The Twisted Vine by Alex Martin
is now out on Kindle Direct Publishing.
This story was created from notes I made when travelling in France in the early 1980s.
I, like Roxanne Rudge, was escaping from a bruising relationship and seeking some adventure and distance. I too picked grapes – the descriptions of the sore knees and hands were based on direct experience! I wouldn\’t have missed it for the world.
I was not so unlucky as Roxanne. The anecdote with Armand in the car is based on someone else\’s story. Once Armand had sprung to life on my keyboard however, he would not go away, and insisted on becoming central to the plot. From his thwarted childhood was born the rest of the characters. Jeanne, in my eyes, is the villain of the piece. Her ruthless ambition and lack of motherly love are the catalysts that shape Armand\’s blighted future. Louis, too, would not have become such an uncaring husband and father, had Jeanne indulged him with some affection.
I did meet a wonderful girl who was disabled in the same way as Yvane. She was just as beautiful as Yvane but much, much nicer. I hope she reads this book and recognises her description. I would love to meet her again.
I love France. It is a beautiful, spacious and very varied country. In this frenetic modern world, its deepest recesses remain unchanged. Whether for better or worse, I wouldn\’t like to say, but for me, it is a refuge.
I hope you will, or have, enjoyed Roxanne\’s journey through its stunning countryside and that you travel, like her, with hope always in your heart.