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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Review: The Lavender Garden by Lucinda Riley

Title: The Lavender Garden
Author: Lucinda Riley
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Atria Books
Publish Date: June 11, 2013
Source: I received a copy from the publisher; however, this did not affect my review.

Why You're Reading This Book:

  • You're a historical fiction fan.
  • You like stories about family.
  • You like a dash of mystery with your reading.
What's the Story?:

From "La Côte d’Azur, 1998: In the sun-dappled south of France, Emilie de la Martinières, the last of her gilded line, inherits her childhood home, a magnificent château 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 château 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.

Note to readers:  In the UK, this book is published under the title The Light Behind the Window."

My Two Cents:

"The Lavender Garden" is the third book that I have read by Lucinda Riley and I can say definitively that this one is my favorite! Like her other books, this book takes place in two different times. One time is 1998 France and the other is France during WWII. The book starts out a little quietly and bit slow but picks up into a really fascinating story with great characters and good historical detail.

I really liked both times. This does not always happen for me. Typically with books like this, I am partial to one time or the other (even more typically, it is usually the more historical time). In this book, both time periods were definitely engaging. I really liked seeing how the times came together in order to form the full story. This book had a really good flow, which kept me turning the pages.

While I liked both time periods, I really enjoyed reading about Connie during the French Resistance. I am always really fascinated by some of the things that people did in France in order to fight the Germans covertly. There was a lot of really interesting historical detail in these sections. I think historical fiction lovers will definitely love how well Riley develops the story in the WWII sections.

Overall, Riley's books have gotten progressively better for me and I am waiting eagerly for her next release.



  1. This sounds like one I should read this summer. Too bad I wasn't able to read a book a day...LOL

    Thanks for sharing and glad u liked it as well.

  2. Ah, I am so impressed by all the reviews on this one from the world to the characters. Lovely review Meg!

  3. I've still not got to this author but she is on my list. Thanks for the review.

  4. Lucinda Riley is my favorite author and I just loved The Orchid House. It is one of my top five books of all time. I am happy to hear that this one is good too. I have it here, but I have been putting it off because I know that once I read it then I will have a long wait for another one of her books.

    Kathy (

  5. I have this one set aside to read this month, so I'm so glad to see you liked it. I enjoyed The Orchid House, so I can't wait to get started on it.

  6. This is by far my favorite Lucinda Riley book. I loved her detail about the French and English countryside and absolutely loved the specifics of the ancestry of Emilee's family. Digging into a family's history is my favorite historical thing to do. The ending is wonderful.

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