The Cleaner of Chartres
Author: Salley Vickers
When a strange young woman is found sleeping in the porch of the ancient cathedral of Chartres, none of the residents of this quiet little town realize what changes lie in store for them . . .
With her dark skin, her colourful clothes and her curious manner, Agnès Morel catches the eye of everyone she encounters. Before long she is cleaning for the Abbé Paul in the cathedral, organizing lonely Professor Jones's chaotic papers and helping Philippe Nevers with his irresponsible sister and her newborn child.
At the same time, she bewitches the local painter, Robert Clément, with her topaz eyes and captures the heart of Alain, the handsome restorer who works alongside her in the cathedral each morning.
Little by little, day by day, she has a magical effect on each of their lives.
But the mystery of Agnès 's origins leads the jealous Madame Beck and her gossiping companion, Madame Picot, to call sorts of schemes and speculations. As the rumours grow stronger, Agnès is eventually forced to come to terms with her own traumatic past.
Told with sparkling wit and devilish charm, The Cleaner of Chartres is a beautifully beguiling tale of a young woman who brings healing to a town that didn't know it needed it, only to find her own redemption among its community of lost souls.
'Subtle and utterly joyous...a contemporary moral and psychological drama every bit as absorbing as Miss Garnet's Angel.' Sunday Times
'The Cleaner of Chartres is a return to form.' Sunday Express
'The Cleaner of Chartres touches lightly on the seedy side of human nature.' Observer
'A magical and at times sinister story about love, loss, secrets and forgiveness...with Chocolat-type charm.' Scotland on Sunday
'If you're looking for a book to take you by surprise, Salley Vickers' latest is the perfect choice.' Psychologies