Vickers doesn’t disappoint

  • Book: The Cleaner of Chartres
  • Location: Chartres
  • Author: Salley Vickers



Travelers – armchair or otherwise- will enjoy Salley Vickers’ latest offering set in the picturesque town of Chartres. Her wonderfully evocative and gentle style of writing will quickly seduce you into the tale of Agnes Morel and the mysteries surrounding her arrival in the French town famous for its cathedral.
As the story unfolds, we learn that Agnes is a foundling that has been brought up by nuns and the chapters alternate between her appearance in Chartres and her earlier life in Evreux. But all is not sweetness and light, there are definitely dark forces at work.
Vickers has a great ability to craft believable characters. More importantly, she has a way of creating a sense of place that goes beyond the factual (though one of the nuns who features tends to be rather didactic in her descriptions when leading another through the church!). Just like the labyrinth on the cathedral’s floor, Vickers weaves an imaginative tale that most will enjoy. But what I appreciated most was the way she managed to make Chartres feel like a little village whose inhabitants all suffer from all too familiar human foibles.

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