Friday, April 29, 2011

The Book of Ruth: A Memoir of Provence

Through writing about the English painter and Provence transplant Julian Merrow-Smith, I met his wife Ruth Phillips. We felt instantly sympatico although I must admit (and I told her this) that I felt more than a bit indimidated by her accomplishments. These include: fluency in French, two masters degrees and a successful career as a professional cellist. She's also a talented cook, an avid hostess and very happily married to a superb and prolific artist. Best of all, she's just super warm and nice: before we barely knew each other, Ruth invited me to come to a New Years party at the couple's home in Bedoin, near Mt. Ventoux, and told me I was more than welcome to spend the night--so I could be around for their open house the next day.

Anyway, I found out this week that I have yet another reason to admire the lovely and talented Ruth: her new book. 
Called Cherries from Chauvet’s Orchard, it's a memoir that tells the story of the birth of Postcard from Provence (Julian's widely publicized painting-a-day project), the couple's life in France, the life of Julian's paintings after they leave his studio  and, Ruth says, "our own journey towards making a family." Indeed, in the same email, Ruth shared the very happy news that she and Julian had finally been successful in their efforts to adopt six-month-old son Louis Joseph, who had been living in a private orphanage in Mali, West Africa. 

"We'll stay in Mali for ten days or so and then we will bring him home to our tumbledown house in Provence," Ruth wrote. "Just in time for some puréed cherries."

I'm thrilled for them!

Cherries from Chauvet’s Orchard will be available June 1st as a mass-market paperback and Kindle eBook. You can order it from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Chapters and other major retailers. The book is $16.95/ €11.95/£10.95.

Meanwhile, Ruth and Julian have produced a special edition of the book, to raise funds for the orphanage in Bamako. That edition is limited to 300 numbered copies in presentation slipcases, signed by both Ruth and Julian. The books are already printed; the presentation cases arrive the week of May 9th and they'll be available by mail the last week in May. The special edition price is $35 (£22/€25) and you can order it here.

If you're still not sure, you can read a 48-page sample of the book here. I just read the introduction and already I'm completely hooked...

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for telling us about this lovely author Ruth Phillips - I shall look forward to reading her book with the most delightful title.