Author: Celia Micklefield
Available: Now, in Paperback and eBook
Thank you to Anne Cater, Random Things Tours and Celia Micklefield for my gifted copy and for having me on the blog tour for this book. My review is based on my experience of the book and any thoughts expressed here are solely mine alone.
Trobairitz were female troubadours of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. They brought news and sang songs about love, tradition and the role of women in society.
Feisty truck driver, Weed, a twenty first century Trobairitz never gives personal details to other drivers. She avoids the intimacy of real friendship.
Instead, she entertains the truckers by telling the story of ex-courtesan, seventy-six-year-old Catherine Joubert and the mysterious hold she has over young mayor, Henri-Claude Noilly and his grandfather.
Weed’s themes are those of the original Trobairitz but these are the very subjects causing problems in her own life.
Well my lovely bookophiles, you must make suitable comfort preparations before you settle down to read this magnificent book. You will need lots of frothy coffee, a minimum of at least 10 Ferrero Roche and a soft cosy throw to snuggle under, then curl up and immerse yourself in this story. Reading this book for me was rather like playing literary pass the parcel, it is gloriously multi-layered, with an addictive dual narrative and each layer you unwrap reveals fabulous new pieces of the stories it contained within the whole. This book is a remarkable and resplendent read and you won’t be able to stop reading until you finish it…I couldn’t! I will offer no apologies that my review will be filled with superlatives about how stupendous this book is! The book details alone set my bookophile senses tingling and oh my goodness…what a treat you have instore!
It is my privilege to introduce you to Weed, yes…Weed. Whose given name is Fleur Eloise Marie-Frances but she was not overly keen on this moniker and wanted to be called something non-floral and of course the anthesis of flowers are weeds! My first impression of her, is tomboyish (but not laddish!) intensely private and exceedingly perceptive and savvy. Telling stories, is Weed’s route to acceptance; as a child at school and now to quiet the clamour of her testosterone laden colleagues, which is where we first encounter her, as Weed is at a truckers stop on one of her long haul journeys and to deflect the nosey attentions of her fellow truckers, she begins to tell them a story…
Set in the village of Montalhan Sans Vents, which she describes as being built like the pattern of snail shell, where the church is at the top of the hill and houses spiral down from it. This is a story about women, community, their lives, about courage, the art of love and the power of jealousy, we are introduced to a host of vivid, fascinating characters; Madame Catherine Joubert with her opulent and decadent past and owner of the magnificent Demeure Des Cedres; Henri-Claude Noilly the current Mayor, with a long familial legacy in the town and clearly has issues with Mme Joubert; Newcomers Linda & her children, who have moved from England and whose husband is painfully absent; Mrs Dorothy Hilliard, whose past is as colourful as her clothes, all with captivating stories of their own but each of which intertwines with the others, stories within stories, within stories, it is mesmeric in structure.
A wealth of intriguing, absorbing details; evocative, tantalising images and Celia’s delicious descriptions; you can literally hear every bird sing; taste the warm flaky pain aux chocolate; feel the sun warming a terrace. Celia is the doyen of tangible description and I was (and still am) entranced. And just as you are completely spellbound by these tales…we are transported back to Weed’s life. And her life journey is equally as irresistible and intriguing as the stories she weaves. She is not merely a long haul trucker; Weed has a past and trials of her own; her flawed relationship with Fabien; her wonderful friendship with Irish ex-pats Quentin and Rose; her loving and vibrant adopted family…that span the magnificence of France, Spain and Italy. Weed’s own story is every bit as engaging! And yes, I am being purposefully vague about the specifics because you need to experience their discovery for yourselves!
These stories of life are the vibrant threads woven to by Celia to create this transfixing literary tapestry. Weed’s whole existence; physically and emotionally is nomadic a constant journey from here to there and back again, her stories are her escape from the weight of intimacy and love…can she, will she realise this and will she be able to change…I can’t wait for you to find out.
Having only recently finished reading this book, I am besotted, beguiled and enamoured with the stories and charismatic characters this novel contains. I cannot stress enough how much I want you to soak yourself in the lusciousness of the Languedoc. You need to buy this book, right now, today…it was what prime was designed for, you should not spend once second longer in this world without this book…see I told you at the beginning, I was exceedingly enthusiastic about it! Celia I am in awe of the way you write, and the story and cast you have created; please, please, please…I beseech you, tell me there is going to be a sequel?
Happy Reading Bookophiles…
About the Author:
After living in Languedoc for nine years I returned to Norfolk where I live surrounded by beautiful countryside and wildlife.
I’m ageing faster than I used, but I’ve still got ambitions.
My website is http://www.celiamicklefield.com where I write about reading, writing, living with CRPS and other things that take my fancy.
Come and visit – the door is always open.
I’m on Twitter @cmicklefield
I have a Celia Micklefield Author page on FaceBook
Please do have a read of other reviews on this blog tour