Souvenir Press have just published a new edition of A House in Flanders, Michael Jenkins’ memoir of a summer in northern France with a houseful of elderly ‘aunts’, and I have reviewed it for Shiny New Books here.
If your taste runs to slightly eccentric families, golden summers and a hint of nostalgia amply balanced by the reminders of two world wars, then you will enjoy this – needless to say, I did. I’m only sorry that Jenkins didn’t write more books as he has a real talent for character and atmosphere (and here’s an interesting fact: he was the nephew of Elizabeth Jenkins, author of The Tortoise and the Hare, Elizabeth I etc.).
(César Pattein or Patteyn, Landscape in Flanders, oil on canvas, found here; no date is given for the painting but according to Christie’s Pattein was a French artist who lived 1850–1931, a little early for the summer of 1951 when Michael Jenkins was there but since the ‘aunts’ continued to live as they had done for decades it seems appropriate to the spirit of the book)