Pati Hill was in the world of Paris fashions (the Balenciaga salon), an American- engaged to a Frenchman. Rather abruptly, it might seem, she decided to escape Paris and seek seclusion in the village of Monterre, there to write a book. This is the journal of that year of adventure, primitive adventure in a dilapidated house, with a neighbor- Madame Joumard- whose detachment she found puzzling and impenetrable. Little by little, she made contact, she learned how to live with no comforts, to make a garden of sorts, to get on with her neighbors. The affairs of these neighbors seemd more intimately her own than she reckoned with, and the separation, when she left to return to American prior to her marriage back to France, was a painful one. But she has told the story enchantingly, episodically, at times perceptively, and with much humor. This may well be one of those books that word of mouth recommendation might make into a popular success. It won't get there without that sort of an assist -- so watch for it.