HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT OF DROPPING OUT AND GOING TO LIVE IN THE SOUTH OF FRANCE?
THE MEMORABLE ‘THE OLIVE GARDEN’ BY ACTRESS CAROL DRINKWATER TELLS JUST SUCH A STORY IN A HIGHLY PERSONAL, EVOCATIVE, AND SENSUAL WAY
I don’t know how I missed THE OLIVE GARDEN when it was first published in 2001—I tend to be fairly alert to key words or phrases like “South of France” but somehow I missed the book completely. Fortunately Jo, who I had the honor of helping to nurse as she was dying of cancer, had the book in her collection—and though most of her books were donated to worthy institutions before I moved into this apartment, somehow THE OLIVE GARDEN remained.
Let me confess that I picked it up reluctantly. I was looking for a thriller to relax with. Nonetheless, I was soon gripped by Carol Drinkwater’s vivid tale—and finished it with great regret. I know the area she was writing about and have great affection for it.
The story is not complicated. She and her lover, Michel, find a house set on ten acres not far from Cannes—which they can’t really afford—buy it (a saga in itself) and gradually restore the property despite numerous setbacks.
The author, Carol Drinkwater, is arguably best known for her role in ALL CREATURES, GREAT AND SMALL—a TV series which was widely popular, but which I do not recall having seen. What I can say, is that whatever about her talent as an actress (and I gather she is highly regarded) she writes beautifully—with energy, empathy and a senusality that is entirely appropriate to her subject.
This is a must read book.