Publisher's Note:  

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 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.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Atria

The Lavender Garden

by Lucinda Riley

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Overall Review:  

The Lavender Garden by Lucinda Riley tells the tale of Constance and Emilie, two women deeply connected despite having never met. The book travels between two time periods and I overwhelmingly preferred reading about Constance's experiences during World War II. Riley provides rich and fascinating details regarding Churchill's Special Operations, the French Resistance and Allied sabotage against the Nazis. Unfortunately the modern-day segments of the book were not nearly as riveting. Main character Emilie, as well as several secondary characters, lacked dimension and feeling. While The Lavender Garden shines in its dramatic portrayal of life during World War II, the remainder of the novel comes aross as predictable and unengaging. 

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language: 46 religious exclamations, 12 mild obscenities, 2 derogatory names, 1 scatological word, 1 anatomical term and 1 f-word derivative.


Violence/Gore: Implied occurrence of violence from those in the French Resistance; reports of violence involving tortured agents, bombings, car crashes and shootings; a character is shot; a character is slapped; a character is killed in a non-detailed scene of violent death.


Sex/Nudity:  Several instances of kissing; a non-sexual depiction of nudity; several sexual references, including pregnancy out of wedlock; several implied or reported accounts of sexual activity; a scene involving nudity with sexual innuendo; an incident of rape with detailed descriptions lasting a page. 

Mature Subject Matter:  

Death of a family member, alcohol and drug abuse, war, murder, adultery.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

Characters frequently drink and smoke.

Reviewed By Rachel
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