The Book Mark

Books that make the grade.

The Lavender Garden


I have just finished reading The Lavender Garden (A) by Lucinda Riley. It is one of those books that you just hate to see end.

Two time periods, 1944 and 1999, are linked through the de la Martinières family. In 1944 the French aristocrat Edouard de la Martinières entertained many high ranking Nazi officials at his chateau, he became privy to many of their plans. Secretly working with the French Resistance he passed along all he learned allowing them to disrupt the German efforts and thus saved many lives.

Now it’s 1999, Edouard’s wife has died leaving their daughter Emilie heir to his great fortune. This is the first time that Emilie has been in a position that requires her to make financial decisions. While struggling with how to manage all of her new responsibilities, she meets Sebastian. His grandmother is connected to Emilie’s family through the role she played during the War. Sebastian appears to be a kind and loving gentleman who is concerned with Emilie’s well being. Only after they are married are his intentions questioned.

Alternating from the past to the present, the author weaves a seamless tale. The characters are effective and deliver a spellbinding story revealing secrets along the way. The reader’s attention is captured and held till the very end.

I found this novel to be one of the better-written World War II stories. It incorporates good historical facts with drama and suspense. For these reasons, I recommend The Lavender Garden as a must read. I am confident you will feel that it is very much worth your time.


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