The Cleaner of Chartres

There is something very special about Agnès Morel. A quiet presence in the small French town of Chartres, she can usually be found cleaning the famed medieval cathedral or doing odd jobs for the townspeople. No one knows where she came from or why. Not diffident Abbé Paul, nor lonely Professor Jones, nor even Alain Fleury, whose attention she catches with her tawny eyes.

She has transformed all their lives in her own subtle way, yet no one suspects the dark secret Agnès is hiding. Then an accidental encounter dredges up the specter of her past, and the nasty meddling of town gossips forces Agnès to confront her tragic history and the violent act that haunts it. 

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'With its subtle combination of explorations of faith and love, The Cleaner of Chartres is something of a return to the terrain of Vickers’s first novel…Miss Garnet’s Angel.…Each character is drawn with skilful precision'
— The Independent

'There’s a timelessness about The Cleaner of Chartres…Vickers draws on an intimate understanding of human behaviour'
— The Bookseller

'Salley Vickers is a novelist whose imaginative journey always promises magic and mystery. The Cleaner of Chartres shows her on top form in a rich weave of loss and redemption spiked with Ms. Vickers’s irrepressible wit' — The Observer