- June 9, 2020
-- "Imagination will often carry us to world that nver were, but without it we go nowhere." - Karl Sagan
Without archives for the Swiss Chablais region dating from the 11th century, this tale imagines, with some historical deduction, who the first permanent settlers were in an alpine village overlooking the Rhone Valley at the end of the 9th century.
The novel follows the adventures of a young couple, a serf girl, and a freed man, both socially incompatible, who flee to the mountain in the winter, and survive with the help of a monk and a gamekeeper.
"I have lived in Gryon, the village featured in my story, for so long that I felt it was time to show it my gratitude," says the author. "I have always tried to imagine who were the first people to spend a whole winter there, rather than simply bringing the sheep and goats up for the summer season."
Nigel Patten was born near London in 1940 and has lived in Switzerland since 1961, writing and teaching English for the French baccalauréat. He has published ten books, including historical novels, a biography, an English drill book, and a three-act play about the last weeks in the life of the poet Shelley. He has twice won a Reader's Favorite Award. The author has travelled widely on all continents, often by camper van, including an overland drive to India and back. For many years he sailed his own yacht in the Greek islands, has twice climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, and hiked a number of famous trails. He was also a competitive cross-country skier. For forty years he directed and acted in a theater group in Vevey, on Lake Geneva.
Website - www.sbpra.com/NigelPatten