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The Light Behind the Window

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4.17  ·  Rating details ·  15,915 ratings  ·  1,278 reviews
The present
Emilie de la Martiniéres has always fought against her aristocratic background, but after the death of her glamorous, distant mother, she finds herself alone in the world and sole inheritor of her grand childhood home in the south of France. An old notebook of poems leads her in search of the mysterious and beautiful Sophia, whose tragic love affair changed the
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Paperback, 529 pages
Published August 1st 2012 by Pan
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Chelsea Language: mild/moderate-- a few mild obscenities, an f-word and a scatological obscenity
Violence: moderate-- war & shootings (not in the battlefield …more
Language: mild/moderate-- a few mild obscenities, an f-word and a scatological obscenity
Violence: moderate-- war & shootings (not in the battlefield and not gory), a self defensive killing, several deaths
Sex/nudity: moderate-- a rape scene that is somewhat detailed, non-descriptive mentions of a married couple kissing and making love, a child is conceived out of wedlock, an unfaithful spouse, infertility discussed
Other: name-calling of whore and prostitute, drinking and smoking, mentions of hard drug use (less)
Jeanne Toward the end of the book Emilie mentions reading her mother's love letters to Edouard. It appears that his lack of attention and love led to her
beha…more
Toward the end of the book Emilie mentions reading her mother's love letters to Edouard. It appears that his lack of attention and love led to her
behavior in later years. After the events of the war and losing his sister
he was never the same. I think Constance's friend would have been his
one true love had life dealt them a different hand. (less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.17  · 
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 ·  15,915 ratings  ·  1,278 reviews


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Lori
Aug 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this novel... the ending was a little too "neat" but it still gets a 5 star rating from me!!! This reminded me so much of a Kate Morton novel!!! Again fantastic simply fantastic!!!
Marguerite Kaye
If I can't give a book an honest 3 stars, it hasn't worked for me. I don't rate them 1 or 2 because I personally think this gives people a false picture, but I do try and explain. So it was with this on.

The Light Behind the Window was the kind of book I like. Two stories linked, two timescales, and a bit of war - in this case, WWII. The thing is, I read it very quickly, and it's not a short book, but it was sort of a couldn't-put-down book. The problem was that the reason I couldn't put it down
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Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Castles, hidden rooms, families, World War II, and history coming alive as past and present blend together for an incredible, marvelously detailed read.

Emilie de la Martinieres is the sole surviving member of her family and is left with a chateau with vineyards and another home in Paris. Both homes are filled with memories and contents worth millions. But, the millions won't be Emile's because of the debt her mother mounted over the years. Emilie needs to decide if she should sell or keep the
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Joy Engel
Oooof. This book had great potential and an interesting story line, but needed an editor so badly. I found myself spending half the book wanting to break out my copy-editing tools and delete much of the pointless dialogue and descriptions.
Anna
This is my third Lucinda Riley book. The Girl on the Cliff was a big hit, but The Orchid House was a meandering miss, and after the first few chapters I thought The Light Behind The Window would be heading for another miss too. It has a very slow and simplistic beginning, including my dialogue dislike of over-using names even when only two people are talking to each other. Argh. However, when the 'story proper' finally kicked in I became hooked despite my niggles.

In present day France, Emilie i
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Ana
Mar 07, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book sounded so promising but it was rather disappointing and bland. The plot was okay, but very slow-moving at times and the ending was very predictable to me. My biggest issue was the unnecessary time the author spent on 'pleasant' conversations; i'm sure if someone checked which words were the most used one's in this book, 'thank you' would win. All the characters talk and interact with each other but in reality they're not saying anything. It felt like I read the same conversation over ...more
Idril Celebrindal
I have been having really bad luck with my reading choices lately. I don't understand why so many people seem to want to write books about women in SOE that in fact aren't about what women in SOE did. Or at least, I thought this would be about a woman in SOE (along with a related story set in the more or less present day), but apparently it wanted to be a soapy drama. Which could have been okay, except that it was so clunky and flat.

I know this is fiction and heaven knows I am not a very big fan
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Darcy
Jan 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had a difficult time getting into this novel. The relationship that forms between two of the main characters seemed artificial and contrived. For the first 60 pages, I just kept thinking, "how could Riley write such unconvincing dribble!" As it turns out, there was a method in her madness and it all came together later in the novel. Once I became immersed in the story, I got swept away in what is now the familiar intricacies of Riley's plots. While I liked The Orchid House and The Girl on the ...more
Hannah
Aug 09, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
1 Star - Just horrible

TW; rape (I put it in one of the spoilers, but just in case someone wants to go through and read them all.)

I bought this book at a library book sale. I’d never heard of the book before, it wasn’t on my radar, however the description on the back of the book sounded interesting so I spent the 50¢ and bought it. I’ll boldly say it’s not even worth the half-dollar I paid for it.

This one is classified as historical fiction and that it is. I have no qualms with that. However, t
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Tracy
Nov 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have never been disappointed with a Lucinda Riley book. This is my 3rd book by her and I really enjoyed this one. She generally writes stories with dual time lines going - a story in the past and one in the present that then tie together. I personally enjoy these type of books. This story does deal with the time of the Nazi occupation of France in WW 2 and the stress connected with that is pretty high. I was definitely on the edge of my seat at times! The book has a good ending and I plan to r ...more
Ajla
Oct 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: from-the-library
I finally found a novel about WW2 that I love! Thank you, Miss Lucinda Riley, for writing it. I finished another one of your books with tears in my eyes.
Joanne D'Arcy
Jul 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Yet again Lucinda Riley has created and weaved a story which has you gripped from the beginning to the end. You have to keep reading, you have to know what happens you have to know if love will conquer all, if war will end, if all wrongs will be righted and that the light will shine again from behind the window where it has been hiding for many years of the main characters.

Emilie de la Martinieres is there when her glamorous mother draws her final breath. As the end comes, Emilie realises what a
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Anne
Jun 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The Light Behind The Window is told in dual-time narrative, a concept that works so well and that Lucinda Riley has mastered excellently. Weaving the modern-day story with the historical background adds a further dimension to the story.

Emilie de la Marinieres finds herself the sole inheritor of a grand chateau in southern France, the death of her Mother has evoked many feelings for her, not all of them good, and many of them very painful. Emilie has always distanced herself from her Mother and h
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AdiTurbo
Jun 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Started out a bit slow (and silly at times), but developed into an emotional novel that was very engrossing. The suspense was a little on the low side, since the answers to most of the mysteries in the book were quite obvious, but it is still an absorbing read with great characters you'll enjoy rooting for.
Lamija
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh what a wonderful book...
Megan Readinginthesunshine
Aug 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I was very much looking forward to reading this story, and what a wonderful story it was!!!

The book opens in 1999, with Emilie at her mother’s bedside as she passes away, with Emilie on the brink of inheriting the family estate and fortune. Overwhelmed by all the new decisions Emilie had to make, she runs into Sebastian, a man who has links to the family Château as he says his grandmother, Constance, stayed there during the conflict. As Emilie begins to sort out the family affairs, she begins to
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Yasmin
Sep 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Such an absorbing, and in the middle quite riveting, read.
Having given up on the previous book by this author that I tried (The Girl on the cliff) , I'm very pleased that this was one was more what I've come to expect from Lucinda Rileys books- a superb and vivid sense of time and place, especially in the past storyline set during the second world war.
The modern day storyline wasn't so enthralling, but ticked along nevertheless, serving more as an entry point to the story of the past.
Really en
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Cymiki
May 17, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
Connie is a 1940's trained agent sent to France to help the Allies. Fast forward to the present where Emilie finds herself the lone heiress to her family's chateau, vineyard and her father's rare book collection. How their stories intertwine from past to present makes for an engaging story.
Jane
Sep 24, 2012 rated it it was ok
I hoped that I would love 'The Light Behind the Window' as much as I loved 'The Girl on the Cliff,' I really did. But I didn't.

There's no doubt at all that you know how to spin a story.

Emilie de la Marinieres travelled from Paris to her family home, a grand chateau in southern France, when she learned that her mother was gravely ill. They hadn't been close: Emilie couldn't understand how her mother found such joy in life as a socialite, and her mother couldn't understand why her daughter had tur
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Chelsea
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Impressions
This book was fine but ultimately bland. For me, it lacked sparkle, the wow factor of a great book. It is a cheerless read with very few fun or witty lines or moments, so you have to be in the right mood for that. The author does have bursts of talent, as evidenced by nice descriptions like this:
"...and gazed out the window at the wisps of cloud suspended like uncooked meringues in the blue sky."
but it just doesn't make up for the tedious trudging that defines a good majority of page
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Lynette
Jun 10, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Suzanne Lilly
With a skilled hand, Lucinda Riley paints a picture of a British woman’s eventful year working as a spy with the French Resistance during World War II. Equally skillfully, she interweaves a story of a modern day French woman faced with the inheritance of a dilapidated estate and hard decisions to make about the chateau and the people who have lived and worked there all their lives.

At first glance, it appears to be a wartime historical novel, but one quickly discovers that Ms. Riley has also delv
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Kirsty
Another beautiful book from Lucinda Riley.

This books follows a female spy from Yorkshire who travels to France in WW2, and a french heiress in the 1990's who is discovering her family's past. The duality timeline is effectively written, and seamlessly weaves a thrilling and emotional story throughout the whole book. The tension that was created during the scenes with the Germans was very palpable, and I found myself holding my breath during some pages!

As the book is based in different decades th
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Ella-Maluca Floyd
An absolutely phenomenal reading experience!
Amazing descriptions, from the romantic French cafés on warm summer days to the wet, cold, dark and claustrophobic afternoons in wintry England. The descriptions placed me in the middle of it all, and I felt surrounded by and completely immersed in the tale.

The story shifts between the year 1999, where the young Emilie is the sole heir of an old château in southern France, and her family’s past during the Second World War. This is not a war story from
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Stephanie
A majority of the novels I read are historical fiction and a lot of them have a modern day story weaved in. Sometimes I really enjoy the story as a whole, but most of the time I find one story much stronger than the other. The stronger story here was the one in the past, which I also often find to be the case. It took me a very long time to read "The Lavender Garden" because I just could not get into the modern day story. I would get to the chapters told about WWII and fly through them, but then ...more
Andrew
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Lucinda Riley once again writes a cracking story! This one was a bit slower in getting off the ground than others I have read but once it did I was fully engrossed! Both the modern day story and the back story from the Second World War captivated me and led me to want to read on and on. As has been said by others some similarity to Kate Morton's stories but I actually think I prefer Lucinda Riley's books. If you like dual time line books I would certainly recommend Lucinda Riley, whilst I enjoye ...more
Ashley Daviau
May 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I went into this book not really expecting much and I was very pleasantly surprised! It grabbed my attention from the start and I absolutely loved the bits of family history which were both heartbreaking and beautiful, and tied in so well with the main storyline! All the bits and pieces came together in such a perfect ending to what was an enchanting story! And I couldn't help but want that enormous, wonderful library for myself, I can only imagine the treasures that could be found in there.
Jennie
Aug 04, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Because of its glowing reviews, I started this book...and quickly put it down. What drivel! It reads like chick-lit set in Provence, with a male character (Sebastian) that obviously is not all he seems to be. I can't understand the 4+ ratings.
Jovita
Jun 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved reading it so much! Such a beautiful story! ❤
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Readalongs - Germany: Der Lavendelgarten 39 44 Sep 07, 2016 09:20AM  
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 4 Feb 24, 2015 02:19PM  
how does this compare? 4 58 Aug 20, 2014 03:21AM  

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AKA: Lucinda Edmonds
Lucinda Riley was born in Ireland, and after an early career as an actress in film, theatre and television, wrote her first book aged twenty-four. Her books have been translated into thirty-seven languages and sold twenty-five million copies worldwide. She is a No.1 Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller.

Lucinda is currently writing The Seven Sisters series, which tells the
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