Skip to main content

The Tapestry of Love by Rosy Thornton


I ran across my first reference to The Tapestry of Love over on The Zen Leaf and immediately wanted to read it after coming across Amanda's comment:
It was warm, comforting, and homey, and the prose was beautiful without ever jarring me.
That described exactly the kind of book I was in the mood for at the time. By a new-to-me UK author. And set in the French countryside? I wanted it. I wanted it now. Unfortunately, it somehow slipped through the cracks and I didn't end up ordering a copy immediately. But it wasn't long before I received Rosy Thornton's previous novel, Crossed Wires, as a gift and figured I may as well start there. I immediately liked Ms. Thornton's writing style and the so-very-real way her characters went about living their lives. So it was with great pleasure I opened up a package in the mail a little while later to find my very own copy of The Tapestry of Love. Falling into this story was as easy as pie.


Catherine Parkstone has just made one of the biggest decisions of her life. At the age of 48, she's been divorced for a while now and is fairly certain she's ready to move on with her life. In this case, moving on entails picking up her tomato plants and her threads and using almost all of her modest savings to purchase a cottage in an infinitesimally small village in France's Cevennes mountains. Yes, it shocks her kids. And her ex-husband. And basically anyone who ever knew her. But to Catherine it just feels right. And she doesn't regret it for a moment. Though her French isn't exactly up to par and sometimes the solitude can creep in unawares, it is with a lightening of the heart and a surge of hope that she takes to her new home and its curious denizens. Hanging out her shingle as a professional seamstress, Catherine sets about getting to know the locals and her easy way with people and quiet independence wins her a place in their hearts, though her nearby neighbor Patrick Castagnol is a bit of an enigma. Even if he does brew his own beer and cook her dinners like a master chef. Then one day, out of the blue, Catherine's sister Bryony arrives in need of a holiday, and the fragile balance Catherine has achieved threatens to crumble under the weight of her sister's forceful personality.


Okay. Favorite thing about this book, hands down? Catherine is so unapologetically herself and the rest of the characters are so exquisitely fraught with shades of grey. No villains. No angels. Just life in all its messy glory. And the beautiful, beautiful French countryside, French food, and Catherine's careful hands and rainbow of threads binding it all together. It sounds strange, but I am often so very gratified to be neatly foiled in my attempts to hate certain characters. You see, Catherine is a very likable character. And a couple of other characters (who should seriously know better, in my opinion) get in the way of her happiness. And such things can try my patience with them. But Rosy Thornton did an excellent job of presenting these actions in the context of their complicated history together, their individual fears, wants, and needs. And I could see it all laid out. The way it inevitably came together in just the way it did, like Catherine's tapestry of the saint in his boat, sailing for the shore. It was lovely in its imperfection. And I was so very happy with the way it ended. This is a quiet book and, like Patrick (and Catherine, for that matter), it is not given to effusion. But also like those two characters, it is wonderfully mature, full of hidden depths and shades of beauty. The Tapestry of Love is a book I could easily hand anyone, knowing they will likely fall for its simple, eloquent charms just as I did. Recommended for fans of Linda Gillard's Emotional Geology

Linkage

Comments

  1. I think you're right about it being a quiet book. I started it last year and I remember liking the setting immensely but I needed more action. I should pick it up again sometime.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm so glad you liked this. I loved it. Wish I'd written it in fact! ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sounds like something I might enjoy. I adore books filled with likeable characters and no true villains.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yay! I'm very happy you enjoyed it. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh, that sounds wonderful, and just what I would need! I'll try to see if I can find it at my library. thank you :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I got lost in the descriptions, I think I said something like don't read it if you're thinking of moving because it'll make you do it. It didn't really go anywhere, but that was quite nice because it meant you could go through it at a good pace.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

You Might Also Like

Review | The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary

All it took was hearing the basic bones of the premise of Beth O'Leary's debut novel The Flatsharefor me to determine I would absolutely be reading it as soon as I possibly could. I was so delighted to be granted access to an advanced reading copy by Flatiron Books. Even better, it became apparent from the moment I read the first few lines that this reading experience would take place in one headlong rush. No significant breaks allowed, let alone required. The Flatshare was published first in the UK and then slightly later here in the U.S. I dithered over which cover to buy as both have much to recommend them, but I finally decided on the U.S. cover (pictured here). I just love the two of them standing on either side of the same door, the tiny heart between the title and author name.

Tiffy is in a massive, massive bind. Out on her ear after breaking up with her exceptionally controlling boyfriend, she needs an inexpensive place to live and she needs it yesterday. Despite her …

In the Beginning, or the First Ten Books I Reviewed on the Blog

Top Ten Tuesday is a bookish feature hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl
It's been awhile, but this topic was too good to pass up. When I thought about it, I genuinely could not recall which were the first ten books I actually reviewed here on the blog. So then, of course, I had to know. The thing is, I originally started the whole thing simply posting a once a month list of my favorite reads and rereads of the month. That went on for some time until lo and behold I went ahead and wrote and posted my first review on November 9, 2007. In hindsight, I probably should have known exactly which book pushed me over the edge into full fledged reviews. So this was a rather delightful journey back in time. Do you remember the first book you ever reviewed (in any forum) or what made you take the plunge? Here are my first ten (and I have to say, looking at this snapshot from the past, these remain some of my absolute favorite authors and a pretty spot-on array of the genres I read and love tod…

Friends, Romans, Countrymen, Lend me Your Recs

Guys. We are going on a trip―a trip we have been planning for years. And it is finally happening next week! We're going to visit my parents in France, and we are taking the whole gang. Or rather, all three kids but not the dog. Who I am desperately sad about leaving and really hope he doesn't think we've up and given him to another family and proceed to forget all about us. It's just two weeks. But we've never left him that long before, and I am obviously emotional about it. Have I posted pics of Sodapop here before? I'm not sure that I ever have. Here he is on the day we got him: And here he is now in his natural habitat, which is to say in my library on laundry day: Ahem. 
The actual point of this post is to get your reading recs for the trip! I'm completely torn over which physical books to take with me. Yes, I realize most of my reading will be done on my Kindle by necessity, but I always have to have some physical copies with me. For both safety and I…