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By Michael Morpurgo

From the writer of 'War Horse' comes a gradual, evocative tale of a tender urban boy’s summer time in Sixties rural Provence.

When Yannick learns that he's to stick with his aunt Mathilde and her relatives within the South of France, he can't think his good fortune. He has hardly been out of Paris, and if the work in his mother’s loved Cézanne e-book are to be believed, definitely Provence is paradise itself. So starts an idyllic month for the younger urban boy: roaming the light hills and rolling valleys and having a pipe dream approximately his attractive cousin Amandine; assisting at his aunt and uncle’s bustling village resort; feeling that he has come to the main significant position on the planet. yet one night the spell is damaged while a major neighborhood comes for dinner and Yannick by accident destroys a helpful drawing the guy leaves at the back of. How can the devastated Yannick make issues correct back — and what fantastic discoveries may possibly come of it?

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We drove out of city to Vauvenargues, Aunt Mathilde conversing the entire means. i used to be within the again seat of the Deux Chevaux and couldn’t listen every thing, yet I did choose up adequate to appreciate that Uncle Bruno ran the village hotel. He did the cooking and everybody helped. “And you’ll need to aid too,” Amandine extra with out even turning to examine me. all over the place approximately me have been the light hills and folding valleys, the little homes and darkish pointing bushes I’d visible in Cézanne’s work. Uncle Bruno greeted me wrapped in his white apron. mom was once correct. He did have a big hedgehog of a moustache that prickled whilst he kissed me. I loved him immediately. I had my very own little room above the eating place, looking over a small again backyard. An almond tree grew there, the red blossoms brushing opposed to my window pane. past the tree have been the hills, Cézanne’s hills. And after supper they gave me a crystallized fruit, apricot, my favorite. All that and Amandine too. i couldn't were happier. It turned transparent to me in a short time that when i used to be made to believe very welcome and a part of the kinfolk – Aunt Mathilde was once constantly exhibiting me off proudly to her consumers as her nephew, her “beautiful little guy from Paris” – i used to be certainly anticipated to do what all people else did, to do my proportion of the paintings within the resort. Uncle Bruno used to be often busy in his kitchen. He clanked his pots and sang his songs, and might waggle his moustache at me every time I went in, which constantly made me laugh. He used to be happiest in his kitchen, i'll inform that. Aunt Mathilde bustled and hustled; she cherished issues to be in order that. She greeted each shopper like a long-lost good friend. She was once the center and soul of where. As for Amandine, she took me in hand instantly, and defined that I’d be operating together with her, that she’d been requested to seem after me. She didn't mince her phrases. i couldn't anticipate to spend my summer season with them, she stated, and never earn my retain. She placed me to paintings right now within the eating place, laying tables, clearing tables, slicing bread, filling up breadbaskets, filling carafes of water, ensuring there has been sufficient wooden at the fireplace within the evenings, and washing up, in fact. After only one day i used to be exhausted. Amandine instructed me I needed to learn how to paintings more durable and speedier, yet she did kiss me goodnight ahead of I went upstairs, which was once why i didn't wash my face for days afterwards. at the very least I had the mornings to myself. I made the simplest of the time I had, exploring the hills, stomping during the woods, mountaineering bushes. Amandine by no means got here with me. She had plenty of acquaintances within the village, higher boys who stood approximately with their thumbs hooked into the wallet in their blue denims, and roared round on motor scooters with Amandine clinging on in the back of, her hair flying. those have been the men she smiled at, the men she laughed with. i used to be extra unhappy than jealous, i feel; I easily enjoyed her greater than ever. there has been a regimen to the eating place paintings. once clients had left, Amandine could remove the wine glasses and the bottles and the carafes.

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