Jan 19, 2014

[Book Review] Der Lavendelgarten

Hello sweeties <3

Today I have another book review for you - this time it is about a lovestory set in the present and World War 2 - Enjoy ;D

Title: Der Lavendelgarten
Original Title: The light behind the window
Author: Lucinda Riley
Pages: 512
Language: German 
ISBN-10: 3442477972 
ISBN-13: 978-3442477975

You can buy the book here!

This is what the backcover says:

Ein Herrenhaus in der Provence, eine adelige Familie und eine schicksalhafte Liebe in dunklen Zeiten.
Jahrelang hat Emilie de la Martinières darum gekämpft, sich eine Existenz jenseits ihrer aristokratischen Herkunft aufzubauen. Doch als ihre glamouröse, unnahbare Mutter Valérie stirbt, lastet das Erbe der Familie allein auf Emilies Schultern. Sie kehrt zurück an den Ort ihrer Kindheit, ein herrschaftliches Château in der Provence. Der Zufall spielt ihr eine Gedichtsammlung in die Hände, verfasst von ihrer Tante Sophia, deren Leben von einem düsteren Geheimnis umschattet war – einer tragischen Liebesgeschichte, die das Schicksal der de la Martinières für immer bestimmen sollte. Doch schließlich erkennt Emilie, dass es noch nicht zu spät ist, die Tür zu einer anderen Zukunft aufzustoßen …
[English - Goodreads summary]
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, 1943: 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

What I think about it:
As I already read two books by Lucinda Riley I had really high hopes for this book as well. I loved Hot House Flower and The Girl on the Cliffs and couldn't wait to read the third book from this author. I really like those lovestories that in part are set in the present and partly in the past linking two stories together...if they are well done! Thinking she did a great job in her first two novels, Lucinda Riley would do the same again in "The light behind the window" I really couldn't wait to read that book. But although the setting itself was really good the characters and their development lacked in many points. 
On the one hand Emilie in 1999 is depicted as a far to gullible and dependent young woman, and Constance in 1943 is depicted as too perfect in many ways. Sure, Emilie has to face the death of her mother and thus struggles with decisions but the ones she makes in the end are way to hasty even for someone in mourning and she constantly trusts only the wrong people. And Constance, the young woman who is thrown into WW 2, who although seems to struggle, can master nearly every situation with bravour. She is depicted as the perfect agent with only top marks and she never really strays from that image. Sometimes the minor characters seem more interesting than the two protagonists. 
The setting, mysteries and secrets intertwining both stories are interesting enough and I really couldn't wait to read the book after work to further unravel the secrets behind those two women but (somehow there always is a but ^^") how everything was unraveled in the end wasn't really that surprising to me at all. On the other hand in trying to create an interesting story the author sometimes overshoots the mark and some scenes are way to dramatic.

In the end I have to say that even though it was a nice read inbetween the characters were just to stereotypical and thin, the storyline was too predictable at times and the end was too forced in my opinion. If you want to have a good read inbewteen where you don't have to think too much I can definitely recommend this book but if you want something deeper with characters that can surprise you from time to time you better read something else ;) I for one won't stop reading books like that as from time to time a need my extra drama - that's my guilty pleasuer xD
Have a nice day~


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