Author(s): Patricia Atkinson
Fifteen years ago, Patricia Atkinson came to rural France as an outsider hoping to put down roots. But her dream turned to tragedy as her husband James became ill and left her. It was then she realized that the small vineyard they had bought together was her sole means of support. As she described in her bestselling The Ripening Sun, in the years that followed she did eventually achieve a dream, but one far removed from the one she first imagined. She learned to live off the land, joining in a French rural tradition that went back through history, that connected her to a distant past. Her property, Clos D'Yvigne, went on to win countless awards and she is regarded as one of France's leading vignerons. But what of the woman behind this success story? What sustained her through years of loneliness and adversity apart from a single-minded determination to succeed?
La Belle Saison will tell of her life after James, of further tragedies, of friendship lost and gained. It will show where Patricia found solace: in the timelessness of the beautiful countryside, the bounty of the land and through the generous-hearted French neighbours who showed her that a simple life has many rewards: hunting for wild boar and truffles in the Autumn, summer days fishing, or collecting oysters, the eternal round of the vineyards. In France, every season is 'la belle saison', giving up its gifts. La Belle Saison is a captivating celebration of one woman's achievement of a dream over adversity.