This is more than a travel diary of an Australian woman and her family in a remote Corsican village; it is really a humanized field study of a way of life. The village of Monte Torre itself is slow and social, its motto being ""c'est la vie--it's the season, what can one do?"" The author is at once tolerant and critical of housewives who busily lean over their balconies to chat all day with one another, and of the shrugging, realistic acceptance of their patterns of existence. Alternately chiding and approving, she is always gentle and temperate. She in fact reinforces our sense of the life rhythms of the village by her fluid, tranquil style, as sure and smooth as the village seasons. Against this runs a current of shrewdness and good sense that adds depth to her observations. The book covers one year in the village--the ""Big Killing,"" the ""Sausage Making,"" the ""Olive Picking,"" and one comes to know the bawdy monk, the neurotic Benedicte, the good Pascal, the mad Virgine, and many more local characters. Mrs. Deane charts the effects of change on this traditional village, but her book remains a pleasant pastorale.