In the winter of 1928, still seeking some kind of resolution to the horrors of World War I, Freddie is traveling through the beautiful but forbidding French Pyrenees. During a snowstorm, his car spins off the mountain road. Dazed, he stumbles through the woods, emerging in a tiny village, where he finds an inn to wait out the blizzard. There he meets Fabrissa, a lovely young woman also mourning a lost generation.
Over the course of one night, Fabrissa and Freddie share their stories. By the time dawn breaks, Freddie will have unearthed a tragic, centuries-old mystery, and discovered his own role in the life of this remote town.
I will say straight off this book was perfect for my snowy getaway to Switzerland in December. It had a good dark, cold and even a bit eerie feel to it and as night comes early in the winter this was a really good pick.
I really liked how the author was able to create a really good atmosphere in this, she fully managed to paint a good picture of the time periods and the setting. Heck it even made me want to visit southern France myself as the author really succeeded in making the area sound exotic not to mention mysterious. Could there be more hidden caves in the Pyrenees that have yet to be discovered?
Anyone who knows me will know I love a good ghost story on a dark night and while this one didn’t fail to deliver in the terms of suspense, it didn’t exactly pack a punch or have much of a mystery factor either. For me it was pretty obvious who the ghosts were before the big reveal. But there again maybe that’s just me as I’ve read a great many ghost stories in my time.
There was quite a lot of suspense and build up in this book to a positive finale which was all good, but I feel there could have been more of a mystery, how to say, I wish the mystery surrounding this could have been a little less obvious but once again maybe that’s just me and my past experiences with books.
The writing and character development is gorgeous and as I’ve said the setting was fully brought to life by this authors skill and expertise in this topic and region. To me this was better than her other book Labyrinth- Kate Mosse. I will read more from this author as my friend said her other books in the Languedoc series are as good as if not better than Labyrinth but oh I wish the author would write more shorter books like this one!
Who I’d recommend this for
If you didn’t like Labyrinth but liked the Cathar history and setting then this is worth a try. Also if you don’t like to read too thick books but want an entertaining, informative story then again, this could be for you.