The Tapestry of Love by Rosy Thornton

Back of the book: A rural idyll: that’s what Catherine is seeking when she sells her house in England and moves to a tiny hamlet in the Cévennes mountains. With her divorce in the past and her children grown, she is free to make a new start, and her dream is to set up in business as a seamstress. But this is a harsh and lonely place when you’re no longer just here on holiday. There is French bureaucracy to contend with, not to mention the mountain weather, and the reserve of her neighbors, including the intriguing Patrick Castagnol. And that’s before the arrival of Catherine’s sister, Bryony.

My thoughts: The Tapestry of Love is a novel about a woman whose life is changing.  Forty-nine and divorced for several years, Catherine leaves England and buys a small home in the mountains of France.  She hopes to to start a sewing business.  Her fluency in the French language makes settling near a small town much easier. Catherine may know the language but she has a lot to learn about the ins and outs of business in France. Not to worry. Her younger sister Bryony is a lawyer and offers to help when she visits.  That visit throws off Catherine’s new-found friendship with her neighbor Patrick.  She’s used to stepping back and letting Bryony be the center of attention and this time is no different.

I think one of the reasons I liked this book so much is because I identified with Catherine on a few levels.  She deals with the pull of family in England and at one point is called back home.  She gathers with relatives and starts to question if she should go back to France.

I liked Thornton’s characters and the setting.  It was easy to grow fond of the older couple down the road from Catherine’s house.  The Tapestry of Love is a deceptively quiet novel about independence and the realization that it’s never too late to go for one’s dreams.  I wasn’t sure I’d have time to read this novel when Ms. Thornton offered to send a review copy so I almost declined.  I’m glad I didn’t because I really enjoyed it.