World War II fiction has never been one of my interests. In fact, seeing “World War II” in a book’s cover blurb is usually enough for me to set it back down on the shelf. But the spy aspect of this one intrigued me enough that I decided to read it.
It took me a long time to get hooked by this book, but once I was, I was hooked completely. I was initially put off by one particular character that I disliked from the start. Once I read far enough to discover that I was supposed to dislike him, there was no putting this book down. Lucinda Riley is a master storyteller, weaving an intricate plot and switching between stories at the perfect moment. Every character is drawn with compassion, even the bad guys. The Lavender Garden is populated with realistic and believable characters. Both the modern and historical stories are beautiful, and connect in a way that keeps you guessing to the very end. It’s been awhile since I’ve had such a turnaround on a book – from barely getting through the first hundred pages to devouring the last half of the book. This story is magnificent. I can’t wait to read more from Lucinda Riley.