This quirky little tale of a widow's love for her husband, stray dogs, table football and classical music set in a village full of interesting characters is an absolute joy to read. Poignant and hugely entertaining, its sombre themes of loss and ageing are handled in a hugely agreeable way.
Everyone would remember that it happened the year a cow became mayor of Oucwègne. A cow, that's right - more precisely, a Blonde d'Aquitaine, known by farmers as an exceptional beef breed. Her phenomenal rump made her the queen of the annual fairs, her coat of soft-pile carpet had a colour that went well with most furniture, even modern, and when she mooed it was never with discontent but always an apt comment from the sidelines, witty and pertinent.