Review: The Tapestry of Love by Rosy Thornton

Title: The Tapestry of Love

Author: Rosy Thornton

Published: Headline Review Oct 2010

Synopsis: 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.

Status: Read from April 08 to 10, 2011 — I own a copy

My Review:

The Tapestry of Love is a quiet novel of lyrical prose and vivid imagery. Catherine has chosen to follow her dream of life in a rural idyll in the Cévennes mountains of France. It’s an adjustment for the 48 year old woman who has left behind family and friends for an isolated cottage in a tiny hamlet. Slowly Catherine makes a place for herself in the community, forming tentative friendships with her neighbors, including the enigmatic Patrick Castagnol.
Catherine can be admired for her decision to begin a new life, as well as her determination to make it work. She doesn’t intrude on the local community, instead making the effort to become part of it which speaks to her character. She accepts and overcomes the minor inconveniences she encounters, adjusting her lifestyle to suit the environs.
There is romance for Catherine, not one I fully endorse to be honest as I didn’t think much of Patrick’s behaviour. However the affair is only a small part of Catherine’s ‘tapestry of love’ and I believe that Thornton’s title refers to the relationships, past, present and future, that make us who we are, and sustain us even in their physical absence.
The book wends it’s way at a leisurely pace through the challenges Catherine faces establishing herself, and the life and characters in the rustic farming community. The book requires you to surrender to the measured contentment of the landscape, rather than concern for where the story may be going. Thornton’s descriptions of Catherine’s environment are stunningly eloquent extolling it’s charm and beauty. It is easy to imagine the picturesque views, the family of boar cavorting in the woods and the comforting curl of smoke from the chimney, all of which are sure to evoke daydreams of escape to such serenity. While I took great pleasure in Thornton’s spectacularly expressive writing, I’m not sure it compensated entirely for the lack of drama. The momentum of the story is very subtle, until twin tragedies in the last quarter or so of the novel force decisive action from Catherine.
The Tapestry of Love is a graceful and warm novel of subtle emotion and gorgeous landscape. What may well be an oasis in the frantic pace of everyday life, the books vibrant prose will capture your imagination, The Tapestry of Love is an engaging read.

@ Goodreads

An excerpt can be accessed via the ‘Look Inside’ feature at Amazon UK

Available to purchase

@ Amazon UK {Print and Kindle}

@ Amazon US {Print and Kindle}

@ Book {Print}

@ BookDepository UK {Print}


About the Author

Rosy Thornton teaches Law at Cambridge University, where she is a Fellow of  Emmanuel College. She lives in a Cambridgeshire village with her partner  and two daughters. ‘The Tapestry of Love’ is her fourth novel.

Author Website I Goodreads

Other books by Rosy Thornton


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. samstillreading
    Apr 23, 2011 @ 21:17:48

    I’ve just read this! Agree completely with all your statements.



  2. blodeuedd
    Apr 24, 2011 @ 07:38:28

    I enjoyed this one, it was so very nice and yes lyrical



  3. Mystica
    Apr 25, 2011 @ 15:25:07

    I really liked this book. Now to the other books!



  4. jordanvincent
    May 01, 2011 @ 08:09:30

    Nice blog. Keep up the good work. You deserve a lot of subscribers.



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