It is Gillian Tindall's gift, in her quietly remarkable book, to remind us how much of the past still lives in the present.
When Gillian Tindall discovered a cache of tightly folded letters in a deserted house in central France, recently emptied of 150 years of a family's possessions, she uncovered the obscure and moving life of one woman, Celestine Chaumette. This is Tindall's brilliantly original recreation of the vanished world of a French village.
“[A] modest little book, well on its way to becoming a modern classic.”
John Campbell, Independent
“Rich, satisfying, warm and utterly vivid”
Mail on Sunday
“A wonderful book... [Her] history is acutely visual... The book is a masterpiece of miniaturist history”
Times Literary Supplement
“This is history at its most interesting and compelling”
“No other living foreign writer has gone deeper into the psyche of rural France”
“A wonderfully evocative book... This is social history at its best”