The Cleaner of Chartres by Salley Vickers
A Novel

80%

5 Critic Reviews

A skillful miniature psychodrama delivered with humor and knowing restraint.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

“If you enjoy the work of Marilynne Robinson, Penelope Fitzgerald, James Salter…you should be reading Vickers.” —Michael Dirda, The Washington Post Book World

There is something very special about Agnès Morel. A quiet presence in the small French town of Chartres, she can usually be found cleaning the famed medieval cathedral or doing odd jobs for the townspeople. No one knows where she came from or why. Not diffident Abbé Paul, nor lonely Professor Jones, nor even Alain Fleury, whose attention she catches with her tawny eyes. She has transformed all their lives in her own subtle way, yet no one suspects the dark secret Agnès is hiding.
Then an accidental encounter dredges up the specter of her past, and the nasty meddling of town gossips forces Agnès to confront her tragic history and the violent act that haunts it. 
 

About Salley Vickers

See more books from this Author
Salley Vickers has worked as a dancer, an artist's model, a university professor of literature, and a psychoanalyst. She now writes full-time.
 
Published June 27, 2013 by Plume. 305 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Romance, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Cleaner of Chartres
All: 5 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Good
on May 15 2013

A skillful miniature psychodrama delivered with humor and knowing restraint.

Read Full Review of The Cleaner of Chartres: A Novel | See more reviews from Kirkus

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Jane Housham on Jul 12 2013

...Agnès Morel, Vickers's quietly transformative heroine, is a Marian force for good in the tight-knit and sinful community of Chartres...

Read Full Review of The Cleaner of Chartres: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Jane Housham on Jul 12 2013

Vickers's quietly transformative heroine, is a Marian force for good in the tight-knit and sinful community of Chartres, despite having to face some cruel demons of her own.

Read Full Review of The Cleaner of Chartres: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Ruth Scurr on Nov 10 2012

Vickers reveals Agnès's story in layers, circling between the past and present, cumulatively deepening the narrative. The technique has much in common with psychoanalytical methods, not least in the role that silence plays.

Read Full Review of The Cleaner of Chartres: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian

NY Journal of Books

Above average
Reviewed by Autumn Markus on Jun 26 2013

Agnes is a likable enough character, and her story is true to the labyrinth themed construction. Still, a more satisfying option would be one of Joanne Harris’ novels set in France.

Read Full Review of The Cleaner of Chartres: A Novel | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

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77%

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Karen Russo 5 Sep 2013

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