Damson Skies and Dragonflies by Lindy Viandier
It is always exciting to find a good memoir about life in France but finding myself in the pages of Lindy’s Damson Skies and Dragonflies, gave me so much more than I was expecting.
Lindy is married to a Frenchman, and together they split their time between Paris and their 300-year-old rural bolthole in the Burgundian countryside, Les Libellules (the dragonflies). As they snatch precious time away from Paris, this book is packed full of Lindy’s wonderful descriptions in her vignettes of life in the countryside. She also explains better than most the cultural differences, traditions and unique French ways of doing things, and these parts often had me grinning away.
There is always something to do at Les Libellules, and Monsieur Viandier is usually tackling multiple jobs at a time, interrupted in the most pleasurable way by neighbours dropping by to share a coffee or aperitif, proof they have been embraced by their local community. For Lindy, time in the Burgundian countryside means the natural world that surrounds them easily becomes the focus for her camera and her writing. It was her descriptions of the birds, wildflowers, butterflies and dragonflies who visit them that were some of my favourite pages of this memoir.
I often feel when reading a good novel, that as the action builds towards the end I’m torn between binge-reading and wanting to slowly savour what remains of the book. I don’t normally feel this same sense of loss as a memoir comes to an end, but I did with this book. I knew I was going to miss my evenings spent enjoying the changes of seasons and pace of life at Les Libellules with Lindy, her husband, Pussy Willow and the others.
The great news is that Lindy has written a second book to keep me going over winter, Mellow Mists and Walnut Wine.
You can also find Lindy over at We Love Memoirs Facebook Group where she shares lots of the photos she loves to take of life at Les Libellules.