In the splendid gardens of a 1920s French Riviera villa, a small group of people of widely differing character come together by chance, link, hold, and finally break away. We explore these disparate lives.
The elegant well-born English hosts, ageing, aware, and vulnerable; the two young holiday-makers, from opposite worlds in love and eagerly exploring their way together; a dynamic Italian film director (with yacht and entourage) intent on his own ambitions and at the height of dangerous powers. All are caught up in the potent chemistry of their meeting; none remains untouched as the mid-summer picnic ends, leaves fall, the yacht sails away, and the garden voices fade.
Sad Confetti is a heart-felt tale of mature and immature love.
All manner of plants grow up the walls of this garden, from wisteria and jasmine to old roses and an espaliered pear. The most accommodating of all is surely the Hydrangea petiolaris, living happily in light shade, and tolerating anyone's ability to both pamper and neglect as the mood takes them. One lives in the corner of this garden with ferns at its feet and tangled with the gnarled trunk of a very old rose. The lawn, green and smooth as a length of baize, sloped gently down through tall pines to the far end of the point where it ended in a neat curve, a crumbling stone urn of geraniums, a low stone wall and the end of the land. Beyond the wall, jagged rocks and boulders; shaggy myrtle bushes and a golden broom hung high above the sea. She walked slowly and deliberately down the middle of the lawn only half aware that her heels were leaving deep holes in the sodden turf and that she had received the full force of one of the sprinklers across the front of her thin silk shirt. It would dry out in a second once she had reached the sunlight at the end of the point, and Archie could grumble as much as he liked about the heel marks. This wasn’t a time to be fussy. They’d disappear in a day or two. Anyway, she didn’t care. Such a minor thing. Minor things faded into the shadows of major things.