Top critical review
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There was so much potential here
on 12 March 2014
The Chapel in the Woods – Susan Louineau
English Diana and her French (fireman) husband, Serge together with their young son, Ben have bought their idyllic home in the country to get away from the rat-race of Paris. Their home: Champ de Foire in rue Mongommery.
This should be a new start for both of them, but their relationship starts disintegrating, leaving Diana to wonder about her future. While trying to sort out her life, she starts picking up hints of the past and it’s here that we start learning about Edward, a young monk who fled Canterbury and after being dumped in the forest, is rescued by Clothilde, a young peasant girl and also about Helene Godard (parachuted into the area to help the French Resistance during WW2).
Unfortunately, I found this book cumbersome. I would have loved to hear the story of the monk expanded. Also that of Helene. To me – Diana’s story was just about a one dimensional person, going through a marriage crisis, whereas the monk & resistance worker had beautiful characters and in their own right, could have each been two full stories. I felt that they came alive in the few chapters they were allowed to “tell their story”.
I always get upset when I see us, non-authors, give one or two stars to someone’s painstaking hours work to present us with a story, so I hope if the author reads this, they realise that I’m trying to be constructive.