“A Garden Wall in Provence” by Carrie Knowles is a comfortable, light-hearted read of 100 pages. Staged in a nook of Avignon, France, the novel unwinds the tale of Monique and her mother, Madame Reynaud. Monique was crippled by a violent wind known as the “mistral” at the young age of 10 years, and limited by her physical challenges, she has lived with her family since childhood. Monique and her mother treasure an exceptionally close relationship, a bond further strengthened after her father’s passing several years ago. This book chronicles the intertwined lives of Monique and Madame Reynaud over the course of the week leading up to Monique’s 30th birthday.
These women encounter obstacles people pray they’ll never have to face, such as physical weakness and the loss of a loved one. All the while Monique has begged her mother to allow her to explore employment, a request Madame Reynaud refuses year after year. Protective of her injured daughter, Madame Reynaud yearns to shelter Monique from any additional pain beyond what she already endures. Madame Reynaud not only serves as the caregiver for her daughter but also generously tends to her neighbors and friends on a daily basis.
In the week leading up to Monique’s birthday, “A Garden Wall in Provence” explores friendship, empowerment, self-awareness, love and most importantly, the depth of family bonds. Monique isn’t the only one in the family who finds joy on her birthday!
I recommend this book to anyone looking for a relaxing, calming read. In addition to a warming and captivating storyline, you’ll be treated with a few mouthwatering French bread recipes at the end!
We’re excited to be working with client Carrie Knowles, a widely published author, multi-media artist, international traveler and the 2014 Piedmont Laureate. Stay tuned for our future adventures with Carrie!
Written by Clairemont intern, Kennedy Norton, a fashion blogger and senior at North Carolina State University.