A Garden Wall in Provence
A love story about good bread, good neighbors,
and the fickle winds of the mistral. Recipes included.
A chaotic week of mishaps and misunderstandings in Avignon, France. In this light-hearted story of family and love, Madame Reynaud reigns at the helm of her neighborhood. Her daughter Monique, who years ago was maimed by the violent mistral wind, is determined to break free from her mother’s tender, yet stifling care. But Madame Reynaud is quite oblivious to her daughter’s plan—she is preoccupied with planning Monique’s birthday celebration. When Madame Reynaud is tricked into inviting every one of her elderly friends to come to the house on Sunday for the surprise party, she learns that Monique has a surprise of her own. All Madame Reynaud’s problems come crashing down at the annual Fete of the Three Kings, when she finds herself in a compromising situation with the baker, Monsieur Boffard. In the end, the Gypsy Queen from the laundry sets the situation straight, for she sees the future and tells Madame Reynaud what she must do—the solution she really knew all along.
If all fiction were this good, I'd read more of it!
Like Provence itself, Carrie Jane Knowles’s A GARDEN WALL IN PROVENCE has a fairy tale quality. This lovely novella takes us to a quiet corner of Avignon where we can enjoy the charming particulars of the Provencal culture, unchanged for centuries. Amid baguettes, unruly dogs, santons, and the fresh wind of the Mistral, we meet Madame Reynaud and her daughter Monique as they prepare for a season of celebration that will bring change to their comfortable existence. Knowles has created a light-hearted and engaging tale, which has, much like that Provencal confection, Gateau Des Rois, many tiny treasures baked into the batter.
Author, The Sweet Life
This gentle tale of change is also a love letter to a beloved place. With recipes, too. Although instead of making my own bread, I'd rather move to Madame Reynaud's delightful neighborhood, greet gossipy neighbors and fractious dogs, and walk to either of the competing boulangeries for a fresh baguette.
Award-winning food essayist and author of six cookbooks
Carrie Jane Knowles’s A Garden Wall in Provence is an utterly charming novella about mothers and daughters, about being neighborly, and about the power and importance of fresh bread.
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