This lyrical evocation of growing up on the banks of the Seine was originally published in 1964. In this minutely observed landscape, where even the wind is a character in its own right, we meet blind Battouflet, the singing hermit of the hillside, solemn Clotilde, the author's first girlfriend who lives in a chateau in the heart of the forest, and a desiccated and disturbing spinster, Mlle. Firman. Fedden writes with preternatural clarity, taking the reader with him into a long-forgotten yet echoingly familiar world. When Fedden finds himself expelled from this realm by his emerging sexuality, he leaves us reeling with nostalgia for that timeless sense of the present that is the magic of childhood.