"Lizzie Napoli lives in Paris and owns and summers in Provence in a tiny roulotte, or gypsy cart, decorated in bright colors with a curtain of beads and pale-pink scalloped awnings."
''A Window on Provence'' describes how she joined her parents, who had rented a house in Provence, in a hamlet of about a dozen dwellings near the hilltop village of Gordes (which has been called one of France's most beautiful villages). She wanted a sabbatical from her job and family responsibilities - time to look, think, feel, keep a journal, draw, make collages and enjoy time with her mother, a painter, and her father, a composer. She explored the countryside, went to local markets, visited a Cistercian abbey, attended a wine festival, a circus and various fetes. She met interesting people, among them Lizzie Napoli, a book illustrator from Paris who owned and summered in a tiny roulotte, or gypsy cart, decorated in bright colors with a curtain of beads and pale-pink scalloped awnings. She was invited to the art historian John Rewald's house, The Citadel, where sketches by some of his favorite Impressionists hung on the walls. Ms. Niles gives snippets of the area's history and describes local customs and characters. Her book, illustrated with the author's amusing line drawings, is charming and intelligent; she can make you taste an oily olive and a sun-dried tomato, smell the rosemary and picture sunflowers and a rugged, stony terrain. If it is not possible to go to Provence, this book will transport you there and give you a taste of the region. One wishes for more and thanks Ms. Niles for a fascinating journey.