Review: The Lavender Garden by Lucinda Riley

Description (from cover):

‘An aristocratic French family, a legendary chateau, and buried secrets with the power to destroy two generations torn between duty and desire.
La Cote d’Azure, 1998: In the sun-dappled south of France, Emilie de la Martinieres, the last of her gilded line, inherits her childhood home, a magnificent chateau 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 chateau 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.’

My thoughts:

I spent half of my time reading this book, hating the book and liking it at the same time. At the beginning, I had a really hard time connecting with Emilie’s character. I thought that for someone the author portrayed as a smart and independent woman, made horribly rash decisions and put me off her character. Some of the choices Emilie makes at the beginning of this novel is so out of character. The author does make a point in this novel about it, so I do understand why she chose to do so, but still, it was frustrating. Now when the author focuses on Constance’s story, I was enthralled. I liked Constance’s character a lot and that part of the story was very entertaining and enjoyable to read.
There were some plot twists and turns that I saw coming from miles away. I didn’t like that about this book. It was pretty obvious about some of the ways the author wanted to surprise the reader and I was a little annoyed by that as well. Overall, this isn’t the best book I’ve read and it isn’t the worst at the same time. Somewhere it falls in the middle. I just couldn’t get past the annoyances to really enjoy this book like other readers have. I think that if this book had been solely about Constance’s stuggles during World War II, that I would have enjoyed it a lot more than I did.
This book weaves a story told through two different generations. One is set during World War II and the other is present day. I preferred the story set in the past over the present day story, but that is just me. I can see that this book may appeal to some readers, but I just found it to be something that I read and most likely will forget about. Sad to say it, but this book doesn’t have much that drew me in. Overall, I was a tad disappointed as it had a lot of potential, but it just didn’t work out.

Overall Rating: 2.5

Title:  The Lavender Garden
Author:  Lucinda Riley
Series:  N/A
Publisher:  Atria Books
Publication Date:  June 11, 2013 (Reprint)
Pages:  416
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Get It:  Amazon; Barnes & Noble

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the publisher, through Edelweiss, in exchange for my honest review. I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

One thought on “Review: The Lavender Garden by Lucinda Riley

  1. This book is on my TBR list, and while I still plan on reading it, I will keep your review in mind. I, too, generally prefer the story set in the past over the present day story, but that is just me. Too bad this book has so many issues — it seems such a great setting and plot.


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