This delightful novel will make you long to book a flight to Europe to visit Little Nettlefield, Le Moulin de Bacchus, and La Gare d’Autre Temps
a novel, by Heather Refetoff
Set between Peter Mayle’s “A Good Year” and “Sideways” by Rex Pickett, “Quartet” is a two-part cross-cultural novel (American/English/French) that explores the often-unrecognized plight of a fit, healthy wife of a man suddenly disabled in midlife. In her efforts to care for Don and rebuild his life, American Anne Marie gives up career, country and family to move to the England of his youth, and in so doing loses sight of her own desires and aspirations and, ultimately, her identity. From the anticipation of the new Millennium’s New York financial world to the beautiful countryside of England’s East Midlands, Part I of “Quartet” tests the love and explores the difficulties of Don and Anne Marie’s 14-year marriage as they navigate their new parameters.
Part II introduces the second couple of the quartet, with the love affaire of a thirties-something English-rose-divorcee and a mid-life-crisis Wall Street escapee, amid the romantic charm of the châteaux country of France’s Loire Valley. Action intersects and overlaps Part I as the ease of the new love of Julia and George contrasts with, and creates time for, resolution of the earlier issues.
Written to explore all four protagonists against a colorful backdrop of secondary characters, and interspersed with snippets of history, local culture, folklore, recipes and viticulture, the story is essentially that of Anne Marie, as she abandons then seeks to address reconstruction of her life.
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