The Lavender Garden – by Lucinda Riley – independent book review – Historical Fiction (France)

A great read with a very distinctive story. Full of surprises. Just read this one in 24 hours. Awarded four stars on Goodreads.

lavenderTHE LAVENDER GARDEN tells two stories, fifty years apart. One is about Emilie – a Paris veterinarian and the last surviving member of a French aristocratic family — who inherits a very rundown chateau in the south of France. Her story is about falling in love, coming of age, betrayal, and questioning long-held notions about her own worth. The second story, part of which takes place at the same chateau, concerns a courageous English woman, Connie, during World War II whose husband is missing in action and who is asked by her government to become an agent in occupied France. Her close encounters with SS officers, members of the French Resistance, antiquarian books, and fellow “operatives” hold plenty of suspense and drama.

Well, of course these two stories are related but no spoilers here. Figuring out the connection between these two women is a good measure of the fun of this book as Lucinda Riley slowly and skillfully builds each link.

It’s very well written, contains just enough description to make it easy to picture the characters and unique settings, and had me eager to turn every page to find out what happens next. I am now reading Riley’s other books.

You may be interested in my reviews of other books by Lucinda Riley:

The Seven Sisters Series:

The Seven Sisters

The Storm Sister

The Shadow Sister

The Pearl Sister

The Moon Sister

The Sun Sister

The Missing Sister

Other reviews of novels by Riley:

The Butterfly Room

The Royal Secret

The Italian Girl

The Midnight Rose


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