Not everyone goes to school on a donkey, keeps an eagle owl in the spare bedroom cupboard, or plays chess for the French Foreign Legion. But for the four Luard children, all this was perfectly normal. As normal as taking the scrap bucket across the stream to feed the household pig, or knowing how to hitch up a mulecart.
Elisabeth Luard's not-so-simple tale captures the spirit of bringing up four children as they travel across Europe, their lives a series of old-fashioned adventures. Littered with anecdotes and a scattering of their favourite recipes, this book is a celebration of family life. But no family is immune from tragedy - still less one which lives life to the full. In Francesca, the eldest of the three daughters, we find a true heroine. Passionate, honest, perceptive, she tells her own story - until that moment when she can tell it no more.