The village has a population of 994 people, although second-home owners swell the numbers from time to time. In addition to Bretons and French inhabitants there are British, Irish, Dutch and Syrian residents.
The main street contains the mairie, a bar and bakery/shop and a little restaurant run by an English couple. Set back from this is the church of Saint Duroc (with his stone boat) and he also has a large ornate fontaine by the road near the bridge at the edge of the village. There’s a primary school where Yuna’s grandmother was the teacher many years ago, two sports fields and a campsite beside the river.
It’s a quiet, well-ordered sort of place, retaining traditional Breton character and customs. But below the surface there are many different stories waiting to be told.
THE STOLEN SAINT is the first in a series of gentle mysteries set in the fictional Breton village of Ploubrannec.
Her fiftieth birthday is approaching as Yuna finds herself back in the Breton village where she was born, after living most of her adult life in London. Nothing has turned out as she hoped and she struggles to cope with the loss of her home, job, father Goulven and partner Hugh. Starting again at 49 is not so easy, but she is soon drawn into a mystery from the past featuring two Celtic saints...
The cover is by my friend, artist Liz Ridgway. Have a look at more of her wonderful work on lizridgway.com
AMAZON REVIEW EXTRACTS:
‘This is one of those books that you don’t want to end.’
‘The pace is gentle but engaging – a feel-good book whose characters are neither heroes nor villains but real people living real lives.’
‘If you’ve never been to Brittany, this novel will certainly give you a sense of place in terms of local culture, spirituality and folklore.’
A SECRET PLACE
“The stream called her long before it was possible to hear its music, but she turned at once towards the massive rocks, like grey whales rising from the misty light of the valley depths. She was holding her breath, waiting, unsure. She reached out to touch the granite surface again and again some ancient spark seared their connection.”
Twenty years ago I wrote two novels, Moon Garden and The Five of Cups, the latter also set in Brittany. Both have themes of connection with place, making changes in life and finding that magic really does happen...