Summer is here, the first true post-Covid summer that brings with it relative ease of travel, with no official pre- or post-arrival PCR testing required, but the anxiety from the last few years remains, a siren’s muted warning beneath the calm. I still wore my mask in crowded indoor spaces: the metro, trains, museums, and even the loo, but all went well. Smoothly even. I love traveling, like most people, but when the obstacles outweigh the benefits, it’s easier for my mental health to remain at home, listening to music, writing, reading, and dreaming about a future travel plan with little work involved to get there.

Traveling last week to visit friends in southern France was a dream. The lines weren’t too long, people were patient, and there was an air of tolerance thrumming beneath each of us, holiday-goers and -makers alike. The world seems to be getting back on track, but with a better mindset, open and welcoming. It was so nice to experience what felt like a new normal. Best wishes to everyone braving summertime travel, may your journey be filled with ease and your destination be full of happy moments to last a lifetime.


I am ecstatic that I will be at the Saint-Maur en Poche Literary Festival in France this weekend, 23-24 June, where I will sign copies of Filles de la Mer, the brilliant French edition of White Chrysanthemum. Check out their website to see the many, many amazing French and international authors who will be there. Many thanks to La Griffe Noire for supporting my novel! My book signing sessions are below:

Saturday, 23 June 14:30-16:30 and Sunday, 24 June 10:00-12:00

Robert Laffont