The Lavender Garden

The Lavender Garden

A Novel

Book - 2012
Average Rating:
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Note to readers: In the UK, this book is published under the title The Light Behind the Window .

An aristocratic French family, a legendary ch#65533;teau, and buried secrets with the power to destroy two generations torn between duty and desire.

La C#65533;te d'Azur, 1998: In the sun-dappled south of France, Emilie de la Martini#65533;res, the last of her gilded line, inherits her childhood home, a magnificent ch#65533;teau and vineyard. With the property comes a mountain of debt--and almost as many questions...

Paris, 1944: A bright, young British office clerk, Constance Carruthers, is sent undercover to Paris to be part of Churchill's Special Operations Executive during the climax of the Nazi occupation. Separated from her contacts in the Resistance, she soon stumbles into the heart of a prominent family who regularly entertain elite members of the German military even as they plot to liberate France. But in a city rife with collaborators and rebels, Constance's most difficult decision may be determining whom to trust with her heart.

As Emilie discovers what really happened to her family during the war and finds a connection to Constance much closer than she suspects, the ch#65533;teau itself may provide the clues that unlock the mysteries of her past, present, and future. Here is a dazzling novel of intrigue and passion from one of the world's most beloved storytellers.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, c2012
ISBN: 9781476703558
Branch Call Number: FIC Riley
Characteristics: 403 p

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todraudt
May 20, 2017

Lucinda Riley is such a complex and interesting writer. She layers her stories and the webs you find yourself in are amazing.

Cdnbookworm Nov 08, 2013

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.

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