Second Harvest by Jean Giono
Panturle lives in the nearly deserted village of Aubignane, in the Provencal uplands. That autumn, Gaubert, the blacksmith, "a little man all mustache, " had left; and before the winter was out, the well-sinker's widow had left as well. Then only Panturle remained, a man made morose almost to the point of madness by his solitude. He gave up planting and lived off what he could catch. Then out of the blue a woman arrived, someone to live for, someone to till the soil and plant new seed for. Even a village can be raised from the dead.Second Harvest is steeped in the poetry of the countryside and the seasons. Readers of The Man Who Planted Trees do not need to ask why Jean Giono remains one of the most enduring French storytellers of this century.