iPlayer Radio What's New?
Image for Episode 2

Sorry, this episode is not currently available on BBC iPlayer Radio

Episode 2

Duration:
15 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 30 October 2012

The Cleaner of Chartres by Salley Vickers
Abridged by Libby Spurrier
Read by Lesley Manville

There is something special about the ancient cathedral in Chartres with its mismatched spires, astonishing stained-glass and strange labyrinth. And there is something special too about Agnès Morel, the mysterious woman who is to be found cleaning it each morning.

No one quite knows where she came from - not the diffident Abbé Paul who discovered her sleeping in the north porch; nor lonely Professor Jones whose chaotic existence she helps to organise; nor Philippe Nevers whose neurotic sister and newborn child she cares for; nor even the irreverent young restorer, Alain Fleury, who works alongside her each day and whose attention she catches with her tawny eyes, colourful clothes and elusive manner. And yet everyone she encounters would surely agree that she has touched their lives in subtly transformative ways, even though they couldn't quite say how.

But with a chance meeting in the cathedral one day, the spectre of Agnès' past returns, provoking malicious speculation from the prejudiced Madame Beck and her gossipy companion Madame Picot. As the rumours grow more ugly, Agnès is forced to confront her history, and the mystery of her origins unfold.

The Cleaner of Chartres is a compelling story of darkness and light, of traumatic loss and second chances. Told with sparkling wit and beguiling charm, but infused with deeper truths, it speaks of the power of love and mercy to transform the tragedies of the past.

Episode 2:
Dr Deman discovers a baby adopted by a local celebrity bears a striking resemblance to the one taken away from Agnès when she was just 15. He writes the address in Agnès' file.

Producer: Joanna Green
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

Broadcasts

Books & Authors Clip Collection

JKrowling

Interviews, previews and reviews

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.