TAKE one husband, two dogs full of energy and a camper van with a mind of its own and you have a recipe for a road trip with a difference.
For her latest book writer Susie Kelly combined all these ingredients and added to the mix a 10,000-kilometre trip around France.
A Perfect Circle tells of the journey Susie took with her husband Terry along small coastal roads and mountain lanes around the edge of France, visiting towns and villages well off the tourist routes.
The couple were accompanied by their two dogs and despite losing its exhaust pipe in the early days of the trip, their blue camper van also became a reliable companion, developing a character all of its own.
Susie Kelly is not scared of a challenge or two, she has already walked across France and written about it in Best Foot Forward, but this was the first time a trip ensemble had been arranged.
Of course Susie and Terry meet plenty of characters along the way, visit world famous vineyards whilst the builders are in and discover the history of small villages when chatting to the locals.
This is the sort of book that you have to read with a map book close to hand as you follow the couple’s journey through pine forests, mountain passes and occasionally non-descript suburbs on the edge of towns.
During the trip Susie shows a keen eye for the colours and flowers of a region, but also weaves in the stories of people from the area, for example, she writes how the flamboyant writer Pierre Loti filled his house in Rochefort with exotic hangings and Turkish antiques.
And despite the best intentions of the dogs to eat the camper van from the inside out, Susie and Terry complete their adventure and take readers on A Perfect Circle around France, showing corners of the country few ever tread.
Paperback. 349 pages.
Buy on Amazon: A Perfect Circle
Related: Audio interview with Susie