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Wild Lavender

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  779 ratings  ·  54 reviews
Belinda Alexandra returns with an exciting new novel as memorable as the scent of lavender.

At fourteen, Simone Fleurier is wrenched from her home on a Provençal lavender farm and sent to work in Marseilles. Her life there is hard and impoverished, but Simone discovers the music hall and a dream: to one day be a famous dancer and singer.

But when war threatens, Simone makes...more
Published May 1st 2006 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 2004)
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A very disappointing follow up to White Gardenia. The main character was sickeningly perfect - everything fell into her lap. It seems to me Belinda Alexander wrote this to share what she'd learned in her research , rather than because she had a cracking good story to tell.
Bronwyn Rykiert
This story covers the life of Simone Fleurier from just after WW1 when she is 14 to the end of WWII. We meet her family, friends and work comrades and the many people who shape her life.

Simone’s father died when she was 14 and she was sent from her home on a Provençal lavender farm by her Uncle to work in Marseilles at the house of her Great Aunt. Her life there is hard and impoverished, but Simone discovers the music hall and dreams that one day she would be a famous entertainer.

She becomes tha...more
I haven't given many bad reviews as I have always found something good in every book. Unfortunately, Wild Lavender for me personally, did not meet that conclusion.
This book was suggested to me by a saleswoman after I mentioned that my favourite book is The Bronze Horseman. Apparently these two books have something common, if I love one I will love the other... But for my case that was not true.

To start off, Simone, the main character, is barely tolerable. For me I found that the people she met...more
Kate Forsyth
An epic historical saga that follows the life of Simone Fleurier from her days as a poor girl on a lavender farm in Provence to the heights of fame as a singer on the Parisian stage and then through to her involvement with the French Resistance during the dark horror of Nazi Occupation. I enjoyed every moment of this rags-to-riches-to-rags story – the characters and the historical period were all so real and I really enjoyed every aspect of it.
Heidi Blackmore
This book so long for me to get into, I was at 60% of my way through it before a story even started to form. After that it stopped and started a bit but was a good read. I have read three of Belinda Alexsandra's books now and this is the one I have least enjoyed. In saying that I will eventually read the ones I have not got to yet.
Liz Allen
I loved this story. It was very well written and the characters were easy to warm to. A wonderful novel I'll read again in years to come.
Overly long epic about Simone, a teenager from Provence who is sent away from her family's lavender farm by her miserable uncle to work for an elderly relative in Marseilles and finds her way into a music hall in 1920s France. She decides she wants to be a singer and the first 300 pages describes in tedious detail every step of her meteoric rise. As with White Gardenia, the young heroine is difficult to like because of her obnoxious vanity, and I now suspect this is deliberate and we are suppose...more
I finished this book with mixed feelings, hence 3.5 stars.

Firstly, I think it was a mistake that I read this book just a couple of days after I finished Sarah’s Key however I thought it would be a different sort of setting. This is because the 2 other books of Belinda Alexandra (namely White Gardenia & Silver Wattle) were mainly set in Australia. Oh, they did start elsewhere but the main protagonists migrated to Australia so I had the same sort of assumptions for this one. I was just the tin...more
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Lauren Chater
A compelling read by Belinda Alexandra. If you like modern historical romance, you’ll probably enjoy this. The main character is likeable, but of course flawed, and I had enough empathy for her to continue reading about her to the end. The descriptions of France are beautifully researched (Ms. Alexandra is nothing if not thorough) and although she has taken liberties with certain events to make the story more engaging, she still manages to make the world feel ‘real’ for the reader. I have read q...more
Marion Brownlee
Much too long and drawn out. In the middle of the book the 2 main characters did an about face to what I thought they would do. The author builds up your knowledge of them so securely, that the reader is dissapointed with the characters choice. Quite frustrating, and hence UNBELIEVABLE.
I just wanted it to be OVER after 20 hours.
Really enjoyed learning about the music theatres in Paris. Simone was such a strong character which showed throughout the story. Enjoyed the storyline of Simone and Andre, although that story didn't turn out the way that most of us would have liked. Didn't like Camille's character, but I guess every story needs a bitch in it somewhere. I cried when Simone realised that she'd lost her whole family in the war, but at least the story finished on a happy note and Roger was found alive. I would have...more
Arlene Blackmer
Love ALL her books!
This book was very engrossing. I really loved the main character's journey; starting from very humble beginnings, and then becoming a very big success. I also enjoyed the novel as it is set in France during the 1930's - 40's, hence, you get a detailed account of occupied France during the war; which I found fascinating. I always enjoy anything written by this author - always well researched and intriguing, looking forward to Sapphire Skies!
A long story, very gently unravelling. Starting with the young gal on a farm, her father dies, she's sent off to the south of France to stay with an elderly, miserly great aunt. Here she discovers the music hall, and then her life becomes entwined with the stage. Later in the book, we encounter the WW11 and we close the book at teh end of the war. It reminded me of a Sunday night drama series,something you start watching to relax by.
May 17, 2013 Luke marked it as to-read
Wild Lavender is a novel by Belinda Alexandra.

Simone Fleurier is taken away from her home on a Provençal lavender farm and sent to work in Marseilles. In her hard life, she discovers the music hall and dreams to someday become a famous dancer and singer. But war threatens, and Simone makes a decision that will lead to great danger—yet ulitmately prove that love, just like wild lavender, can grow in the least likely places...
Alicia Hope
A well-written, engaging story filled with interesting characters and situations. I enjoyed being 'inserted' into the main character's life early in the story, and having the political element come to the fore toward the end of the book. The personal experiences made the political element in WILD LAVENDER more enjoyable than that in WHITE GARDENIA, and made me care about the character and want to read on.
The Casual Librarian
Felt a bit 'meh' in the 1st half of this book, but am so glad I pressed on! I loved the story & the WW2 history from a French perspective was fascinating. The characters were maybe a bit 2D if I'm gonna b picky - but I really loved this.

Never read anything from this author before (this was recommended by a bookmobile regular!), But will def read more of Belinda Alexandra's stuff!
I made it to page 13. Belinda Alexandra is a great author and I am greatly in love with her 'Tuscan Rose' book, but this book wasn't my cup of tea, so to speak. I think it may have been the main character, because I like my heroines to be at least 15 years of age. I gave up on this book but I'm sure it would be good for anyone. Maybe in the future I'll be able to read it and love it.
A lovely book and very well researched, if you want a feel for the european roaring twenties and thirties the French occupation years and the French resistance during WWII then this is a great story. Although the plot provides the reader with a good read all on its own, Alexandra knows how to create a good feel and never fails to provide that little twist towards the end!
Barbara Pincham
Brilliant book. Belinda Alexandra has a knack for writing that draws you in. I loved reading and getting involved in Simone's plight. A must read.
Loved the last quarter of the book - but unfortunately found the first three quarters a bit slow and a bit hard to get into. Fortunately the end made up for that and the parts of the book that focused around the main character's involvement in World War II were totally compelling.
This book was well researched, however, after reading Tuscan Rose (which I thought was great) by the same author I was left a little disappointed. It took a good half of the book before I could get into it and just seemed a little far fetched.
Belinda Alexandra tells a timeless story set within a dazzling historical context. Quintessential protagonists and their charming leading men meet glamorous antagonists and fragments of an lost era. Enjoyable to indulge in. An absolute page turner!
This didn't grip me like Golden Earrings did. I think I'm in the mood for trashy novels rather than sagas.
Not my favorite book of hers. There were parts I liked and other parts were boring. I listened to it on Audible and it was a different narrator than her other books. I love Caroline Lee narrating! Anything she reads is amazing:)
Liz Needle
Initially I enjoyed this book and was interested in the description of life as a music hall artist interesting. But as the book dragged on, it all became a bit improbable - just how much can happen to any one heroine.
Slightly unbelievable with a strange subliminal religious message - or was it? Read the full review at OurBookClub.
Jane Scott
Not worth buying. One of those books you borrow from a friend or the library as you would only read it once. Story is a bit predictable and soppy but entertaining enough to finish the book.
I loved reading about German occupied Paris and it was experienced through a gripping story.
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Belinda Alexandra has been published to wide acclaim in Australia and internationally. She is the daughter of a Russian mother and an Australian father and has been an intrepid traveller since her youth. Her love of other cultures is matched by her passion for her home country, Australia, where she is a volunteer carer for the NSW Wildlife Information Rescue and Education Service (WIRES).
More about Belinda Alexandra...
White Gardenia Tuscan Rose Silver Wattle Golden Earrings Sapphire Skies

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“I knew what it was like to be poor, and that once you had become rich, anything was better than being poor again.” 4 likes
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