Why hadn't I heard of William Maxwell before now? 'The Chateau' is a seriously good book. I sent for it after Salley Vickers recommended it in The Independent. Maxwell, an editor of the New Yorker magazine, wrote several apparently quite varied books, though this is the only one of his I've read. It is about a childless American couple who spend several months in France just after the end of World War II. For anyone who has read Irene Nemirovsky's 'Suite Francaise' this is a very good follow-on.
The first part of the novel was somewhat resistable, seeming disconcertingly as if the author was merely re-using notes he had taken during a visit of his own. But the couple are actually nice - rare in a novel - and also touchingly vulnerable. And gradually the novel thickens, with characters and places, into mental cinema, totally gripping. The ending is odd, and oddly unsatisfactory. But the people and the places are still in my head, a long time afterwards.