In 1949, a young couple, Arnaud and Lucie Borja, leave the war-torn streets of Paris and head south, to the sleepy village of Canas where they have bought an old chateau and vineyard - a place, as Arnaud Borja says, for them to create a family and set up a business selling their own wine. Half a century later, the chateau is up for sale, the vines have gone to seed, and an English woman, holidaying nearby with her husband, has no idea that her interest in the derelict property is spreading rumours in the village. For Kate Glover, life in Canas offers a promise of change - an escape from a stifling marriage, and her relentless urban existence. What she cannot see, behind the apparently tranquil chateau walls, is the truth about the Borja family and the tragic legacy of their child, adopted from migrant workers in the 1950s, and later forced to leave in shame. Natalie Young's entrancing debut novel, set in the shimmering landscape of the southern Cevennes, alternates between the years immediately after the Second World War and the present-day to explore a dark family secret and its ripple effect on people's lives. It is a story of love and ownership, thwarted desire, and the damage done when the truth is withheld.
Natalie Young has worked for The Times for several years. She has two children and lives in London. This is her first novel.