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It is summer and Imogen Swift, who is 18, is visiting France. A keen artist, she is painting a view of the river while her friend Kate looks round the town. Jules, a friendly local art student, is sketching the same scene. Imogen’s boyfriend Luke, a few years older, is an ambitious photographer. He has driven down with the girls and gone on to exhibit his work at a Riviera resort. Imogen plans to spend a long weekend with Kate in Provence before returning to London with him. Jules shows the girls round the town’s celebrated art gallery, near the river. He earns a little by helping restore old paintings. He is beginning to fall in love with Imogen. She regrets having to leave. She tells Luke she wants to stay longer with Kate and he grudgingly agrees. Jules shows them the cathedral with its mark reached by floodwater many years before. Imogen is increasingly attracted to him. He’s sad she has to go back and worried she’ll neglect her art as she helps Luke run his studio. They are determined to stay in touch. When it’s time to go home Imogen goes with Kate to the airport but at the last minute she lets the plane leave without her. She phones her mother, who is understanding. Luke is angry that she’s not returning. Jules helps Imogen get work helping at the art gallery. She finds a cheap place to stay and some waitressing work. Jules’ family are not well off and live above his mother’s small supermarket. They make Imogen welcome. Jules and Imogen are happy together but he wonders if she will be content staying for the winter. She finds part time art classes. Imogen begins teaching English to a girl called Sandrine, who is taking the classes to please her mother. Kate comes for a long weekend, bringing Imogen’s winter clothes. At the gallery there’s no further work for Jules or Imogen. Jules is worried when Luke suddenly arrives to try to persuade Imogen to return but she’s aware of his selfishness now, and falling in love with Jules. Luke returns to London. The weather is very wet. As the tourist season ends Imogen’s waitressing hours are reduced. Sandrine is lazy and Imogen imagines that her lack of progress will discourage further students. Imogen tries to capture her interest by helping her translate magazines. As Imogen faces running out of money she and Jules frame their best paintings. She is delighted to sell one, but doesn’t make enough money to stay much longer. Jules is devastated as she plans to leave. He is loving but as yet unable to support her. She has no intention of working for Luke any more. Jules plans to visit her in Britain. He accompanies her to the station for the early morning train to the airport. They find the trains aren’t running as the line is flooded. The river is beginning to overflow its banks and they dash to the art gallery, anxious to save the paintings from the floodwater. Jules has a key, and they are the only people there that early. They struggle to carry vulnerable paintings to the first floor as river water rushes in, and rescue some celebrated works. They get stranded on the first floor, with its view of the swollen river. Alone in the gallery they declare their love. Eventually they are rescued by the river police in a dinghy. Now they have saved the most valuable paintings the pair are local heroes. The mayor offers Imogen a room rent free for the winter. Now she can afford to support herself from her few waitressing sessions. The pair are deeply in love and at last she is confident she can stay there for ever.
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