Reviewed by Francine
Rummaging around in a loft is a risqué business, more especially when one hasn’t paid visit in a long while to the upper realm of discarded items. And for Gabriel, as with all glory holes, there is always something begging to be noticed, begging to be brought into the light. Though in Gabriel’s loft it’s a child’s plastic drawstring bag that draws the eye, and once Pandora’s (Jodi’s) bag is opened the past slowly unfolds drawing him back twenty years to the prime of his life and a brief affair. Did he do all that? Did he feel that way? His diary says he did. By gad, he was most definitely alive back then, and with the halcyon days of a Provence summer, it’s fair to say an American divorcée most definitely set his underpants on fire, and her daughter touched his heart, too.
This is a gem of a contemporary novella for anyone who loves a touch of humour, romance and great sense of time and place. For as Gabriel relives the past - through his diary and that of a sealed letter - a sprig of Lavender stirs the senses and nostalgia for honeyed days of blissful indulgence cloak about him. This is a lovely, lovely read.