Chapter 11. As Harold goes for a walk in the forest and, later, as Celeste remembers the local folklore about the streghe (witches) the pair begin to understand the significance of the painting titled Diana at her bath and why it is positioned where it is in the hall, but progress in their mission to understand the cryptic message that Celeste’s grandmother left her to decipher is interrupted as Celeste throws a birthday party like she did in the old days.
Stepping away from the story for a moment but staying in the area where it is set, Elena and I went for a long walk in the forest yesterday. The sun was warm and we were stripping off extra layers to stay cool. This morning, however, the temperature had plummeted to a frigid 8ºC and there is fresh snow on the Apennine mountains. In all the years that I’ve lived in Fivizzano, I’ve never known there to be snow in the middle of autumn — not even on the mountain tops.
All of which leads nicely back into the book because Harold and Celeste have plans to visit the Apennine ski resort of Cerreto Laghi the day after Celeste’s birthday.
I’m currently writing chapter fifteen and a little ahead of target.