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The Lavender Garden: A Novel

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  7,109 Ratings  ·  783 Reviews
Note to readers: In the UK, this book is published under the title The Light Behind the Window.

An aristocratic French family, a legendary château, and buried secrets with the power to destroy two generations torn between duty and desire.

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 ho
ebook, 416 pages
Published June 11th 2013 by Atria Books (first published August 1st 2012)
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Sarah Blight I don't know. But I was interesting in the fact that Edouard chose to marry her. She seemed so self-involved and shallow. Not someone that was deeply…moreI don't know. But I was interesting in the fact that Edouard chose to marry her. She seemed so self-involved and shallow. Not someone that was deeply devoted, with such depth would be apt to marry. But maybe he had just given up by that point. (less)
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Sep 12, 2013 Lori 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!!!
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 c
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
Wilja van Book
Aug 28, 2016 Wilja van Book rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wäre Emilie nicht eine ganze Zeit lang so blind und naiv gewesen, hätte es 5 Sterne verdient. Tolle Geschichte, sehr komplex und rührend. Besonders herausragendes Setting und ein niveauvoller Sprachstil
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.
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
Jan 21, 2014 Darcy 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
Aug 15, 2016 Xana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Não estava nada à espera de adorar este livro. Foi uma enorme surpresa.
Alterna entre o presente e 1944 (em França durante a 2a guerra mundial), fui completamente "sugada" para esta história. Não me lembro da última vez que li um livro de 500 pág em 2 dias.
Sofri com Constance adorei a personagem. Não simpatizei tanto assim com Émilie no inicio, mas também acabou por me conquistar.
Adorei, recomendo sem reservas...
(E pensar que não apreciava nada este tipo de livro.. aborrecia-me imenso!! Vamos "c
Apr 21, 2014 Ana 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
Opinião do blogue Chaise Longue:

Aos vinte e quatro anos, Lucinda já era uma estrela. Fosse, cinema, televisão ou teatro, ela já tinha feito de tudo um pouco, menos pegar na sua experiência e contá-la e, foi exactamente isso que fez, escreveu um livro sobre as vicissitudes e brilhos da carreira de actriz. Sob o pseudónimo de Lucinda Edmonds escreveu vários livros mas foi anos mais tarde como Lucinda Riley que ficou conhecida. Em 2010 recomeçou a escrever e
Joanne D'arcy
Aug 06, 2012 Joanne D'arcy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 12, 2015 Allie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this story quite slow at the beginning and really didn't take to Emilie much, however, it did improve as it progressed and I'm pleased that I continued reading it.
A dual time theme - the present and during WWII. Both time periods are set mainly in France. The present takes up more of the book than the past however, it is the past that I enjoyed the most. This was an interesting and enjoyable family saga which blends secrets and history.
Megan Readinginthesunshine
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
Sep 24, 2012 Jane rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 28, 2016 Yasmin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Rikke Andrup Jensen
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
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
Jul 06, 2012 Anne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Ashley Daviau
May 09, 2016 Ashley Daviau 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.
Carla Geraldes
Jul 22, 2013 Carla Geraldes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: empréstimos
Lindo, fascinante, viciante e cheio de pormenores maravilhosos.
Além de ser uma história lindíssima está cheia de pormenores históricos nos quais nos vemos envolvidos a uma velocidade vertiginosa. Sem duvida um dos livros mais marcantes deste ano.
Love Fool
If I could I would give this 3.5 stars.

An aristocratic French family, a legendary château, and buried secrets with the power to destroy two generations torn between duty and desire.

The beginning of the book didn't suck me in. I felt like it dragged on and was a little boring. Emilie didn't make me care enough about her life. Then boom, after we go back in time and meet Constance and she has her training, the book gets so good and interesting. I love history and this book had forbidden love, thri
Jul 04, 2016 Jovita rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved reading it so much! Such a beautiful story! ...more
Jan 05, 2015 Molly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, 5-stars
Esta é a primeira opinião do ano. Prenda de Natal! Desde que foi editado por cá que já andava de olho nele e, agora, chegou a altura de o ler e de escrever a opinião.

Uma Espia no Meu Passado conta a história de Émilie de la Martinièrs, última descendente de uma das mais nobres famílias francesas, que vê-se no dilema de como resolver as suas coisas depois de ficar orfã. Com várias dividias e um château grande mas decadente, a jovem fica sem saber o que fazer. Até que aparece Sebastian Carruthers
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
Maggie Boyd
Apr 09, 2014 Maggie Boyd rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is probably more a 3 1/2.

Emilie never really knew either parent. Her father loved his books and cared for her with only an absent minded affection. Her mother loved herself so passionately that there was no room for a child in her heart. When her mother dies Emilie finds herself selling their chic Paris home so she can save the family estate in Southern France, they only family location where she has fond memories. It is here, while renovating the estate that Emilie meets Sebastian, an enco
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
This book was even better than I thought it'd be. It was fan frickentastic! We go through the book witnessing a story from two different timeframes and how the past intersects with the present. It was fascinating and I read the last half if the book in one night because I couldn't bare not to know how things left off!

Our two main characters - Emilie in the present era who has just inherited her family's property after her last remaining relative, her father, passes away. It includes his favorit
Maria Pereira
Jun 04, 2015 Maria Pereira rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Um bom romance, bem estruturado e interessante.
Só não dou 5 estrelas porque, e atendendo ao desenvolvimento da historia e respectiva estrutura, acho que, o final merecia mais umas quantas paginas, foi demasiado rápido.
No entanto, no seu todo foi uma agradável leitura.
Jul 27, 2016 Mbrew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Readalongs - Germany: Der Lavendelgarten 39 36 Sep 07, 2016 09:20AM  
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 3 Feb 24, 2015 02:19PM  
how does this compare? 4 54 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. Hothouse Flower (also called The Orchid House) was selected by the UK’s Richard and Judy Book Club in 2011 and her novels have been translated into thirty-four languages and sold over eight million copies worldwide. She is a New York
More about Lucinda Riley...

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“And what's wrong with dimming the harsh reality of life a little, anyway? In essence, being alive is a bloody long and hard walk to death. Why not make it as pleasant along the way as you can?” 7 likes
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