Tracy Chollet, the author of this award-winning beautiful work of contemporary fiction brings to life the true beauty of its setting, Carnac in Brittany, and its legendary standing stones which give it the title of the biggest megalithic site in Europe. This lovely seaside town and other picturesque coastal villages are vividly described. So much so that the reader almost feels they are there. You imagine yourself smelling the sea breeze and fresh baked bread, hearing the music and tasting the salt on your lips.
Romance and Brittany – the perfect match
It’s 1986 and the protagonist, Isabeau returns to Carnac to inherit her childhood home. The neglected house brings forth vivid memories. Being abandoned aged nine by her beloved father, and her traumatic upbringing by her disturbed mother. The house is rather derelict. However, with fortitude she begins building her new life, and promises herself that she will try and discover where her father is now. The trail had gone cold years before when he left the village. Yet with persistence, she begins to pick up piece by piece the threads of his life during those missing years.
It is her new job as the deputy postmaster in this lovely seaside town, which is the catalyst which leads to her taking charge of a parcel from New Zealand. An accompanying letter, written to the postmaster contains an unusual request. That the ashes in the parcel, those of the father of the letter writer, Joseph Turner, be scattered at the standing stones of Carnac. The sender promised to do this but due to circumstances is unable to fulfil.
Standing in for the postmaster that day, the eve of La Toussaint (All Saints Day) Isabeau takes the parcel home for the holiday. Then later, reassuring Joseph that his wish has been granted they begin to correspond. They finally meet when he visits Carnac. She enjoys opening his eyes to not only the history of Carnac, its standing stones, but also other villages, and further east, the magnificent city of Nantes. However as their friendship deepens, Isabeau is more and more concerned that should he discover the dark secret she harbours, it could change everything.
5 Star read
This amazing story encapsulates all that is wonderful about the French as a nation. The incredible Joie de vivre which is experienced whenever possible when people meet in this fantastic country. It’s a tale of finding the courage to deal with the challenges of life. Of coming to terms with loss and finding friendship and love. A beautiful story with good pace, believable characters and a good deal of charm.
Whether you love France and enjoy reading about the country and its customs, or fancy reading excellent contemporary romances with a great storyline, surprises, and clever twists, this award-winning novel is the book for you. 5 Stars. Highly recommended!
Available on Amazon, Kindle Unlimited and in French from June 2020 on Amazon and Kobo.