Monday 15 July 2013

The Lavender Garden

Finished July 15
The Lavender Garden by Lucinda Riley

This novel has elements of mystery, romance, and historical fiction. Set mostly in France the story jumps back and forth between the present and World War II. As the novel begins, 30-year-old Emilie de la Martinieres is dealing with the death of her mother. An only child, Emilie lost her father when she was 14, and has never had a strong relationship with her fashionable, socially active mother. As the only surviving member of one of the wealthiest families in France, Emilie never felt that she fit into the life she was born into. She has made a career as a veterinarian and her first response is to get rid of both homes, but being back in the family chateau brings back good memories and she reconsiders.
When a young Englishman, Sebastian Carruthers, approaches her, she at first rebuffs him, but her politeness takes over, and she responds to his offers of friendship and assistance. He does prove very helpful, and Emilie begins to think there might be a future with him.
This is a story of a young woman growing up with all the comforts of life except those of loving parents. While her father did show her affection, he was usually distracted and spent little time with her. Her mother's expectations and lack of concern led to her lack of confidence and self-doubt. With the loss of her last parent, Emilie must finally find her true independence and grow up, dealing with finances, managing property, and being responsible for others.
On the historical end, Emilie begins to look at her past, and is interested to find that Sebastian's grandmother, Constance, had a connection to her father Edouard during the war. As she digs deeper into their story, she finds more to connect her with her parents, and insights into the personalities of the people in her life. And she finds she has more strengths than she gave herself credit for.
This novel had the same feel as the novels of Kate Morton, with the blend of history and contemporary, mystery and romance. A good read.


  1. I'm glad to see you enjoyed it. I can't wait to read it. I read Riley's The Orchid House and enjoyed it as well.

  2. You are doing so well on the challenge. I, on the other hand, am not so much, lol. Glad you are enjoying all of your reads!