuttle (Ok that last one is just me). In The Tapestry of Love by Rosy Thornton the lead character, Catherine Parkstone, is leaving her comfortable life in England behind. A life where her children Tom and Lexie are grown and out of the house. Tom is living his life working and camping with his girlfriend. Lexie wonders ever other day if she should quit her job. Catherine is divorced from their father, and is now ready to live her own life.
Living her own life leads to a remote town on the French countryside. She isn't fully fluent in French and doesn't know anyone in town. Sound like a great idea? I don't know. It sounds kind of isolating. Who do you turn to? What do you do when you get homesick? Do you pack up and leave? Why am I here? Catherine faces all of those emotions.
Eventually she does adapt to the town and the town adapts to her. She finds friends in an elderly couple, who often try to feed her and ply her with tea at every turn. Catherine isn't sure when to say yes or no to their kindness. Will they think she is rude? Will they think I'm too English?
She starts her own business as seamstress, which is slow going at the start but soon flourishes. One person in particular, her neighbor Patrick, is intriguing. They can talk to each other easily about food, books and life. There is a chemistry there, but it's a chemistry that Catherine tries to deny herself. Reading between the lines, Patrick clearly wants a relationship with Catherine but she is reluctant. In my opinion, Catherine felt like she didn't deserve to be happy again. She had her chance in her first marriage, it's not worth it to try again. Who needs the complications of a relationship? When her sister, Bryony, visits and begins a relationship with Patrick, Catherine chooses to suffer in silence. Why? Why? Just open your mouth, he is right there.
This is a very sweet book. The descriptions of the food, wine, and scenery make me want to visit the French countryside now. But I would probably have to brush up on my French. There are no complicated plots in this book. It's just about a woman trying to navigate the second half of her life, which is something a lot of people can relate to.
Rating: Give it a try
Note: I received a copy of the book from the author Rosy Thornton in exchange for an honest review.