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A Third of a Pond

Valerie Helps

After years of cruising along the French waterways in their canal boat, de Villehardouin, Valerie Helps and her husband Geoffrey, decide to put down roots on terra firma.

In the Loiret region of central France they discover a pond, a dilapidated farmhouse and a neglected garden which tick all their boxes. What follows is a great deal of backbreaking work and commitment, but the love the two have for each other, for the country and for the friends they make deep in the French countryside make it all worthwhile.

Beautifully illustrated and written, this book is filled with vivid descriptions as Valerie's generous and loving eye for nature and all its seasons adds another rich layer to this lush tale, while the antics of the inhabitants of the pond and the creatures from the forest dance through the pages.

Paperback  |   Hardback   |   eBook


Valerie Helps was born in London and grew up in East Africa. Widely travelled, she has lived in Australia, Greece and France, where she established herself as a successful travel writer and illustrator.

Valerie's first book, Freckles the Fawn, was written when she was eighteen. In Australia, she established Valerie's Page, a popular children's page in a major Sunday newspaper, with stories inspired by her children and her African background. Seven of these featured in her television series.

Her short stories, poetry and children's books have been published in journals and newspapers worldwide.

During the eighties, Valerie worked with Youth Orchestras and as Orchestra Manager in the Sydney Opera House. When she needed something "completely different", she moved to Crete to lease out holiday villas and later left for France with Geoffrey, her new partner, to spend the summers on their canal boat ‘de Villehardouin'. She now lives in Sydney.