The Lavender House by Lucinda Riley Book Review



Goodreads Summary:

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.

Rating:4/5 stars


I’ve recently discovered this type of story that is very formulaic but also very addicting. Basically there’s someone(usually a girl, usually rich) who has either lost someone recently or is struggling to understand the place they have in this world and discovers that there’s a family secret . Then this main character attempts to uncover the secret, and we begin to learn the story of the family’s past.Once you’ve read one of these types of books, you get the gist of it, but I just can’t get enough of them. The Lavender Garden definitely satisfied my need, and while it wasn’t as good as other ones it was still pretty good.

There’s really not much need to go into the plot of the story since as I stated, they’re all pretty much the same.  But basically   the premise of  Lavender Garden is that Emily’s Mom has just died, and she is faced with the burden of having to deal with her parent’s financial debt,as she tries to decide whether or not to keep the family castle(I know, it sounds very petty). In sweeps Sebastian, a man who says that his grandmother knew Emily’s father during the  second world war. This leads Emily to uncover certain secrets about both her and Sebastian’s family.

As I said before I’m a sucker for these kinds of plots, they might not be the best for everyone, but I really enjoy them, and despite the fact that they’re very cliche, I do like to see the different takes the authors have on this type of story.


The problem I did have with Lavender Garden was the fact that while the story that was set in World War 2 was very well developed, the one about Emily wasn’t as much so. Emily kind of just acted as the person who enabled us to learn about this story, and that was about it. I did like what we did get of Emily and her life, but I did find it to be a little one-dimensional. On the other hand, Constance’s story-the one in World War 2- was very well developed, and very interesting. Constance was portrayed as a very brave, understanding woman and I really enjoyed her character.

One of the things that really bugged me about Emily’s character was that I found her to be a little naive, and unaware of things that were happening right under her nose. While I do understand that the things she did, she did while she was suffering from grief, it was very frustrating to read about Emily  not realizing what was happening to her. I don’t  want to go into too much detail in fear of spoiling anybody


The writing was pretty unremarkable, though I did have a few issues with the dialogue. I found some of it to be very stilted and awkward.A lot of the dialogue seemed like the script to a bad sitcom. It was also kind of weird because it would sometimes just suddenly switch to being normal dialogue, and it was kind of hard to focus on the story when the dialogue was so unrealistic.


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