This is a heartbreakingly honest and funny autobiographical novel about family, love and life in rural France.
Anna knows that if you want something really badly, you have to plan it.
After all, she's a chef. To make a bechamel sauce, you need the right ingredients in the right quantities, at the right time.
So when she gets pregnant, she plans a perfect new life in Provence for her perfect new baby.
But Anna and Tobias are plunged into every new parent's nightmare, as they learn that their daughter Freya has been born with profound mental and physical disabilities.
Tobias, who loves all humankind, says he can't love this child.
Anna too has grave doubts, but she's physically unable to let go of her baby.
So she manages to persuade him to carry on with their move to France and take Freya along, just until she can bear to give her up.
The family ends up in a decrepit, mouse-infested farmhouse in the Languedoc - where they become a magnet for the odd and the damaged.
Surrounded by a wonderful cast of eccentrics and the riches of French life and cooking, Anna is determined to get her life back on track, or at least to rid the kitchen - her sanctuary - of the mice that infest it. But the more she tries to impose her will upon the situation, the more it spirals away from her. And what none of them can predict is that Freya, just by being herself, will have a profound impact on everybody's lives.
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 384 pages
- Publisher: Vintage Publishing
- Publication Date: 04/04/2013
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9781846556630