Again, I can't think how to describe this book without revealing information that needs to be garnered carefully and slowly through the exposition of plot and character in this beautifully eccentric study of an elderly widow. Martin loves his mother but increasingly cannot cope with her endless letter writing, dust collecting, mouse-trap setting and spying on the neighbours. But it is the neighbours who hold her interest, particularly a little boy who comes out only rarely to play with stones. Following its own internal logic, eventually all becomes clear and you are left with a heart-breaking act of love that defines her life. An established French author here in brilliant translation.