Previously published as The Imperfect Tense 'When I was young the war started. When I was young my father was a soldier. When I was young I moved to the country. When I was young I went to France and fell in love' 1950.
Eleanor is sixteen when she goes to the Loire Valley on a French Exchange. But the beauty of her surroundings are at odds with the family who live there. It is a family torn apart by the memories of the German occupation, and buckling under the burden of the dark secrets they keep. Etienne, the dark and brooding owner is friendly, but his wife Mathilde's malicious behaviour overshadows Eleanor's days.
As the secrets reveal themselves one by one, Eleanor begins to understand the terrible legacy of war, and when death comes to the vineyard, she learns the redemptive power of love.