Wednesday, 20 January 2016

A House in Flanders - Michael Jenkins

  • Product Details
    A little delight to keep on the shelves, ready to lend out, read again yourself, or just suggest to other booky friends.  
    (Sir) Michael Jenkins died, aged 77, in 2013.  He only wrote two books and this is a memoir of his 14th Summer, spent in Northern France in the company of a whole family of elderly not-really-relatives.  
     He was a diplomat, a mover and shaker in the early days of the European Union, a money man; spoke three languages fluently.  A wonderful life - and I believe from this tiny book (171 pages) that his diplomacy was learnt from his Aunt Yvonne, the chatelaine of the house where he spent that 14th Summer. 
     It was obviously a Summer where he learned many things, where he started to grow up, where he learned to appreciate the company of those much older than he.
    Each chapter is headed by the name of one of the characters.  The chapter describes that character perfectly, and one might think that this would be a boring read, because nothing much happens.  But it's the characters themselves, his descriptions of them and the feelings that he remembers those characters conjured up that make this little book a gem.  I found it in a second hand warehouse for £1 - small money well spent!
    You can read his obituary here, but do read the book first.