Experience the passion and peril of the French Revolution in Beyond the Lavender Fields, a well-crafted romance by Arlem Hawks. Hawks paints a vivid picture of eighteenth-century Marseille, with descriptive settings, solid characters, and the feelings of uneasy and tension due to political unrest. Lots of French terms are sprinkled throughout the novel, giving the story an air of authenticity (a glossary is included at the end of the book). Determined heroine Marie-Caroline and her thoughtful love interest Gilles show great depth and personality. These main characters’ beliefs and feelings shift throughout the book due to their shared experiences and the heartbreaking circumstances of war. Readers will enjoy the parts of the story told by letters, as each missive is beautifully crafted and poetic. Beyond the Lavender Fields is not only entertaining, but contains timely messages about how to have healthy relationships with those who have different political views. Highly recommended!
Violence/Gore: Several implied occurrences of violence and verbal threats including tying a noose, naval battle, mention of death by guillotine; frequent reports of secondhand violence including riots and murder, storming the royal palace, massacre, wounded by bayonet; a brief scene of violence when a character is pushed hard; a few brief scenes of property destruction include breaking down the door to characters’ residence and starting a house fire.
Sex/Nudity: Several incidents of kissing; a few sexual references.
Mature Subject Matter:
Death of loved ones, hiding a fugitive, riots, death by guillotine, civil unrest, talk of harassment and making verbal threats, smuggling, theft, mention of battle.
Talk of an alehouse; a character is drunk; characters meet to ‘have drinks’; a man is described as ‘severely inebriated’, a scene takes place at a tavern; wine is used for cleaning a wound.